Asian fish dumplings with nuoc cham
( SERVES 30 )
Photo by Kieran Scott
Bite editor Jo Elwin shares one of her favourite Al Brown recipes from his book Go Fish, published by Random House and available at good booksellers.
|¼ cup||Fish sauce|
|½ cup||Fresh lime juice, or lemon juice|
|1||Red chilli, finely chopped (seeds optional)|
|1 Tbsp||Shallot, finely chopped|
|1 Tbsp||Garlic, finely chopped|
To cook and serve
In a bowl, whisk together the sugar, water, fish sauce and juice until the sugar is dissolved. Add the chilli, shallots and garlic. Refrigerate if not using within the day.
To make the fish dumplings
- Place all the ingredients except the salt, pepper, dumpling wrappers and egg white in a mixing bowl. With clean hands to distribute all the ingredients evenly. Season with a liberal amount of sea salt and a grind or two of black pepper.
- To make the dumplings, take a dumpling wrapper and lightly brush with egg white. Place about 1 tablespoon of the fish mixture in the centre. Fold the wrapper over to create a half circle, then pinch the edges together with your fingers or crimp with a fork.
- Place on a lightly floured tray and continue until all the filling is used. Refrigerate covered if you are not cooking immediately.
To cook and serve
You can either steam the dumplings first or boil them before sautéing.
- To steam in a bamboo steamer, place the steamer over a saucepan of boiling water. Brush the base of the steamer with a little oil to help prevent the dumplings from sticking. Steam the dumplings in batches for a couple of minutes with the lid on. Remove carefully and brush with a little more oil so they don’t stick together.
- If you don’t have a steamer, it’s no biggie — just blanch the dumplings in a couple of batches in rolling boiling water, removing after a couple of minutes with a sieve or slotted spoon. Place on a tray and brush with oil to prevent the dumplings sticking together.
- Place a skillet or sauté pan on medium heat. Add a small amount of oil. Once hot, cook the dumplings in batches until golden on each side. They colour up quite quickly, so keep an eye on them. Place on a platter with a small bowl of the dipping sauce and serve with a couple of fresh lime halves. Watch ’em disappear!