Singaporean chef Janice Wong is best known for her artistic desserts, but her latest book written in collaboration with chef Ma Jian Jun focuses on the art of dim sum, a staple of Chinese cuisine that can be steamed or fried, may be sweet or savory, and is traditionally served with hot tea.
The bite-sized snacks can require a lot of technical know-how to make, and Wong’s book doesn’t really help demystify the process, but the stunning photography showcases the dumplings as miniature works of art, as Wong combines her innovative contemporary approach with Ma’s traditional craft.
Having organized the 92 recipes in the book around the various types of flour used to create the dough (wheat, glutinous rice, rice, cornstarch, potato starch, and Mung Bean flour), Wong and Ma have created recipes like dill turbot dumplings, yuzu cheese and egg yolk dumplings, truffled cheese dumplings, and foie gras and cognac dumplings, along with yummy mini-desserts like passion fruit jellyfish nets and chocolate peanut butter puffs.
The book begins with a long chapter on dumplings, followed by one on buns and rolls, then a special "not flour" chapter for vegetable, tofu, seafood, and meat dishes. It finishes with sweet and savory pastries.
“It’s been an amazing journey to discover all these types of flour that make these little dumplings delicious.” Wong said, adding, “Dim sum-dumpling convention states that you must pair certain fillings with particular skins. After experimenting with the sliding scale of flours, we were inspired to break with tradition, making new pairings to create an even wider array of contemporary dim sum creations."
As first published on BlouinArtinfo.com