Monday 31 March 2008

A Food Blog

I've been reading blog posts for a while now, and have noticed that there is an awful lot of them. So I decided to join the masses.

I love food - both eating and cooking it. It is often wondered whether I have hollow legs, and so became the name of this blog.

This blog doesn't really have a theme (aside from food), it'll be just general musings, ramblings, and some recipes. My photography skills leave a lot to be desired but hopefully this will improve. Oriental cuisine is probably the food I cook the most. I lived in Hong Kong from birth till the age of 12 and this has influenced my preference a lot, so I thought I'd start this with some dim sum I made over the weekend.

Potsticker Dumplings (War Tip)

This is one of my favourite dim sum dishes. They're steamed and then fried, so that the bottoms go all crispy while the pleated parts stay soft from the steaming. When I was a kid we often went to a cafe in Wan Chai in Hong Kong, where they served great potsticker dumplings. It was almost ritual that we'd go there, have a huge plate of these and then follow with a cold dessert, called in Cantonese 'dau foo fah', literally 'tofu flower'. It was a block of sweet, silken tofu in a thin sugary syrup, delicious.

Anyway - I digress. The recipe was given to me by a lady on a food forum, named 'Sunflower'.

Makes 15 - 18 dumplings

To make the dough -

100gr plain flour

50ml water

Mix to form a dough and leave for half an hour.

Meanwhile, mix together:

125gr minced pork

2 tbsp spring onion, finely chopped

1 tsp finely chopped ginger

1 tbsp egg white

1 tsp cornflour

Pinch of white pepper

And leave for 30 mins.

Next, knead the dough for a couple of minutes and roll out into a sausage shape. You should be able to cut it into 15 - 18 pieces. Roll out into a circle, then add 1tsp of the pork mince to the centre. Fold in half, pinching the top where the two meet. Carefully fold the pleats, and put it on a floured plate.

To cook, heat 2 tbsp of oil in a non-stick pan and add the dumplings, making sure they sit flat. Add 100mls water, put the lid on to steam for at least 7 mins, topping up with a splash of water if needed. Take the lid off, and fry till the water has evaporated and the bottoms are crispy. Serve with black vinegar with matchsticks of ginger in it and/or chilli sauce.


Kavey said...

Welcome to blogland, Lizzie! Great start!

Anonymous said...

I love reading blogs, must be because I am so nosey.
Have added you to my favourites.. Good work!

David Hall said...

Hi Lizzie

Welcome to food blogland, its a murky confusing one! Got here through GBVC.

I love dim sum and I want to thank you for making this your 1st post. I have never made them before, and this has inspired me to give them a go at the weekend. Please explain black vinegar though (soy?).

All the best

Anonymous said...

Hey Lizzie, nice blog! I think I might have a lash at your potstickers tonight, they are one of my favourites. Have you a recipe/pics for char siu bao?

Keep it up,
JayPickle x

Hollow Legs said...

Hi David,

I'm still in the process of learning how to use this blog business, but I do read your blog too from the GBVC so I will link yours in soon. The black vinegar you should be able to get in a chinese supermarket, but a good substitution (although there are differences) is a cheaper balsamic vinegar.

JayPickle - Thanks! Make sure you fry in a non-stick pan, or you get some serious stickage. I've never made char siu bao, but if you have a look at Sunflower's Food Galore (linked under 'blogs I read') you will find an excellent slideshow.

Anonymous said...

Am really pleased you're blogging L, looking forward to seeing some pictures of the food you're always telling me about :)

Great start!


Anonymous said...

Schwesty!! Well done!! you're making me hungry!!!

David Hall said...

Hi Lizzie

Finally got around to making these for tea tonight; astounding. Thanks for inspiring me to get around to ding them as they are one of my fave things and I had never made them before. Will be putting a post up soon linking to yours.


Pete said...

So Lizzie, you're an oriental media type/food blogger living in South-East London...sounds familiar! Good luck with it and I hope you enjoy blogging as much as I do.

I have to say I'm slightly obsessed by dim sum. Have you ever been to Hong Kong City on the Old Kent Road? It's my fave place in London and a real hidden gem away from Chinatown.

I've just about managed to steam some frozen ha gao, siu mai, and cha siu bao at home, but haven't been brave enough to make any myself yet - I think I may just give it a go. If you have a good recipe for Cha siu bao, please share it!

I'll be adding your link to my blog.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Lizzie! Wow, making your own wrappers is a whole other level of complexity... How cool! Cool blog - you and I have similar tastes (not surprising since we both grew up in Hong Kong). Happy blogging and I'll keep checking in every once in a while! :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Lizzie, the War Tip indeed looks great, is it difficult to make the plaits to seal them?

Hollow Legs said...

It's fairly easy actually Janet; Practise makes perfect!

CT said...

David, you can read about black vinegar here:

For dumplings, I prefer what they call chinkiang vinegar. Then like Lizzie said, add some shreds of ginger or hot chili paste or oil or a garlic paste. Note supermarkets also sell a black vinegar with sugar and herbs in it (ginger, orange peel, etc). That's more often used for things like cooking pigs' feet. The dumpling vinegar is a very pure and almost harsh vinegar.

Thanks Lizzie for the great post and fun blog!

Anonymous said...

Sweet web site, I had not noticed earlier during my searches!
Keep up the wonderful work!

Anonymous said...

Wow neat! This is a really great site! I am wondering if anyone else has come across something
like this in the past? Keep up the great work!

sarahworldcook said...

I came to your blog from a link on I like your recipe for the potstickers also. I never heard of cornmeal mixed in with the meat. Will have to try this. I wish your measurements were also in US measurements- cups/teaspoons. I'm looking forward to checking more of your site out. Great job! BTW- last time I made these, I did not flour the plate that I put them on before frying- they all stuck to the plate. I like your steaming/frying method, also.

Anonymous said...

Appreaciate for the work you have put into the post, it helps clear up a few questions I had.

Anonymous said...

Hi - I am really happy to find this. great job!

Louis Anthony Woodbine said...