Sunday, May 20, 2007
Cha Shao Shu
I’m too intimidated to make my own pastry dough so I always take a shortcut and use store-bought puff pastry. I had a pastry sheet left over from Valentine’s day and some extra cha shao filling from making cha shao bao so I made some quick cha shao pastries, one of my favorite dim sum items. The Chinese use lard in their pastries so the buttery taste of puff pastry is not typical to Chinese baked goods (but I don't have hours to devote to making authentic pastry, maybe some other day).
When I told Steven I planned on making these, he was pretty apathetic, saying he didn't care too much for them. Well it was a different story when they came out of the oven. Since he ended up liking them so much, I lamented I didn't make more but I guess it's a good thing I only made 6 since eating so much puff pastry can't be too healthy.
I halved my original recipe for the filling so this adjusted recipe will be enough for 9 pastries. You can eat any leftover filling with some rice. The filling is pretty darn good, I ate a little bit while it was cooling.
Cha Shao Filling
1 C chopped cha shao
2 green onions, bottom half only, sliced thinly
1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp oyster sauce
1 1/2 tsp hoisin sauce
1 1/2 tsp Shao Hsing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp white pepper
2 Tbsp to 1/4 C water, depending on how saucy you want the filling
1 tsp corn starch
In a mixing bowl, whisk together the soy sauce, oyster sauce, hoisin sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, sugar, and white pepper.
In a separate bowl, mix the water and cornstarch.
Heat a scant teaspoon of vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat and stir fry the green onion (white part only) for about 30 seconds to a minute, or until fragrant. Then add the cha shao and the sauce and cook for a minute, until the mixture is bubbly. Then add the cornstarch water and stir together. Cook until the mixture bubbles again and thickens, about a minute.
Cool to room temp before using.
Cha Shao Shu
1 sheet of store bought puff pastry (Pepperidge Farm)
1 egg, beaten
1 tsp white sesame seeds
Cha shao filling
Defrost the puff pastry sheet according to package instructions.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
The puff pastry sheet is folded in thirds, so cut along the folds for 3 equal pieces of puff pastry. Then cut each third into 3 pieces, for a total of 9 squares of puff pastry.
Roll out each puff pastry square into a rectangle about 3 by 4 in. You don't need to roll it very much, the squares are about 3 x 3 in to begin with.
With the short side facing towards you, scoop a heaping tablespoon of filling onto the puff pastry. Fold the pastry over the filling and seal the 3 edges.
Brush the pastries with some beaten egg and sprinkle a pinch of white sesame seeds on top.
Bake at 375ºF for about 25 to 30 minutes or until the pastries are fully risen and golden brown. Serve hot.
Makes 9 pastries