Why Chicken and Cabbage Parcels?
Yum Cha is one of my all time favourite dining experiences. A Chinese tradition of eating small servings of different foods from steamed dim sum to BBQ Pork with Chinese broccoli all delivered and sometimes cooked on trolleys that are pushed around while you drink Chinese tea and eat.
Yum Cha ignited my love of Asian steamed parcels and dumplings and is the inspiration behind my steamed chicken and cabbage parcels.
They are great as a delicious canapé, or simple yet tasty lunch or light dinner. I enjoy them hot or cold but always make sure to eat them with chopsticks and out of the bamboo steamer to create the right Yum Cha feel.
1 Chinese cabbage
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 bunch spring onions, roughly chopped
1 bunch coriander, washed
1 birds eye chilli, seeded
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
10g palm sugar or caster sugar
250g tin water chestnuts
4 boneless organic chicken thighs, skin removed
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1 cup sweet chilli sauce
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Remove and discard the outer leaves of the cabbage and undo the remaining leaves. Place them 2-3 at a time in the boiling water for 2 minutes or until the stem is just soft. Once cooked, place in a colander to drain and cool. Repeat until all cabbage leaves are cooked.
In a food processor place the garlic, spring onions, half the bunch of coriander including the stalks, and a pinch of salt and blitz until roughly chopped. Add your chicken, water chestnuts, palm sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, fish sauce and sesame oil and pulse until the chicken is minced evenly.
Lay the cabbage leaves out and cut an inverted V where the white stalk is and push the leaves together to close the gap. Place a heaped tablespoon of mince onto the middle of the cabbage leaf and fold it up starting with the cut end of the leaf closest to you. Roll the cabbage leaf half way over the mince and fold the left and right edges of the leaf on top and continue to roll.
When all cabbage leaves are filled place the parcels tightly into the steamer making sure to have the seam facing the bottom so that they stay closed.
Place the steamer over a pan of boiling water and cook for 6-8 minutes.
For the dipping sauce; mix together sweet chilli sauce, vinegar, soy sauce and 1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander.
Serve warm in the bamboo steamed along with the dipping sauce.