Small Wonders

We help you put together a delightful mix of Chinese dim sums for your next party.


Crystal Dumplings

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Calorie count: 100 calories (per serving)


For the filling:

150 ml water

⅓ tsp pepper

½ tsp salt

1 ½ tsp sugar

3 tbsp oil

25 g baby corn, chopped

75 g carrots, chopped

225 g jicama (yam bean), chopped

For the outer covering:

30 g oil

250 ml boiling water

½ tsp salt

80 g tapioca starch

120 g wheat starch


  1. For the dough, mix salt, tapioca starch, and wheat starch. Add boiling water while mixing with a spatula. Gradually add in the oil. Let the dough cool enough to be able to work with. Knead until the dough is shiny and smooth. Divide the dough into 18 equal portions of about 25 g each and cover with cling film to prevent them from drying.
  2. For the filling, heat oil in a wok and add in the jicama, carrots and baby corn. Stir-fry until fragrant. Add water and bring to a boil.
  3. Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the jicama softens. Season with salt, pepper, and sugar. Turn the heat to high and cook until the heat evaporates.
  4. Shape the portioned dough balls into flat discs and add a teaspoon of filling in the middle of each one. Fold, seal and pleat the edges.
  5. Bring water to boil in a streamer, and steam the dumplings over medium heat for 8 minutes.
  6. The dumplings are done when they turn translucent and are chewy in texture.
  7. Lightly coat the steamed dumplings with oil while still hot, and serve immediately.

Tip: To soften the baby corn before chopping, simply soak them in water for some time.


Crispy Spring Rolls

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Calorie count: 300 calories (per serving)


2 cups oil

8-10 spring roll wrappers, separated

Salt and pepper, to taste

½ cup grated cheese

1 bird’s eye chilli, finely chopped

⅔ cloves garlic, minced

2 tbsp scallions, finely sliced

½ cup Chinese cabbage, chopped

¼ bell pepper, chopped

¼ cup mushrooms, chopped


  1. Mix all the ingredients, except the oil and wrappers.
  2. Take a heaped spoonful of the mixture and place on each wrapper, sealing them as you go.
  3. Heat oil in a wok and fry the spring rolls in batches. Make sure the wok is not overcrowded and the spring rolls can be rolled in hot oil easily.
  4. Scoop out as they turn golden brown.
  5. Serve immediately with honey chilli sauce or any sauce of your choice.

Tip: Seal the wrappers with egg wash or moisten the edges with a little water before frying.


Truffle Mushroom Bao

Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Calorie count: 200 calories (per serving)


For the mushroom filling:

1 tsp potato stash

½ cup vegetable stock

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp hoisin

1 tbsp dark soy sauce

5 ½ cups mixed mushrooms, finely chopped

¼ cup shallot or onion, finely diced

½ tbsp vegetable oil

For the dough:

Truffle oil for brushing

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups refined flour

2 ½ tsp active dried yeast

⅓ cup warm water

¼ cup sugar


  1. For the dough, mix sugar and warm water in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add yeast and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes, until frothy.
  2. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Add the salt, oil, and yeast mixture and stir. Bring the flour mixture together with your hands. The dough will be very sticky at first. Place it in a floured surface and knead for approximately 10 minutes, until it becomes slightly elastic and smooth.
  3. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in size; it should take 1-2 hours depending on the weather.
  4. For the filling, heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the diced shallots or onion and saute until soft. Add chopped mushrooms and cook until they have rendered down and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the sesame oil, hoisin and soy sauce, and cook for a few more minutes.
  5. Mix stock and potato starch until smooth and add the mushroom mixture. Stir well and keep cooking until the mixture thickens. Remove the mixture from the wok and place in a bowl to cool. Set aside until ready to use.
  6. Once the dough has doubled in size, knock it back and divide into 12 equal portions. Shape into round balls and roll out to approximately 2 inches in diameter. To prevent the top of the bao from splitting during steaming, gently pull at the edges of the dough discs until they measure 3 cm, before adding the filling. This also helps keep the dough slightly thicker in the center.
  7. Place a tablespoon of filling in the center of each dough circle and gather the edges to seal the bao.
  8. Place the bao seal side down on the steaming basket/tray and brush with truffle oil.
  9. Steam for 8-10 minutes, or until soft-steamed. Sear on a non-stick pan, if you wish.
  10. Serve hot with dips or sauces of your choice.

Tip: For a gluten-free version, replace flour with tapioca flour or a mixture of starch and rice flour.


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