Cheung Fun in the summer




When I lived in Sydney dumplings were never too far away. They could be bought at an Asian grocer and cooked up at home or found in a nearby Chinese restaurant in one of the many Chinese hubs around Sydney. Since moving to the UK, London is the only place where dumplings can be found easily and in abundance. Every Chinese restaurant in China town does dim-sum – or ‘yum cha’ as we call it in Australia, and it’s during those precious daylight hours that you can find dumplings, steamed, fried or however you like it. I tried Dumplings Legend for the first time recently and was pleasantly surprised by the quality and price. Ladies make dumplings in the front foyer, their fingers crimp and press with speed and grace and you just know they’ve been making dumplings for an age. The speciality of the house is Xiaolongbao – or commonly known as the Shanghai Soup Dumpling. Steamed little parcels are filled with meat and a light clear soup, and eating them is an art in itself. The steamed pork buns were amazing, possibly the best I’ve ever had and the prawn and chive dumplings were also really good. I didn’t order my favourite dim-sum dish, Cheung Fun because there was already enough carbs on the table to make me sigh, plus I’d already made some days earlier after a visit to Thai and Far Eastern Foods on the High St. While they don’t stock dumplings, they  do stock some lovely fresh rice noodles and I couldn’t resist.

I looked around online for the best way to prepare the Cheung Fun and discovered an easy method that involves some paper towel and a microwave. Simply soak some paper towel in water and drape over the noodles on a plate. Microwave for 30 seconds periods on medium until the noodles have become soft and warm. This can take a few goes, and it’s good to let them sit for a moment to absorb the water and heat. When they’re ready to eat, drizzle over these dressings and you will be in Cheung Fun heaven.  Sourced from The Asian Grandmother’s Cookbook blog, I found these sauces that were not only easy to make, but tasted authentic. I didn’t have any sweet flour sauce as is mentioned in the recipe, and I used tahini instead of sesame paste – which is essentially the same thing. You probably have most of the ingredients in your larder.


Two Cheung Fun Dipping Sauce Recipes

Makes enough for one full serving of cheung fun noodles. Drizzle the sauces over the warmed noodles and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Sauce 1
Mix in a bowl the following;
1 tablespoons sweet flour sauce
1 tablespoons sesame paste
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water

Sauce 2
Mix in a bowl the following;
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoons sugar
splash of water