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'Plum in a Golden Vase' – char siu cheese with plum sauce and pancakes

  • Starter
  • medium
  • 4
  • 1 hour 50 minutes, plus overnight marinating time

PT1H50M

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Ingredients

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  • 250g of cheese, ideally from Yunnan, although Oaxaca or halloumi cheese works well as a substitute
  • 10 spring roll wrappers, or filo pastry sheets
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • black truffle, or white truffle if in season, shaved
  • wood chips, ideally cherry wood (optional)
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • 50g of cucumber, julienned
  • 1 spring onion, julienned

Char siu marinade

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of Chu Hou sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Chinese rose wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp ground star anise

Plum sauce

Pancakes

  • 132g of strong white flour, or high-gluten flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100ml of boiling water
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
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Method

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1
For the plum sauce, mix all the ingredients together and set aside. This can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week
2
Mix together all the ingredients for the char siu marinade. Thoroughly coat the cheese in the marinade and leave in the fridge overnight
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 tbsp of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp of Chu Hou sauce
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • 5 tbsp of water
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp Chinese rose wine
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp red food colouring
  • 1 tsp ground star anise
  • 250g of cheese, ideally from Yunnan, although Oaxaca or halloumi cheese works well as a substitute
3
The next day, make the pancakes. Place the flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook attached. With the motor running, slowly pour in 70–100ml of boiling water until a dough begins to form. Continue to knead for 5 minutes
  • 132g of strong white flour, or high-gluten flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 100ml of boiling water
4
Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead by hand for 5 minutes until the dough turns silky, soft and shiny, and doesn’t stick to your hands. Cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest at room temperature for 1 hour
5
Meanwhile, place a frying pan or wok over a high heat. Drain the marinated cheese and sear lightly all over in the pan, then set aside to cool. Slice in half horizontally, then layer one-half with shavings of fresh truffle. Place the other slice of cheese on top to form a sort of sandwich, then wrap tightly in spring roll wrappers or sheets of filo pastry. Seal with the beaten egg then place in the fridge to set for 30 minutes
  • black truffle, or white truffle if in season, shaved
  • 10 spring roll wrappers, or filo pastry sheets
  • 1 egg, beaten
6
Divide the dough into 25g portions and roll out into circles 7cm in diameter. Brush half of the circles with the sesame oil, then place the remaining circles on top to create double-layered pancakes
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
7
Roll these pancakes out until 1mm in thickness (or even thinner if you dare!)
8
The next stage is optional, as the pancakes can be steamed as is, but if you’d like to give them a toasted flavour place the double-layered pancakes into a warmed non-stick wok and gently heat until they begin to bubble up. Turn and heat again until they bubble up once more. Keep an eye on the heat as the pancakes burn easily. Remove from the wok and separate the two layers, leaving you with pancakes lightly toasted on just 1 side. Pile them up cooked-side down on a plate
9
Heat a deep-fat fryer or deep pan of oil to 180°C and set up a bamboo steamer over a pan of simmering water. Deep-fry the chilled cheese parcel until it turns golden brown and crisp (about 5 minutes). Drain on kitchen paper
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
10
While the cheese is frying, steam the pancakes over a high heat for 4 minutes
11
To serve, slice the cheese parcel into equal pieces to reveal the sandwiched truffle within. You can bring the pancakes, cheese, sauces and julienned cucumber and spring onion to the table for people to help themselves. Andrew serves his by placing the ingredients under a cloche with some smouldering cherry wood, to be unveiled at the table
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'Plum in a Golden Vase' – char siu cheese with plum sauce and pancakes

 
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