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Chinese Stuffed Peppers (Dim Sum Style – 2 ways!)

  • Author: Joyce

Description

Dim sum style, Chinese stuffed peppers recipe made with two different types of stuffing (traditional shrimp or pork) and smothered in a garlic black bean sauce.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sized peppers (any colour or type of pepper works!)

Garlic Black Bean Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon fermented black beans (optional, if you omit – substitute it with soy sauce)
  • 2 cloves garlic (approximately 1 tablespoon)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 1/2 tablepsoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar (or honey)
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 1 1/2 cup water (or broth)

Thickener for Garlic Black Bean Sauce

  • 1 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 2 tablespoons cold water

Shrimp Filling (Option 1)

  • 300g shrimp
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (see notes about substitution)
  • 1 stalk green onion (finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Pork Filling (Option 2)

  • 300g ground pork (medium or fatty preferably)
  • 1 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 tablespoon ginger (grated)
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil

Garnish

  • green onions (finely chopped)

Instructions

MAKING GARLIC BLACK BEAN SAUCE

  1. Gently rinse the fermented black beans under cold water for a few seconds to reconstitute it and to remove some of the salt. Once the beans are a little soft, use the side of a knife or a fork to smash them flat and set them aside
  2. Finely chop the garlic and set it aside
  3. Mix the corn starch and cold water for the corn starch slurry (thickener) in a small bowl and set it aside
  4. In a small pot, add 2 tablespoons of oil and set the stove to medium heat.
  5. Once the oil is hot and shimmering, addin the garlic and black beans and cook them for  about 1 minute until the garlic is soft.
  6. Add the rest of the ingredients for the ‘Garlic Black Bean Sauce’ into the pot (soy sauce, oyster sauce, cooking wine, water/stock, sugar) and mix it together. Let it cook until the sauce starts simmering
  7. Once the sauce starts bubbling, re-mix the corn starch slurry in the bowl (the starch might have settled to the bottom) and slowly pour it into the sauce while stirring. Keep stirring until the sauce thickens.
  8. Once the sauce thickens, the sauce is done! Set it aside with the lid on. Don’t worry if a skin forms on top of the sauce once it cools – it happens.

(OPTION 1) MAKING SHRIMP FILLING

  1. Defrost the shrimp by running it under cold water for 10-15 minutes and peel the shrimp.
  2. Once the shrimp has been peeled, use a knife to finely chop it. As I chop the shrimp, it will start to spread out on the chopping board so I like to fold the shrimp back into a pile and continue to chop it. I do this about 10-12 times until the shrimp because a chunky paste. Alternatively, you can also use a food processor which will give you a smoother shrimp paste.
  3. Once the shrimp has been chopped, put it in a bowl and mix the rest of the ingredients from the ‘Shrimp Filling’ list together and set aside.
  4. Take 1/2 teaspoon of filling and either microwaving it for 25-30 seconds or using a pan to cook it then taste it for flavour to make sure it is salty and flavourful. Adjust to taste.
  5. Once everything tastes good to you, set it aside for later

(OPTION 2) MAKING PORK FILLING

  1. Place the pork in a large bowl
  2. Grate the garlic and place it in the bowl with the pork
  3. Add the remaining ingredients from the ‘Pork Filling’ ingredient list and mix it together.
  4. Mix the pork filling in one direction for 7-10 minutes. The salt combined with the overmixing will give you a springy pork texture instead of a crumbly pork texture.
  5. Take 1/2 teaspoon of filling and either microwaving it for 25-30 seconds or using a pan to cook it then taste it for flavour to make sure it is salty and flavourful. Adjust to taste.
  6. Once everything tastes good to you, set it aside for later

PREPARING AND STUFFING THE PEPPERS

  1. Turn the pepper upside down so that the bottom is facing up. You should see 4 bumps. Imagine a line in the shape of a ‘+’ between the bumps. Cut the pepper into quarters using the space between the bumps as a guideline. (see photo in blog for an example)
  2. Once you have the 4 wedges from the pepper, remove the core, seeds, and veins. Cut the top and bottom tips off the pepper so that it can lay flat against the frying pan.
  3. Repeat this for the rest of the peppers.
  4. Once all the peppers have been prepared, place a bit of corn starch in a small bowl and rub it on the inside of the peppers
  5. Use the filling you made and stuff each pepper wedge. Try not to over stuff it, the deeper the pockets and the thicker the filling, the harder it will be to cook the filling all the way through. I like to stuff it no more than 1 inch thick and have the filling slightly above the pepper by 1-2mm

PAN FRYING THE STUFFED PEPPERS

  1. Once you are ready to cook them, set a frying pan to medium low heat with a bit of oil. The filling and peppers burn easily on higher heat so we want to cook it on a slightly lower temperature for a longer time so the fillings will cook all the way through.
  2. Place the pepper in the frying pan, filling side down and cook it for approximately 3 minutes or until the filling has browned. Once the filling is brown, flip it onto the pepper side.
  3. Once all the peppers have been flipped, add about 3 tablespoons of water into the frying pan and cover it with a lid. We want to steam it a little to make sure the middle is cooked all the way through. If you are using thinner peppers with less fillling, you can skip the steaming step. Steam it until the water evaporates, which is approximately 3-4 minutes
  4. Remove the lid and continue to let the pepper cook, on the pepper side so that starts to brown. Approximately another 3 minutes
  5. Once all the peppers are ready, warm up the sauce over the stove again and then spoon some of the sauce on top and enjoy!

Notes

  • You can use any type of peppers for this recipe, even cubanelles! I prefer to stick with the traditional green, red, yellows and orange peppers because I like how fleshy they are and once they are cooked the sweetness comes out and comes together amazing with the stuffings. Use what you like to eat.
  • For a more flavourful pork filling, use fattier ground pork but I have used lean ground pork as well and it works just as well.
    Ginger really enhances the flavour of pork and gives it that pork dumpling flavour! Make sure you grate it, you don’t want to bite into chunks of it.
  • I like to use large tiger shrimp for this recipe and peel the shrimp myself manually. If you make a lot of stocks, you can also save the shells for stocks as well!
  • Ground white pepper is very light in flavour and gives seafood that little extra boost. Do not substitute it with black pepper, it is a completely different and powerful flavour and will mask the flavour of your shrimp. If you can’t find white pepper, you can omit it.
  • Traditionally, fermented black beans are used in the sauce for Chinese stuffed peppers at dim sum but depending on where you are, you might have a hard time finding them, you can omit it. The fermented beans mostly just add saltiness to the dish, so you can omit it and substitute it with soy sauce instead.
  • I like to use Shaoxing cooking wine for this recipe, but if you can’t find it you can substitute this with dry sherry.
  • If you use stock, make sure it is low-sodium or no-sodium so that you can control how much salt is in your sauce.
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