Eclectic Houston – “To Touch Your Heart”

你好 (nee-how) and welcome to the Susitna Cafe’!  “Eclectic Houston” is our monthly chronicle about the unique and international aspects of Houston, TX USA.  Today we’re discussing oh sooo delicious dim-sum…

The culinary art of dim sum began in China hundreds of years ago.  Some believe that it started along the Silk Road at tea houses where travelers often stopped to relax and eat…

Silk Road and Related Trade Routes, Courtesy of Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education

These loud and lively tea houses became very popular.  Since the 10th century, this popularity has resulted in over 2000 different types of dim sum having been created.  Now there are typically over 100 different kinds of dim sum served in large restaurants around the world.

Dim sum translated from Cantonese means “To Touch Your Heart”.  Well, it’s no wonder that something that touches your heart (and is sooo tasty) is so popular around the world.

My own introduction to dim-sum began in Seattle, WA USA in Seattle’s China town when I was very young.  I was mesmerized by all the noise, talking and people eating tasty dumplings.  Thereafter, “R” and I have been on a lifelong mission to find the tastiest dim sum.  Our mission has taken us to China and most recently, Hong Kong, where dim sum is a way of life.

However now, lucky for us, we no longer need to travel far and wide to experience oh sooo delicious dim-sum.  We can make our own or visit our friends at Cafe Chino in Houston, TX USA.

We owe a special thanks to the Houston Chowhounds and Cafe Chino, since it is with them that we learned to master dim sum.  Our cooking class was oh sooo special!

We were fortunate to have had skillful chefs who served as our instructors…Chefs May Chan…

and Eddie Chan…

But that’s not all…the master Chefs’ sons, Randall and Bryan, and Cafe Chino staff were all participants too…

So with 2 award winning chefs and their skillful staff, we just got all equipped and donned our chef hats!

All the Houchies started cooking since there was no time to waste…besides, all of us Houchies wanted a taste!

So, shiitake mushrooms and fresh vegetables we did fry…

Followed by Cantonese eggroll rolling and sealing…Oh Me, Oh My!

After rolling and sealing that we all did try, all of a sudden there were lots of egg rolls to fry!

But wait!  That’s not all for us Houchie chefs to do…onward we went to make pork potstickers too…

We Houchies are an enthusiastic bunch and we wanted more to do…so we thought, why not make some Har-Gau dumplings…say at least one or two?

Next we made Sui-Mai,

with a knife trick I’ll never forget…

Smile, you’re on Susitna Cafe’s website!  Are we hungry yet?

After Sui-Mai dumplings, there was something even better yet!  Cafe’ Chino scallion pancakes!  Will we ever forget?

But before we share the recipe, Chef May cooked her special way…

While us Houchies were ready to eat…”Oh! Can we, can we Chef May?”

It was all so wonderful and delicious…

We all had a great day!

Cafe Chino on Urbanspoon

Cafe Chino Scallion Pancakes

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1 cup hot water

1/2 cup green onion (scallions), sliced

1/2 cup canola oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Sift flour into a large bowl.  While stirring, add hot water until a dough ball is formed.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to relax for 30 minutes.

To begin making the pancakes, dust your pastry board or work surface with flour.  Roll out dough into a thin rectangle.

Brush the rectangle with canola oil.  Next, sprinkle the rectangle with scallions and season with salt and pepper.

Roll up one end of the rectangle (lengthwise) and fold to the middle of the rectangle.

Now roll up the opposite end of the rectangle (lengthwise) to the middle of the rectangle.  Brush the top of the folded rectangle with oil.

Now roll up the rectangle again lengthwise and fold into a coiled ball.

Turn the spiral side face up and flatten with a rolling pin or your hand.

Pan fry the pancake in hot oil for about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Cut into quarters and serve with hoisin sauce on the side.

Cook’s Note:  You may wish to substitute olive oil for the canola oil in this recipe.

Foodie Note:  Do try Cafe Chino’s “Chilean Sea Bass with Asian Pesto”…You’ll really like it!  Oh, and don’t forget Cafe Chino’s special Thanksgiving Dim Sum Brunch on Sunday, November 21, 2010, 11-3 pm.

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11 Comments

Filed under August 2010

11 responses to “Eclectic Houston – “To Touch Your Heart”

  1. Analog Girl

    A wonderful post and pictures!! What good memories of the fun day it was – the Chans & their staff certainly did touch our hearts :). We’re looking forward to eating there again AND making the goodies here at home. Thanks!!

    • Hello Analog Girl, Yes, our dim sum class was sooo fun…and all the people…sooo special! Let’s mush on to more cooking, eating and learning! Thanks for visiting us at the Cafe’!

  2. Sorry I missed this one! Looks like you covered a lot of bases here. Thanks for sharing the recipe for the pancakes. Your pictures made them look so easy to make.

    • Hello Dragana, We’re sorry you missed the class too. Please do make the scallion pancakes…they’re easy to make and sooo tasty! Thank you for visiting us at the Cafe’!

  3. It looks like you had a wonderful time! And your pictures are phenomenal. We wish we could have made it out, but we had car troubles that day.

    • Hi Val & Mani, So sorry to hear of your car troubles…hope it all works-out for you real soon :o) Glad you enjoy the photos! When you have time, try the scallion pancake recipe…they’re sooo delicious! Thank you for stopping by the Cafe’!

  4. Jackie Ewing

    That looked like a fun day! I’m not sure if you have a lot more healthy recipes of your own that you make, but if you do, you should send them into this contest I know of that’s making its way around the country, the Aetna Healthy Food Fight. It’s coming to Houston on October 9-10! I noticed your recipe and thought you would be interested. You could get great exposure for your recipes and meet celebrity cooks (Bobby Flay, Sunny Anderson, Sara Moulton, or Cat Cora). All you have to do is go to healthyfoodfight.com to submit one of your healthy recipes. Deadline to sign up for Houston is September 22th so hurry! Good luck if you decide to enter, and if not, keep posting! :)

    • Hi Jackie, Thanks for the suggestion! Yes, here at the Susitna Cafe’, we have lots of tasty and healthy recipes to share. So, I’ll submit some recipes for this good cause, for sure! Thanks for visiting us at the Cafe’! Cheers!

  5. I am so going to make those pancakes! I think I’ll add some diced havarti cheese in with the scallions. Hopefully it’ll turn out good. I’ll let you know, no worries mate.

    • Hello Susitna Cafe’ friend from downunder! The pancakes are really tasty, for sure. Let us know how your scallion pancakes a’ la dave downunder turn-out. Thanks for stopping by for a visit! I’ll be swinging by your place real soon too.

  6. Pausleal

    Keep up the good work! I really like your writing!

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