Yotam Ottolenghi on cooking with steam – recipes | Food

In the kitchen, as in life, there are some issues I merely hardly ever get round to doing, or cooking, or utilizing all that a lot. A lot so, the truth is, that I usually overlook simply how satisfying and scrumptious they are often. Cooking meals with steam is an efficient instance: I do know I like it, but it surely generally takes a complete steamed meal to remind myself of the very fact. Right now’s recipes are unashamedly just a few steps up from a easy plate of steamed greens, however they make a satisfying and scrumptious financial institution vacation undertaking.

Sticky rice, pork and prawn balls with Shaoxing dipping sauce (pictured prime)

These sticky rice balls, which of their native Hunan area are referred to as pearl sticky rice balls, are a sort of dim sum which might be usually served on celebratory events. Ideally, prepare dinner them in a stack of Chinese language steaming baskets; you probably have just one basket, nonetheless, steam them in batches and function they’re prepared. In the event you’d wish to get forward, make the balls a day earlier than, refrigerate and roll within the rice simply earlier than steaming.

Prep 25 min
Soak 2 hr+
Chill 30 min+
Prepare dinner 1 hr
Makes 22, to function a part of a dim sum unfold

25g dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in 100ml scorching water, then drained and finely chopped – reserve 2 tbsp of the soaking liquid
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp soy sauce
300g Thai sticky rice
, soaked for at the very least 2 hours, or in a single day
300g white cabbage leaves – the more durable outer leaves work greatest right here
3 tsp blended black and white sesame seeds

For the prawns
11 uncooked king prawns (120g), every minimize in half widthways
2 tsp Shaoxing rice-wine vinegar
2 tsp cornflour
High quality sea salt

For the pork filling
260g unsmoked bacon lardons
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice-wine vinegar
15g recent ginger, peeled and finely grated
4 tsp cornflour
½ tsp floor white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp tender brown sugar
200g pork mince
5 spring onions
(or 75g chives), thinly sliced – put aside 10g of the inexperienced components to garnish
70g positive inexperienced beans, topped and finely sliced

For the dipping sauce
60ml soy sauce
3 tbsp Shaoxing rice-wine vinegar
15g tender brown sugar

2 tsp sesame oil

Put the drained, chopped shiitake and a tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan on a medium-high warmth, and prepare dinner for six or seven minutes, till darkish and nearly utterly crisp. Off the warmth, stir in a half-teaspoon of soy sauce, then depart to chill.

Put the prawns in a small bowl with the vinegar, cornflour and a quarter-teaspoon of salt, toss to coat, then refrigerate.

Now for the pork filling. Put the lardons and two tablespoons of olive oil in a meals processor and blitz clean. In a small bowl, mix the reserved mushroom soaking liquor, the vinegar, ginger, cornflour, pepper, sesame oil, sugar and half a teaspoon of salt, then tip into the meals processor, add the pork mince and blitz for 2 minutes, to make a paste. Scrape right into a bowl, add the crisp shiitake, spring onions and inexperienced beans, and stir with a picket spoon for a minute or two, till the combination begins to type strands.

Separate the combination into 30g balls – you must find yourself with 22 or so – and place these on a tray. Put the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in a small bowl and, with oiled fingers and dealing one after the other, pat every ball right into a flat disc in your palm. Put one piece of prawn within the center, then fold within the edges and reform into a decent ball. Return to the tray and chill for half-hour, or in a single day.

Half-fill a steamer pan with water, cowl and produce to a simmer on a medium-high warmth.

Drain the soaked rice and unfold it out on a tray. Roll the chilled pork balls within the rice, urgent down gently so that they get effectively coated. Divide the cabbage between the steamer baskets, organize the rice-covered pork balls on prime, cowl and steam on a medium-high warmth for 20 minutes. Raise the steamer baskets off the pan and put aside, coated with the lid or a tea towel, for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, make the dipping sauce: whisk all of the substances and two tablespoons of chilly water in a bowl, then put aside.

Organize the cabbage leaves and the pork balls on a platter, scatter the reserved spring onion greens and sesame seeds on prime, and serve with the dipping sauce.

Steamed aubergines with cashew rayu

Steamed aubergines with cashew rayu.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s steamed aubergines with cashew rayu. {Photograph}: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

Rayu is a Japanese chilli oil, and this model options cashew nuts and shichimi togarashi, a Japanese chilli mix made up of seven important spices and seasonings – search for it on the world meals aisle of enormous supermarkets. Make double the quantity of rayu, in case you like: it’s going to preserve in a sterilised jar within the fridge for as much as 10 days, and is a beautiful condiment to have at hand for spooning over crisp fried eggs or stirred by greens.

Prep 5 min
Prepare dinner 40 min
Serves 4

60ml sunflower oil
3 spring onions
, whites finely chopped, greens sliced lengthways and put in a bowl of chilly water
35g uncooked cashews, roughly crushed in a mortar
10g recent ginger, peeled and grated
1 tbsp white sesame seeds
50ml soy sauce
1 tbsp rice-wine vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp
shichimi togarashi
1 tsp paprika
2 massive aubergines
(600g), stems eliminated
High quality sea salt

To make the rayu, put the oil, spring onion whites, cashews and ginger in a medium pan on a medium warmth, carry to a simmer and prepare dinner for 2 minutes. Add the sesame seeds, prepare dinner for an additional two minutes, or till the cashews have browned, then take off the warmth and thoroughly stir within the soy sauce, vinegar, maple syrup, shichimi togarashi and paprika (you’re including chilly liquid to scorching oil, so it’s going to bubble fairly vigorously). Return the pan to the warmth, simmer for 2 minutes extra, till barely decreased, then pour right into a bowl and depart to chill to room temperature.

Minimize the aubergines in half widthways, then minimize every half into 7cm x 2cm batons. Put these in a big bowl with a teaspoon of salt, then switch to a steaming basket (or a colander that can sit over a big saucepan) and put aside.

Fill a big saucepan or steamer with sufficient water to come back 4cm up the edges, then carry it to a boil. Place the aubergine basket (or colander) on prime of the pan of boiling water, cowl to forestall the steam escaping, then flip down the warmth to medium and depart to steam for 20 minutes, or till the aubergines are very tender however nonetheless maintain their form. Raise the basket (or colander) off the pan, switch to the sink, uncover and depart to empty for 5 minutes. Set the basket (or colander) over a big bowl and depart to chill to room temperature.

As soon as cooled, switch the aubergines to a big platter, drizzle over the rayu, prime with the drained crisp spring onion greens and serve at room temperature.

Steamed banana sponge with anise butter syrup and salted peanuts

Steamed banana sponge with anise butter syrup and salted peanuts.
Yotam Ottolenghi’s steamed banana sponge with anise butter syrup and salted peanuts. {Photograph}: Louise Hagger/The Guardian

That is impressed by a dessert on conventional dim sum carts, whose candy providing is commonly pretty plain, primarily to offset all of the savoury dim sum you’ve simply eaten. In case your steamer basket isn’t sufficiently big to carry a 19cm cake tin, use ramekins or particular person cake moulds as an alternative. Simply be sure to trim the bananas to suit the bases.

Prep 25 min
Prepare dinner 40 min
Serves 6-8

3 massive eggs
60ml vegetable oil
, plus 1 tsp further for greasing
120g coconut palm sugar, or tender brown sugar
1½ tsp vanilla bean paste
⅛ tsp positive salt
80ml entire milk
20g custard powder
120g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
3-4 bananas
(425g), peeled and minimize in half lengthways
200ml double cream
100g Greek yoghurt
100g roasted and salted peanuts
, roughly chopped

For the butter syrup
100g coconut palm sugar, or tender brown sugar
⅔ tsp floor star anise
¼ tsp positive sea salt
60g room-temperature unsalted butter
, minimize into cubes

Put the eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla and salt within the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, then beat on medium-high velocity for 10 minutes, till fluffy and doubled in measurement. With the whisk nonetheless going, slowly pour within the milk, then whisk for an additional 30 or so seconds, till it’s absolutely included.

Put the custard powder, plain flour and baking powder in a medium bowl, combine to mix, then sieve right into a second bowl. Sieve a sixth of the flour combination into the egg combination, then fold it in with a whisk, taking care to not knock out an excessive amount of air. Repeat till all of the flour combination has been added (including it in phases like this helps forestall lumps forming within the batter). Cowl with reusable kitchen wrap and put aside for half-hour.

In the meantime, make the butter syrup. Put the sugar, star anise, salt and 100ml chilly water in a small saucepan on a medium-high warmth and prepare dinner for seven to 10 minutes, till it’s effervescent furiously and decreased by half. Stir within the butter, then take off the warmth.

Grease and line a spherical 19cm cake tin. Pour in 100ml of the syrup, then organize the bananas minimize aspect down and barely overlapping on prime. Put aside till wanted.

Half-fill a saucepan with water, cowl and produce to a boil. As soon as boiling, flip down the warmth to medium-high. Pour the batter on prime of the bananas within the tin, then put it in a steamer basket. Put the basket on prime of the pan, cowl with a tea towel after which the lid, and steam for 35 minutes.

Take off the warmth and depart to relaxation for 5 minutes, till cool sufficient to deal with. You’ll now have a set however fluffy cake.

In the meantime, put the cream and yoghurt in a bowl, and whisk for 3 or 4 minutes, to tender peaks.

Fastidiously run a palette knife or related across the fringe of the cake to loosen it from the tin and put a big flat plate on prime. Invert the tin, faucet gently to launch the cake, then carry off the tin and peel off the paper. Gently reheat the butter syrup and pour it everywhere in the prime. Scatter over half the peanuts and put the remaining in a small bowl.

Serve heat with the cream combine and additional peanuts on the aspect.