Three steamed recipes to try at home


Serves 4

Dashi mixture

1 tbsp shoyu (Japanese soy sauce)

1 tbsp mirin (Japanese rice wine)

250ml dashi stock, made from instant dashi-bonito stock powder

Steamed custard

1 chicken breast, brushed with soy sauce

about 20 small raw prawns, peeled

1 thick trout fillet, cut into 2.5-cm pieces

a handful dried black fungus, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes, then drained

a large handful honigiri or enokitake mushrooms, roots trimmed

6 spring onions, the white and all the green, sliced diagonally

1 carrot, thinly sliced with a vegetable peeler, then sliced into strips

6 eggs

salad leaves, to garnish

To make the dashi mixture, put the shoyu, mirin and made-up dashi stock into a saucepan and heat gently. Remove from the heat and plunge the pan into cold water to cool down the mixture as quickly as possible.

Meanwhile, put the chicken breast into the steamer basket and steam over boiling water for about 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove and pull into shreds.

Divide the chicken between four bowls. Divide the prawns, trout, drained fungus (sliced into smaller pieces if necessary), honigiri or enokitake mushrooms, spring onions and carrot strips between the bowls, too.

Beat the eggs and strain them into a bowl, then stir in the cooled dashi mixture. Pour into the bowls, filling almost to the top, making sure some of the ingredients show through the surface. Cover with foil and put into the steamer basket.Steam over boiling water for about 15 minutes. To test, remove the foil and press with your finger – the surface should be firm but yielding. If still liquid, steam for a few minutes longer until set.

Serve in the bowls with Chinese spoons and garnish with salad leaves.


Makes 10

Bread dough

Makes 16 skins

2 tsp easy-bake dried yeast

450g Asian white wheat flour

100g icing sugar, sifted

15g dried milk powder

1⁄4 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

50ml vegetable oil, plus extra for oiling the bowl

Place the yeast in a large mixing bowl, then add the flour, sugar, milk powder, salt and baking powder. Make sure the yeast is separated from the salt by the layer of flour. Add the oil and 180 ml water and bring together with a dough scraper. When no dry flour remains, remove the dough from the bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Knead firmly for 5–10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.

Lightly oil the mixing bowl. Shape the dough into two cylinders and place back in the oiled bowl, cover with oiled clingfilm and leave in a warm place to rise for 40–60 minutes, or until doubled in size. Remove the risen dough from the bowl, punch it down and knead it again briefly, but very carefully rather than firmly this time.

Vegetable mixture

1 head Chinese cabbage, leaves separated

3 handfuls Chinese spinach

2 small leeks

1 carrot, peeled and grated

8 oyster mushrooms, sliced

3 Chinese chive stalks, white parts removed, sliced

2 tbsp sunflower oil

a large handful fresh coriander, finely chopped

vegetarian stir-fry sauce, to serve

Cut some parchment paper into ten rectangles, 7 x 4 cm in size. Divide the bread dough into ten portions. Roll out each portion of dough into an oval shape about 1 cm thick, then fold in half, placing a parchment rectangle in-between the folded dough.

Cut another ten squares of parchment paper just larger than the buns. Place a bun on each square, on its side, then place them into the steamer basket at least 5 cm apart. You may have to do this in batches depending on the size of your steamer. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

While the buns are rising, slice the cabbage leaves, spinach and leeks lengthwise into ribbons approximately 6 cm long. Set aside.

Steam the buns over boiling water for 10 minutes until light and fluffy. Allow to cool before serving.

Heat the sunflower oil in a wok and stir-fry all the vegetables and coriander for around 2–3 minutes. Add vegetarian stir-fry sauce to taste and give the vegetables a quick toss.

To serve, fill the buns with the hot vegetables and serve at once.


Makes 20

Asian pesto 4 garlic cloves, crushed

60g cashew nuts, chopped

a large bunch of coriander, leaves only

a large bunch of Thai basil (or ordinary basil), leaves only

80ml groundnut oil


650g skinless salmon fillet

20 rice paper wrappers

a small bunch of fresh coriander, leaves only

1 tbsp groundnut oil

dipping sauce of your choice, to serve

To make the pesto, put all the ingredients in a small food processor and grind to a fairly smooth paste. Alternatively, use a mortar and pestle.

Cut the salmon into 20 even pieces, about 5-cm square.

Dip a rice paper wrapper in warm water to soften, put a coriander leaf in the centre, then top with a piece of salmon and a teaspoon of pesto. Fold in the sides to form a neat square (trim the edges if the wrapper is too big). The damp wrappers will stick closed. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and fillings.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the parcels, in batches, sealed-side down, for 3 minutes until brown.

Transfer them to the steamer basket, leaving space between them. Steam over boiling water for 4–6 minutes until the salmon is cooked. Serve on their own or with a dipping sauce of your choice.

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