Recipe: Chinese Chive Cakes
From: Thai Street Food
Second recipe: Son in law eggs
From: The Cook’s Companion
It’s Thai week for the Cookbook Challenge! I received a copy of Thai Street Food for Christmas, and it is a rather large, but gorgeously presented tome. I read it cover to cover last night in preparation for the Thai challenge (obviously I’m still having issues with being better organised) and I want to eat everything that’s in there!
I really wanted to make something from Thai Street Food this week, but all the recipes seem very complicated. They all have big blocks of text and specialised ingredients, and many of them need to be started the night before. So I choose the easiest recipe I could find, which was Chinese Chive Cakes…….. I know, I know, it’s THAI week, but it’s in Thai Street Food and they’re commonly sold in Thailand, so I think I’m still good with the theme.
If you have a look at the recipe down below, it’s rather long, even though I did simplify it a lot. I must say that the recipe looked more complicated than it actually was. I made the dough, then the filling, then placed the filling into the dough, similar to making dumplings. After the chive cakes were made, they were steamed – they could have been eaten at this point or shallow fried. You can guess which option I took, can’t you? I fried the suckers!
The chive cakes have a chewy pastry, and fried you get little firm, crisp parts. My filling had a fair amount of pepper, so they were salty and peppery and rather tasty. I can definitely see myself making these again.
My second recipe was from the always reliable Cook’s Companion – son-in-law eggs. They are just basically deep fried hard boiled eggs, with a sweetish, sour, salty sauce that’s made of fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind water and lime juice. After I made the sauce, Alastair walked downstairs into the kitchen and exclaimed, “It smells like Asian cooking in here!” and Bro asked if I had used shrimp paste. I blame the fish sauce – it was pretty pungent!
The sauce was great though, quite strong, but addictive. But I wonder if the recipe would work with a soft boiled egg – it would be nice to have the eggs with a still slightly squishy yolk. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time!
Update: See the round up for this week at My Food Trail.
Chinese Chive Cakes
From Thai Street Food
Makes 9-10 cakes
1 cup rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca flour, plus a couple extra tablespoons for dusting
2 tablespoons sticky rice flour
large pinch of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
400g Chinese Chives, cut into 1cm lengths
4 tablespoons oil
1-2 tablespoons finely chopped garlic
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon sugar
2-3 tablespoons light soy sauce
pinch of ground white pepper
Making the pastry:
In a bowl, mix together the flours and salt. Work in the oil, and then add enough water to make a thick but wet dough (the book specifies 1 & 1/2 cups water but when I added all the water I had a very thin batter rather than dough and had to start again! Mine took about half that amount of water.)
Place a frying pan or wok on a low heat and add the pastry, stirring constantly (you may need to use a whisk). When the pastry is half cooked, it will be very sticky and have an opaque sheen. Take it off the heat and set aside for a couple of minutes.
On a clean working surface, sprinkle on the extra tablespoons of tapioca flour. Add the dough on to it, and work the flour into the warm pastry. Knead for about five minutes, until it is firmish and clean to the touch. Roll the pastry into ten balls and rest for at least ten minutes under a clean, damp cloth.
Next, make the filling. Give the Chinese chives a good wash, and drain well. In a wok or pan, heat the oil and fry the garlic with the pinch of salt until beginning to colour. Add the chives and cook until wilted. Season with the sugar, soy sauce and white pepper. Taste to make sure it is well seasoned but not too salty. Transfer to a sieve or colander to drain and cool. You don’t want too much liquid, so give the filling a squeeze with your hands after it’s cooled a little to get rid of some of the juice.
Give the pastry balls a light knead, then press out into thin discs that are slightly thinner at the edges and about 10cm in diameter. Place a pastry disc into the palm of one hand and spoon 2 heaped tablespoons of filling into the centre. Light the edges of the pastry up and fold and crimp together, pushing the edges up into the centre. Custom says that there should be ten folds! Pinch the edges together in the middle, twist them together and then press down and seal. Repeat with the remaining pastry balls and filling, keeping them covered with a damp cloth as you make them.
Steam the cakes for about 15 minutes on a banana leaf or baking paper. Either cool for a moment before serving – or you could pan fry them (YES).
If pan frying, let the cakes cool for a bit after steaming. Heat a heavy frying pan until quite hot. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil and then add the cakes, shallow frying over a low-medium heat. Turn them a couple of times until they are golden on all sides. Remove and drain on a paper towel.
Serve with soy sauce and chilli.
From The Cook’s Companion
1/2 cup palm sugar
1/4 cup fish sauce
1 tablespoon Tamarind water
juice of 1 lime
4 hardboiled eggs, peeled
1 tablespoon friend sliced garlic
fresh coriander leaves
In a saucepan, combine the palm sugar, fish sauce and tamarind water. Simmer, stirring, until all the sugar has dissolved. Stir in the lime juice and taste – it should have a balance of sweet, salty and sour. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
Heat the vegetable oil and deep fry the eggs for several minutes until they are golden brown. Drain on paper towels, cut into quarters, and dip into sauce and eat with the fried garlic