Char siu and scallop cheung fun mille-feuille

This complex dim sum recipe represents several things – the idea of 'freshness' in the Chinese kitchen, the importance of texture and the similarities between western pastry chefs and Chinese dim sum chefs. Layers of char siu pork, fresh scallop, chewy cheung fun and crisp feuilles de brick pastry are layered like a sweet mille-feuille, before being served with an incredible (yet distinctly untraditional) sauce.

To learn more about the idea behind this dish, take a look at Mukta Das' accompanying feature.

First published in 2020

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Char siu

  • 500g of iberico pluma
  • 5 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of Chu Hou sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp rosé wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp ground star anise

Scallop

Cheung fun

  • 300g of rice flour
  • 206g of water chestnut flour
  • 37g of wheat starch flour
  • 37g of potato starch
  • 37g of cornflour
  • 750ml of iced water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil

Pastry

Sugar syrup

  • 250ml of water
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 50g of maltose
  • 50g of honey
  • 7.5g of oyster sauce
  • 5ml of dark soy sauce

Dipping sauce

Equipment

  • Meat mallet/tenderiser
  • Steam oven or steamer

Method

1
For the char siu, mix all the ingredients together (apart from the iberico pluma). Trim any silverskin from the pork and use a spiked tenderiser to punch holes into the meat. Flatten the meat with a rolling pin until approximately 1cm thick, then place the pork in the marinade and leave in the fridge overnight
  • 5 tbsp of caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp of light soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp of Chu Hou sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp rosé wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp ground star anise
  • 500g of iberico pluma
2
The next day, prepare the cheung fun sheets. Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl to form a batter, then cover and leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
  • 300g of rice flour
  • 206g of water chestnut flour
  • 37g of wheat starch flour
  • 37g of potato starch
  • 37g of cornflour
  • 750ml of iced water
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
3
Prepare a flat, rimmed baking sheet or shallow baking tin which will fit inside your steamer oven, or a large steamer tray. Cut a sheet of baking paper so that it sits neatly within the sheet or tray. Pour the batter onto the paper so that it forms a 1mm-thick film over the paper (you may need to work in batches depending on how big your tray is)
4
Place the tray in a steam oven or a large steamer set to a medium heat and cook for just 1 minute, until the batter solidifies and resembles a thin film of pasta. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then carefully peel the sheet off the baking paper and cut into 5x2.5cm rectangles. You will only need 2 pieces of cheung fun per portion, but any excess can be kept in the fridge and lasts for a long time
5
Preheat an oven to 250°C, or as high as it will go. Line a large baking tray with baking paper and brush liberally with the melted butter, then place the feuilles de brick pastry on top. Roll out until 1mm thick, then brush the top with the remaining butter and place another sheet of baking paper on top. Transfer the tray to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Turn the oven down to 180°C/gas mark 4
6
Cut the pastry into 5x2.5cm rectangles, then store in an airtight container. You will need just 3 rectangles of pastry per portion for this recipe, but the rest will keep for a few days
7
Combine the ingredients for the sugar syrup in a pan and gently heat until the sugar dissolves. Set aside
  • 250ml of water
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 50g of maltose
  • 50g of honey
  • 7.5g of oyster sauce
  • 5ml of dark soy sauce
8
Take the pork out of the marinade and sear in a very hot pan until seared and slightly charred all over. Transfer to the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until cooked through, then transfer the meat to the sugar syrup, ensuring it is fully coated, and leave to sit for 1 hour
9
Meanwhile, combine the ingredients for the dipping sauce in a pan and gently warm through. Keep warm until ready to serve
10
To cook the scallops, season them lightly with salt and pepper and add the butter to a frying pan over a high heat. Once the butter is foaming and golden brown, add the scallops and cook for around 2 minutes on each side until golden and cooked through. Set aside and cut into very thin discs
11
Drain the pork from the sugar syrup and cut into very thin slices. You are now ready to assemble the dish
12
Start with a layer of pastry on the base of each plate, then add 2 slices of scallop to completely cover the pastry. Top with a piece of pork, then a piece of cheung fun, followed by another piece of pastry, scallop, pork and cheung fun. Finish with a final piece of pastry and serve with the warm dipping sauce spooned around the dish
First published in 2020

After a tour of the kitchens and restaurants of China, Andrew Wong returned to his parents' restaurant in London and transformed it into a temple of regional Chinese cuisine.

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