Soon Kueh (Turnip Dumplings) (II) | KitchenTigress

Soon Kueh (Turnip Dumplings) (II)

Soon kueh is a teochew steamed dumpling. It used to be made with bamboo shoots. That's why it's name means bamboo shoot dumpling. Nowadays, jicama has replaced bamboo shoots because it's way cheaper.

Soon kueh may be eaten steamed. Or pan-fried.

Making soon kueh is a lot of work fun.

You gotta make the dough and roll the skins one by one.

You also gotta julienne a whole lot of jicama and stir-fry the stuff.

Then each dumpling is filled and wrapped.

Fortunately, you can steam many dumplings in one go, not one at a time.

The good news is: making soon kueh isn't difficult. It's time consuming, but it's not brain surgery (which is time consuming AND difficult).

Some people go mountaineering or scuba-diving. Me, I make soon kueh. It's a hell of a lot of fun. I'm sure you think so too. Why else would you be reading this post, right?

(Recipe for 32 pieces)
Dough (adapted from Rose's Kitchen)
300 g rice flour
100 g tapioca starch
plus ¼ cup for adjusting and dusting
1 tsp salt
600 ml water, boiling
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2½ tbsp vegetable oil
40 g dried prawns
rinse and soak in 2 tbsp water till soft, about 15 minutes; squeeze dry, reserving the water; chop roughly
4 cloves garlic, peel and chop roughly
40 g dried mushrooms
break off stalks and reserve for other dishes; rinse caps and soak in ¼ cup water till soft, about 30 minutes; squeeze dry, reserving the water; slice thinly
1.1 kg "local" turnip (aka 沙葛, bangkuang, yam bean and jicama)
wash, peel and cut matchstick size to yield 1 kg; if grating, make sure grater doesn't turn turnip mushy

2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp light soya sauce
¾ tsp ground white pepper
Finishing touch
1 tbsp shallot or vegetable oil

1. To make dough, mix rice flour, tapioca starch and salt thoroughly. Pour boiling water evenly over mixture. Immediately stir till well mixed and cool enough to handle but still extremely hot. Drizzle with vegetable oil. Knead till evenly mixed to make a smooth, sticky dough. Continue kneading, dusting with tapioca starch till dough is no longer sticky (like glue) but still quite tacky (like Post-it paper). Cover and let dough rest 10 minutes or up to a few hours.

2. To make filling, heat vegetable oil in a wok till just smoking. Over high heat, stir-fry dried prawns till lightly golden. Add garlic and stir-fry till translucent. Add dried mushrooms and stir-fry till everything is nicely golden brown. Add turnip and continue stirring till thoroughly heated and wok is very hot again. Add light soya sauce and sugar. Stir till LSS is absorbed. Add water drained from dried prawns and dried mushrooms, which should be no more than 2 tbsp or so.

Continue stir-frying till turnip is wilted but still crunchy. Sprinkle with ground white pepper. Stir through. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Turn off heat. Push turnip to side of wok to drain. If turnip is very wet, drain in a colander. Leave till cold. Transfer to a bowl.

3. To wrap,
dust worktop lightly with tapioca starch. Knead and roll dough into a log shape, dusting with tapioca starch if too sticky. Cut into 32 pieces, 30-32 g each. Keeping dough not being worked on covered, roll each piece into a ball, dusting with tapioca starch as necessary. Flatten into a disc with dough scraper, then roll into a 11-cm circle about 2 mm thick. Place 30-32 g filling on the dough, in the middle. Fold bottom half of dough upward, bringing edges together. Press to seal, from the middle to the corners. Set aside, covered, and repeat from "roll each piece into a ball . . ."

4. Turnip filling in bottom of bowl would be rather wet. Drain as appropriate.

5. To steam, brush perforated tray with oil, or line with parchment paper. Place soon kueh on the tray spaced 1 cm apart. Steam over rapidly boiling water till slightly puffed, about 10 minutes. Brush lightly with oil. Transfer to an oiled plate, spaced apart whilst cooling down. If desired, pan-fry just before eating.

6. To serve, drizzle soon kueh with sweet dark soya sauce and/or chilli sauce. Leftovers should be refrigerated, then steamed or pan-fried till thoroughly heated through before eating.