Charles Phan, chef-owner of San Francisco’s pioneering the Slanted Door, was boiling up bowls of Vietnamese noodle soup long before most Americans had ever heard of pho or knew how to pronounce it properly. That is to say, way before it was cool. In his second cookbook, a tribute to the chef’s modern restaurant in the Ferry Building, he details the stories behind his favorite dishes, like these delicious chive cakes.
These chive cakes are a classic Chinese dim sum dish that has proved extremely popular at the Slanted Door. They’re great served as hors d’oeuvres at a party, especially because you can make them ahead and simply reheat as necessary.
- 1 pound Chinese chives, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 cup dried shrimp, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 cup water chestnuts, peeled, cooked and diced
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions, white and light green parts only
- 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 3/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
- 1 tablespoon lard
- 1/2 tablespoon tapioca starch
- 2 cups wheat starch
- 1 cup tapioca starch
- 1 1/2 tablespoons potato starch
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 3/4 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon canola oil
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1/4 cup Sriracha sauce
- 1/4 cup light soy sauce
- Stir-fry the chives with garlic and salt: In a medium sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and stir until it turns light brown in color, then add in chives and salt and stir until the chives are soft. Place the chives on the center of a large piece of cheesecloth, wrap up the cloth, and squeeze the mixture until it no longer lets out liquid. Set aside.
- In a skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil until shimmering. Add the chopped dried shrimp and stir until the shrimp starts to turn brown. Add 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and 1/2 tablespoon of fish sauce and stir until well combined. Add the water chestnuts and green onions. Cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add 1/2 teaspoon of white pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the sesame oil, fresh shrimp, lard, tapioca starch, and the remaining white pepper, sugar, and fish sauce, and mix well. Add the chives and dried shrimp mixture. Mix well and set aside.
- To make the dough, combine wheat starch, tapioca starch, and potato starch with the sugar, salt and oil in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix on low speed, slowly adding the hot water until a sticky dough forms, then turn the mixer to high speed and mix for about 5 more minutes.
- Dust a flat work surface with flour, then turn out the dough onto your work surface. Shape the dough into small balls about 1 inch in diameter. There should be enough dough to make about 30 of these. Using a small rolling pin, roll out each ball into a circle about 1/8 inch thick and 3 inches in diameter. Holding the dough in your palm, add about 2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each circle and pinch the ends together. Lightly pat down to flatten the cake. Place the chive cake on an oiled 3- by 3-inch square of parchment paper. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Set up a steamer and steam the chive cakes until the dough is translucent, about 5 to 7 minutes. Set cakes aside to cool.
- Just before serving, coat the bottom of a skillet with oil and pan-fry the chive cakes until browned on both sides. Serve with both Sriracha and soy sauce for dipping.
More Sriracha-friendly snacks to eat with your hands on Food Republic: