Category Archives: Dim Sum

Wat Dan Hor (Rice Noodles with Egg Sauce)

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So, what’s the difference between Ho Fun (Haw Fun) and Wat Dan Hor? The eggs (wat dan) are mixed into the gravy. I’ve actually never had Wat Dan Hor until I moved to Cali, since my favorite dish is just plain Sup Chow Beef Ho Fun (though there’s nothing plain about that, either). Sup Chow Ho Fun is wide rice noodles stir fried and covered with a rich gravy, veggies and beef. This dish is usually served at lunch, or in combination with dim sum, and comes in variations of ‘wet’ (with gravy) or ‘dry’ (without gravy), and topped with either beef, chicken (ok, chicken might be a bit Americanized), pork, or seafood. I always preferred the ‘wet’ variety with lots of gravy, beef and veggies. That’s what happens when you grow up in a household where your dad requests everything with extra gravy or sauce on it.

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I rarely made any sort of rice noodle dish in Rochester because by the time fresh noodles like that were shipped to the Asian markets, they were stale….frozen…or just old. I found mold on it once after I brought it home. I didn’t like dealing with them. Now that 99 Ranch is my best friend (one of the biggest Chinese supermarkets I’ve ever shopped at) I can get fresh rice noodles any time I want, along with fresh and CHEAP seafood, meat and veggies.

The version I’m making is Seafood Wat Dan Hor, with lots of shrimp and gai lan. One major thing I did different than the restaurants is thin out the gai lan stalks so they were easier to chew. I absolutely can’t stand trying to chew apart a huge gai lan stalk at a restaurant, pulling it apart with my teeth in front of everyone, and desperately trying to hold it with a pair of chopsticks without having it slip back down to my plate. Sometimes I get so frustrated I want to ask the waiter for a fork.

It’s happened to you before, I know it.

Wat Dan Hor (Rice Noodles with Egg Gravy)

printable recipe / Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. rice noodles
  • 4 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. oil for stir frying
  • 1 lb. gai lan, or other veggies, washed
  • 12-16 medium shrimp, thawed and deveined, sprinkled with salt and pepper

Ingredients for Gravy:

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. oyster flavored sauce
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 eggs

*Combine the first 6 gravy ingredients in a bowl or measuring cup and have ready before stir frying

Thickening Agent for Gravy:

  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch mixed with a bit of cold water or chicken broth, until soupy

Directions:

1) Pull apart the rice noodles, or slice the chunk of rice noodle into desired width. Separate noodles as much as possible so it will be easier to stir fry.

2) Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok on medium high heat. Add noodles, stir fry until they begin to soften and separate a bit. Add soy sauce, stir fry until noodles separate fully, and surface of noodles begin to brown, or even burn (this will add that delicious ‘wok hay’ taste). Set noodles aside in large dish.

2.5) If you want to opt out the shrimp and use meat, add 1 tsp. oil into wok and stir fry  4-6 oz. thinly cut chicken or beef until cooked. Set aside, then add back into gravy after it is thickened (between steps 3 and 4).

3) Turn the wok up to high, pour in the first 6 ingredients for gravy. Let come to a boil, then simmer on medium for 3-4 minutes.  Add in vegetables and cook until soft but crisp (gai lan took about 3-4 minutes). Add shrimp; once they start turning orange, slowly spoon in cornstarch mixture until gravy is thick enough to coat a spoon.

4) Turn heat off, crack two eggs into gravy. Stir until cooked and gravy has turned white. Pour gravy onto the rice noodles, serve while hot.

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I thinned out the gai lan stalks and had them ready as individual leaves. No more tearing with teeth at the dinner (or lunch) table.

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Have the thickening agent prepared beforehand. I combined the cornstarch with a bit of chicken broth (didn’t want to dilute the gravy with an ounce of water, not one bit) until it was soupy enough to pour later on. The cornstarch and liquid will keep separating, so stir it once in awhile as you’re preparing/cooking the dish.

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The rice noodles I bought at 99 ranch come pre-cut into a width thinner than what I would’ve preferred. I’ve noticed in most of the Cali restaurants, Ho Fun is thinner than on the East Coast. So, when in Rome…er…San Diego. You know what I mean.

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Combine the first 6 ingredients of the gravy beforehand. Trust me…all this extra preparation will pay off later, and you won’t be scrounging around your kitchen looking for ingredients as your noodles will burn.

I would know.

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Pull apart the rice noodles, or slice the chunk of rice noodle into desired width. Separate noodles as much as possible so it will be easier to stir fry. Rice noodles stick together a lot, so you won’t be able to pull them apart that much. The heat from the stir-frying will separate them.

Heat one tablespoon of oil in a wok on medium high heat. Add noodles, stir fry until they begin to soften and separate a bit. Add soy sauce, stir fry until noodles separate fully, and surface of noodles begin to brown, or even burn (this will add that delicious ‘wok hay’ taste). Set noodles aside in large dish.

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Turn the wok up to high, pour in the first 6 ingredients for gravy. Let come to a boil, then simmer on medium for 3-4 minutes. 

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Add in vegetables and cook until soft but crisp (gai lan took about 3-4 minutes). Add shrimp.

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Once shrimp start turning orange, slowly spoon in cornstarch mixture until gravy is thick enough to coat a spoon.

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Turn heat off, crack two eggs into gravy. Stir until cooked and gravy has turned white.

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Pour gravy onto the rice noodles, serve while hot.

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This dish was easier than I thought. I actually made it taste as good as something I would order at a restaurant, if not better. The dish overall had enough flavor, something I never was able to do successfully (in my opinion). It wasn’t watered down tasting. Of course I added way more shrimp than most places would consider to add, since most places would skimp on the pricier ingredients. And of course cutting the gai lan made it more enjoyable.

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Next time I will definitely try making regular Beef Ho Fun. It will be interesting to see which one you guys like more. As for me, it’s sort of a tie right now.

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow).

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Hope everyone’s safe and sound for the holidays and not stranded on some snowy highway somewhere. A few days ago, I flew across the country back home to a sweltering, balmy 8 degrees. If you’re afraid of leaving the house, like I am, and wearing 4 layers of clothes indoors, just start cooking. Or playing the dusty old piano that’s been sitting in your parents’ living room untouched for the past 10 years. Or….just start cooking.  

My mom decided to make some Har Gow for our lunch today, so of course I needed to document it. Here is the recipe and the photos.  

Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings) – makes 24 dumplings  

printable recipe 

Ingredients:  

  • 1 cup of Wheat Starch (labeled Bot Ha-Cao)
  • 5 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (or between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup)
  • 1 oz. pork fat
  • 2 oz. bamboo shoots, cooked or canned

Seasoning:  

  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Directions:  

1) Coarsely chop the shrimp, and finely chop the pork fat and bamboo shoots. Mix with the seasoning ingredients, using your fingers to make it into a smooth and slightly sticky mass. Set aside while the wrappers are prepared.  

2) Make the wrappers according to the directions. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut it into 24 pieces. Keep it covered (so it doesn’t dry out) while rolling each piece into a ball.  

3) Place a ball on a cutting board, and using the flat side of a meat cleaver, flatten the ball into a thin wrapper. Or use a tortilla press to flatten the balls.  

4) Fill the wrappers with a small spoonful of filling in the center, then close it up by folding in half and pressing edges firmly. Or see below for step-by-step photos. Place dumplings on a lightly greased plate.  

5) Place the finished plate of dumplings on a raised wire rack over water in a wok, or in a steamer. Cover and steam for about 7 minutes, or until the wrappers are translucent and the shrimp is pink. Serve while hot (with hot mustard if you prefer).  

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This is the brand of wheat starch my mother buys. I always got confused since it looks like it’s written in Vietnamese, even though it’s also used for dim sum wrappers.  

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Dough cut into pieces.  

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The shrimp and bamboo filling.  

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So….Vietnamese wheat starch…and Mexican tortilla press. Very worldly.  

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Don’t make the wrappers TOO thin, or you’ll have trouble keeping it from falling apart on you as you fill them with shrimp. Make them as thin as you can without breaking, though.  

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Step-by-step photos on how to make the Har Gow. Hey, it’s wayyy easier than trying to explain it with words!  

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It looks easy, doesn’t it? I’d just like to say my mom made all these…I attempted a few though. If you can pick out the totally deformed dumplings in the photo, those are mine.  

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Heat the water until boiling before placing the rack or steamer in to cook.  

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When the water’s ready, place the dish on a rack raised above the water. Or if you’re using a bamboo steamer…you’re already way ahead of me.  

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Steam for 7 minutes or until the dumplings are translucent with the pink shrimp showing.  

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See how pink and clear they got? This is what they should look like when they’re done.  

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More close-ups. Are you hungry yet?  

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Oooooh…..  

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Ahhhhh…..  

Tomorrow, I’ll be making cookies (yea I know, totally different theme now) for the holidays so be sure to check up on my progress!  

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