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Chinese Steamed Pork Turnovers My Yin Yin, my father’s mother, calls out my name in Chinese and I drop what I am doing and run to the kitchen. I know that a fresh batch of homemade Fun Guaw, savory Chinese turnovers, have finished steaming and are waiting for me. My grandmother picks up one with a pair of chopsticks and holds it up in the air. With light coming in from behind her, I can see little bits of pork, mushroom, and water chestnut through the remarkably thin and translucent “skin.” And like a little bird waiting for a mama bird to feed her, I open my mouth. Plop! My grandmother drops a warm Fun Guaw into my mouth, and I gently bite through the tender outer layer to release its delicious contents. Fifty-two years later, I still remember how my grandmother made and fed me these delicacies. So, as an ode to her and a nod to Chinese New Year, I decided to make these wonderful little turnovers with my daughter. When the first batch came out of the steamer, I anxiously tasted one to see if it was as good as I remembered. It wasn’t as good as my Yin Yin’s, but how could it possibly compete with a childhood memory? Like Marcel Proust, though, I reveled in a moment of remembering things past.

Steamed Pork Turnovers (Fun Guaw)
Adapted from Dim Sum by Rhoda Yee

INGREDIENTS
Wheat Starch Dough
1 cup wheat starch
2/3 cup tapioca starch
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp oil
1 cup and 2 tbsp boiling water

Pork Filling
1 lb minced fresh pork butt
12 water chestnuts, minced
1 tbsp minced salted turnips (choan choy)
4 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 stalk minced green onion

Sauce Mixture
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp light soy sauce
2 tbsp sherry
1 tbsp sugar

2 tsp oil for stir-frying

DIRECTIONS
To Make Dough:
Wheat Starch Dough
1. Mix together the first 4 ingredients in the order given.

2. Bring water to a rolling boil and stir into dry ingredients with chopsticks until dry ingredients adhere.

3. Cover and let it cool for 15 minutes.

4. Lightly oil kneading surface and knead dough for several minutes, until dough is well mixed and smooth. Now it is ready for wrapping.

5. Dough can be kept at room temperature for 1 day, if you wrap it in plastic wrap.

To Make Filling:
Pork Filling
1. Soak dried mushrooms for 1 hour or until soft. Discard stems and mince mushroom caps finely.

2. Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl and set aside.

3. In a wok or skillet, heat 2 tsp oil and then stir-fry the pork, water chestnuts, salted turnips and mushrooms for a few minutes. Stir in seasonings (sugar, salt, and white pepper).

4. Add sauce mixture and stir into meat mixture well. (Sauce mixture is very thick.)

5. Add green onions last.

6. Let meat mixture cool before wrapping in dough.

Assembling Turnovers:
1. Divide the dough into 3 parts. Roll each part into 3/4 inch wide rolls.
Dough Rolls

2. Cut each roll into 3/4 inch wide segments.
Cutting Dough

3. Roll each segment into 4 inch rounds.

4. Place 1 tbsp of filling in the center of round and bring opposite sides together and pinch to seal. Turnovers will resemble half moons.

Steaming:
1. If using a bamboo steamer or aluminum steamer, fill the bottom layer with water and line the steam rack with a piece of parchment paper (prevents sticking).

2. If you don’t have a bamboo or aluminum steamer, set up a steamer in a large pot by putting water in the bottom and using a steamer stand or inverted heat-safe bowl. Oil a cake or pie pan to prevent turnovers from sticking.

3. Bring the water to a boil.

4. Place the turnovers in a single layer either on their sides or standing with their seam sides up in the steamer. Do not let them touch or they will stick together.

4. Steam for approximately 15 minutes. Skin should be somewhat translucent.

5. Let cool for 2 to 3 minutes before handling.

6. Serve with light soy sauce for dip.

Do Ahead Notes:
These turnovers can be kept for several days in the refrigerator or 2 to 3 weeks in the freezer. In either case, keep them well-wrapped to prevent discoloration. Reheat by steaming, 10 minutes from refrigerator or 20 minutes from freezer.

Yields about 3 dozen

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Wheat starch, tapioca starch, dried mushrooms, and salted turnip can be purchased at most Asian markets.
se Ingredients

2. I prefer rough minced pork over ground pork. That being said, I buy a piece of pork butt and mince it in my food processor.

3. Instead of 12 water chestnuts, I chopped one 8-oz can of water chestnuts.

4. My family thought the filling was a bit too salty, so I cut back on the salt in the filling by about 1/4 tsp.

5. My daughter and I had trouble rolling the balls of dough into 4 inch rounds, as the skin became too thin and difficult to work with. Ours were closer to 3 inches in diameter. Because of the size differential, we used less filling per turnover. Having a tortilla press would have been helpful.

6. My family always served these turnovers with oyster sauce instead of soy sauce.

Chinese Steamed Pork Turnovers

Enjoy!

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Not that I’m a party animal, but in about a week’s time I have made food to take to three different events. Here’s an easy recipe to make and take over to friends or to a potluck that originated from Steamy Kitchen’s Jaden Hair. It’s a spin-off of Chinese steamed pork buns, but uses puff pastry instead. The delicate puff pastry surrounds a savory meat mixture that has a little kick! I always double or triple the recipe, because these pastries don’t last long in my home! The delicious meat mixture would be fabulous, not to mention more healthy, if used in lettuce cups or lettuce wraps, too!

Linnell’s Adaptation of Chinese Pork Pastries
1/2 pound ground or minced pork* (I coarse chop pork butt in a Cuisinart)
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon Shaoxing wine (Dry sherry works as a substitute)
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon sugar
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
1/4 cup minced green onion
1/4 cup minced onion
1/4 cup minced canned bamboo shoots
1/4 cup diced Chinese black mushrooms** (first soaked in warm water until softened, and then stems removed)
1 tablespoon Oyster Sauce
1 tablespoon Hoisin Sauce
1 teaspoon garlic-chili hot sauce
1 package frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg + 1 tablespoon water (egg wash)
One small handful of cilantro, chopped
additional cornstarch + cold water

* Ground chicken or minced chicken could be substituted.
** If you don’t have dried Chinese black mushrooms, feel free to use dried or fresh Shitake mushrooms.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Marinate the ground pork in the soy, wine, sesame oil, cornstarch and sugar for at least 15 minutes at room temperature.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add regular onion. Fry until onions are softened, about 1 minute. Add the green onions, garlic and ginger. Fry another minute until fragrant. Turn heat to high.

Add the marinated ground meat, mushrooms and bamboo shoots. Fry until the meat is almost cooked. Add oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, and hot sauce. Stir thoroughly. Adjust seasonings if needed: Add soy or oyster sauce if it needs more salt; if it needs to be more sweet/salty add more hoisin sauce; if you like it with a kick add more chili sauce.

If the sauce needs to be thickened, mix 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with about 1/4 cup of cold water and stir into the meat mixture. You want the sauce to be slightly thick so that it does not run out of the puff pastry. Let meat mixture cool.

Take your thawed puff pastry and place on a lightly floured cutting board. Cut each sheet into 4 squares for full-size puffs. Spoon filling onto one side, brush egg wash on the edges and bring over to fold into a triangle. Pinch to seal tightly, place on baking sheet. Brush egg wash on the tops of the pastry. Repeat with remaining.

Bake 350F degrees for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Note: By reducing the size of the pastry squares and the amount of filling, these pastries could be scaled down to appetizer size.

Enjoy!

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