I don't know what it is about Chinese food but I feel so pure and healthy when I eat it. Of course this is one of those generalisations, as I am sure there are many (maybe millions) of unhealthy Chinese people, but Chinese food seems very 'health giving' to me. And in terms of complex cuisine and technique I think they rank up there with the French.
I had prawn and baby pea leaf dumplings. Look at their quivering pearlescent beauty.
My daughter had 1.5 BBQ pork buns.
Eating my little dumplings I vowed to go on a bit of a health kick, as one does. To start I thought I would need some help detoxing. So on departure I bought some of their beautiful tea, including one which is basically dried up little rose buds, like the image below on the left:
I also bought a clear glass tea pot and little cup which is a double layer so you can hold it without your fingers burning.
Being quite into cooking, one of the things I look for in a restaurant is food I can't cook better at home. And quite a lot of Chinese dishes fall into that category. Like terrine, filo pastry, Chinese roast duck, bouillabaisse, prawn crackers, croquembouche and fruitcake I know that I am never going to even attempt most kinds of Chinese dumplings. But I am a bit partial to a very simple pork won ton. This is based on a Neil Perry recipe.
100g minced belly pork (note if you mince this yourself make sure your processor is strong. You could also probably use pork fillet).
1 finely chopped garlic clove
3/4 teaspoon of salt
freshly ground pepper
10 wonton wrappers. I use these:
Mix the pork, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl using a circular motion with your hand (this is to preserve the texture and not beat up the meat too much). Separate out wrappers. Put one teaspoon in the centre of a wrapper. Brush water around each edge. Fold the wrapper over into a triangle (which will have round edges if you are using round wrappers) and then fold the right side over to the left and gently pinch together. Continue until all are done. Drop into a pot of boiling water and simmer for two minutes.
Great with pre dinner drinks and you can also make a dipping sauce, simple soy will do or you can mix chilli oil (1 tbsp), minced garlic and shallot, Chinese red vinegar (1 tsp) and 2 tsp of kecap manis or normal soy.