Salmon fillets, cooked simply with ginger, black beans and Shaoxing rice wine. Try your hand at making the Chinese dumplings – just fill shop-bought wonton wrappers with the tasty pork mix. They cook in minutes!
By Ken Hom
From Saturday Kitchen
For the dumplings
25g/1oz Chinese dried black mushrooms
450g/1lb fatty pork mince
4 tbsp finely chopped spring onions or Chinese chives
1 free-range egg white
1 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp salt
pinch freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp sesame oil
225g/8oz wonton wrappers
For the sauce
1 tbsp groundnut oil
2 tsp chilli oil
1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tsp roasted Sichuan peppercorns, ground
3 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp chili bean purée
75ml/2½fl oz chicken stock
For the steamed salmon with black beans
450g/1lb salmon fillet, skin removed, divided into 4 equal pieces
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp chopped tinned black beans
1½ tbsp finely chopped garlic
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger
1½ tbsp Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 tbsp light soy sauce
freshly ground white pepper
For the garnish
2 tbsp light soy sauce
3 spring onions, finely shredded
small handful fresh coriander
1½ tbsp groundnut or vegetable oil
For the dumplings, soak the mushrooms in a bowl of warm water for about 20 minutes, or until they are soft and pliable. Squeeze out the excess water. Cut off and discard the woody stems, then finely chop the mushrooms. Mix with the pork, spring onions, egg white, cornflour, salt, pepper and sesame oil until combined.
Place a rounded teaspoon of filling inside a wonton wrapper. Use water to wet the corners and gather the four sides of the wrapper up over the filling, allowing the wonton skin to fold in pleats naturally. Gently pinch the wrapper together just at the top of the filling to seal. Continue until you have used up all the filling. You should make 25–30 dumplings.
To make the sauce, heat a wok until hot. Add the groundnut and chilli oils. Add the garlic and spring onions and stir-fry for 20 seconds. Stir in the rest of the sauce ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes. Transfer the sauce to a bowl.
Bring a medium-sized pot of water to the boil and poach the dumplings for 3–5 minutes, or until they are cooked through and float to the top. Remove and drain.
For the steamed salmon with black beans, sprinkle the salmon pieces evenly with salt and pepper. Combine the black beans, garlic and ginger in a small bowl. Put the fillets on a heatproof plate and evenly scatter the black bean mixture over the top. Pour the rice wine and soy sauce over the fish.
Set up a steamer or put a rack in a wok or deep pan, then pour in 5cm/2in water. Bring the water to the boil over a high heat. Carefully lower the fish and plate into the steamer or onto the rack. Turn the heat to low and tightly cover the wok or pan. Steam gently for 8–10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets. Replenish the water in the steamer from time to time, if necessary.
When the fish is cooked, remove the plate from the steamer or wok. Drain off any liquid. Drizzle the soy sauce and scatter the spring onions and coriander on top of the fish. Heat the oil a small pan over a high heat until it very hot and slightly smoking. Pour this over the fish. Serve at once, with the wonton dumplings and their sauce.