I’ve always had this suspicion that my cooking wasn’t that great. My husband used to lie to me, bless him– as long as I cooked for him every night, he would tell me it was just fine.
Illusion, shattered. My four year old has set me straight. I am banned from cooking pancakes. Pancakes, for pity’s sake. Apparently– and he’s not shy about telling people this– when mum cooks pancakes they taste ‘yucky’. So we need to buy them from Woolies, already cooked.
I can tell you that’s slightly soul destroying. In an attempt to not let the painfully abrupt honesty of small children damage my self esteem, I’ve decided to reinvent myself with a new persona– that of Cher from Mermaids. Flaky and slightly eccentric but lovable mum who over-shares and can only cook hors d’oeuvres and finger foods.
Being sponsored by Chan’s Yum Cha At Home and their new range of dumplings serves that purpose perfectly. I’m going to christen them part of my “I can’t believe I didn’t cook that!” repertoire.
Chan’s sent us a big dry–iced box of dumplings to sample. I shrieked in terror like a big girl on discovering that some of them had prawns in them– we know how I feel about seafood. But the kidlets loved them. The Bump eats pretty much everything and was into them straight away. The Chop took some cajoling and an introduction to fish fingers before he’d venture to the prawn money bags– but when he did, he actually ate them (after checking, first that they came from a packet and I hadn’t, you know, made them myself or anything weird like that).
After recovering from my seafood shock, I went with the more palatable shitake dumplings, and a big serve of immune system enhancing, cough and cold fighting TomYum soup, a la Tefal’s Soup and Co recipe….
Super Cold Fighting TomYum SoupIngredients+ 200g chicken breast+ 150g mushrooms+ 1 shallot+ 1 clove garlic+ 4cm ginger+ 3 sticks lemongrass+ 1 lime+ 1 bunch coriander+ 600ml low sodium vegetable stock+ 1 small fresh red chilli pepper+ 1 tbsp fish sauce+ 200ml low fat coconut milk or evaporated milk with coconut essenceMethodCut the chicken fillets into fine strips. Quickly was the mushrooms and chop very finely. Peel the shallot and the clove of Garlic and cut them as finely as possible.Peel the ginger and cut it in very fine rounds. Divide the lemongrass into sections and squeeze the lime to extract the juice. Remove the leaves from the coriander.Place the garlic, shallot, lemongrass, chilli pepper, lime juice, ginger, fish sauce and stock into the Soup and Co.Use the Soup and Co in manual mode. Set the timer for 25 minutes and the temperature to 100c. Confirm by pressing the OK button.Leave to cook for 20 minutes, then add the chicken, mushroom and coconut milk through the top of the appliance without stopping the cooking programme.Serve very hot, sprinkling the bowls with coriander leaves. You can remove the lemongrass if it does not look very appetising in the bowl.Nom nom nom.
And why yes, that’s a bamboo steamer in the photo. I know. I was a bit scared, too, having not used one before. But the lovely Lucy from Chan’s assured me that steaming was easy and even I couldn’t f*ck it up. I beg to differ. I did manage to f*ck it up, just slightly, with overcooked dumplings sticking to the bottom of the steamer.
And they still tasted delicious. As an added bonus, the dumplings come frozen in trays, each with their own little indent. And said indents make for fantastic paint trays, of you’re an
arts and crafts kinda mum (which I’m not, really).
The point of this post…? Chan’s Yum Cha At Home are supporting Aussie bloggers by sponsoring me to go to this years ProBlogger Training Day, where I will be sure to make an idiot of myself in front of people way cooler than me. Chan’s products are fresh frozen, made with love, and they’re an Australian owned, family company– the Lucy I was referring to earlier is Lucy Chan herself. You can find their products in Woolies and CostCo and they’ll even be in Coles freezers by the end of August. And you should buy them.
Or at the very least, enter this competition to win a package containing the full range of dumplings- Shitake dumplings, Prawn Hargow and Steam Selection; packed in cold, delivered to your doorstep, so you can try the easy steaming, noodle–esque texture of shitake dumplings for yourself. For logistical reasons you need to be in New South Wales or Victoria, Australia to enter this competition.
I’ve got five packs to be shipped out. To win, leave me a comment here and let me know… Do you cook your own Chinese? Do you steam? Do you eat dumplings, and what do you eat with them? (In case you’re wondering, this is my first time. Unless you count the spring rolls I lived on during my first few years at university… I don’t.)
Entries open Thursday 19th July and close midnight (AEST) on Thursday 26th July.
The winner will be announced via RRSAHM’s FaceBook page and Twitter feed, and probably in the newsletter as well. Winners will be emailed and have 48 hours to respond to that email with their postal address, or the prize will be redrawn.
You time starts… now. Happy Yum Cha!!