So Kate sent me The Shangri-La Cookbook because she is so cool. I was excited. I knew it was coming so I was checking my mail more often than normal. Because that's real tough, with my once a week or so check. Ha! When it came in the mail the package was relatively nondescript. But I knew what it was. And I wanted to check it out. So I opened it while I was walking back to the house from my mailbox. Despite the fact that it was raining. I never claimed to be smart. Fortunately it wasn't raining very hard and the book only got a couple drops on it.
So the table of contents has 5 sections, openers, the principles, the supporting cast, forbidden sweets, and the epilogue. obviously I went straight to forbidden sweets. If you even paused to think about that one then you don't know me at all. Sadly, nothing there really inspired me.
Fortunately I flipped through the rest of the book and a number of other things did! This is the first one I am making, though there will be plenty more to come. Unfortunately I didn't get a chance to make anything before I went on vacation. I was here, can you blame me? Which is, by the way, why I haven't posted anything in a while.
Anyway, back to this book. It touches on a lot of different ethnic foods, chinese, korean, japanese, indian, etc. Initially I wanted to make samosas. But just coming back from vacation and wanting to make other stuff, I didn't feel like dealing with deep frying. It will be saved for a later date.
The first recipe I decided to make was for Cha Siu Bou. These are steamed breads with a sweet salty meaty filling. I didn't make the bread because I had a lot of other starches in the works. I made the filling and put it on top of a pastry crust.
I have always wondered about asian flavors. I have tried a number of times but the flavors never came out quite right. Now I have come to realize it is the sugar. I never knew to add sugar to savory asian recipes. At least not that much sugar. I had added a touch of honey here and there but never this much sugar relative to the other ingredients. Woohoo I know how to make something now.
This recipe is so easy. At least the filling is. And the flavor is right. I had some cooked chicken in the fridge so I just chopped that up for this. This is the filling. I ate half of it before putting it on anything.
Everybody say thank you Kate!
Cha Siu Bou
from Shangri-La Cookbook by Helen Dorsey
1 1/2 cup cooked chicken, chopped
1/2 cup green onion, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp sugar
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Fill each bread with about 1 tbsp of filling