Dim Sum Making at London Cookery School

Something a little different…

Last month, I spent a night learning how to make dim sum. And it was a lot of fun, if a little challenging.

The setting at London Cookery School is relaxed and social. Around 16 of us sat around a large table, already furnished with the condiments we’d be needing to create our very own tasty dim sum. Once we all had a cup of green tea, we got to work.

First job – create the fillings. The stuff doesn’t look so appetising before it gets bundled up into a cute little parcel. One of the things that struck me was how far the mixture goes. What looked like a tiny amount of prawn went on to make 8 Har Gow prawn dumplings. There are certainly some benefits to making dim sum if you want to impress a large group of dinner guests on a budget.

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Next, the dough. The method for this was quite particular. Once we’d hydrated the flour mixture, it was crucial to keep the dough we weren’t currently shaping well sealed in a bag so that it didn’t dry out. We learnt a couple of different techniques for crimping the edges of the dim sum. For the final variation we used a different style of pre-made dough to create an open-top variety – Sui Mai dumpling.

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Our teacher was informative and helpful, if a little bit of a strict perfections – like all the best chefs, of course. He said that any split in the dough would mean the dim sum would explode, which made me a little nervous as in a few cases I had overfilled the parcels and they were spilling over a little. But I need not have worried – once steamed, the imperfections were ironed out beautifully.

The dim sum came in waves from the kitchen, numbered so that we each got to sample our own creations.

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