Taiwanese chef and trained artist Erchen Chang is the creative director and co-founder of London restaurants BAO, Rice Error and, until its closure in 2021, Xu. Chang lived in Taiwan until she was 14, and was schooled some distance away from where her family lived, prompting her exploration of the local night markets and street food culture. Her distinctive approach to food is in part owed to her meandering path to the restaurant industry. Before the inception of BAO, the exceedingly popular group of restaurants that she launched with her husband, Shing Tat Chung, and his sister, Wai Ting Chung, in 2013, Chang was already a practicing artist – and brought with her a bold sense of imagination to dining. With the Lunar New Year around the corner, heralding the Year of the Rabbit, Something Curated digs into the archives to share Chang’s mouthwatering mushroom dumpling recipe, once served at Xu. The below are her words.
Boiled Mushroom Dumplings with Red Chilli Oil
150ml cold water
Pinch of salt
40g dried shiitake mushrooms
185g fresh shiitake mushrooms
125g oyster mushrooms
100g lotus root which can be found at a Chinese supermarket or local grocery. If you can’t find it, taro or potato also work.
Vegetable oil, for cooking
10g fresh root ginger, peeled and finely diced
50ml Shaoxing wine
40ml light soy sauce
- Mix everything together and knead for 15mins, let it rest for 30mins.
- It’s then ready to be used. Cling film and keep in the fridge when not using it. These can be kept in the fridge for a day or two or in the freezer for a week.
- To make the filling, soak the dried shiitake mushrooms in 600ml of filtered water and set aside for an hour.
- Meanwhile, chop up 8mm dice the fresh shiitake and oyster mushrooms. Peel and grate the lotus root.
- Once the dried shiitake mushrooms have soaked, strain and place the mushroom liquid aside. Chop the soaked shiitake to the same size as the other mushrooms.
- Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a splash of vegetable oil. Fry the ginger and all the mushrooms until all are properly sweated. This should take around 10 minutes.
- Add the Shaoxing wine and cook this down, seasoning with soy sauce.
- Add the grated lotus root to continue to fry, adding some of the mushroom soaking liquid until it binds the mixture nicely together for around 10 minutes.
- Set aside the mushroom filling.
- To make the dumplings, set a large pan of water on to boil.
- Remove the cling film from the dumpling dough and divide it into 12g balls similar to the size of a marble.
- On a floured surface, roll out a dough ball into to form a circular disc around 1-2mm thickness, 7cm diameter. Place a tablespoon of the mushroom filling in the centre.
- Fold the dumpling dough in half and pinch the edges together to enclose the filling. Roll out the dough to a round disc, put the filling in the middle. fold the rolled out dough in half and pinch the edges to close. Meet the tips of each side of the dumplings, pinch and close off to make that shape. Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt in the boiling water. Drop in the dumplings in batches and boil for about 3-5 minutes or until they all float to the top.
- Serve with the red chilli oil.
This recipe was originally published in 2020 as part of Comfort Cooking — 4 London Chefs Share Their Favourite Dumpling Recipes.
Feature image: Boiled Mushroom Dumplings with Red Chilli Oil. Photo: XU London