Dim Sum & Rice Dumplings At Li Yen, Ritz Carlton KL with Chef Tan

The rice dumpling festival is coming to almost an end; with most hotels & restaurants offering their once-a-year creations til 6th June 2011.
What about you? Have you tried any of these fancy, loaded with abalone & what- nots yet this year?

Aside from a 3 kg one (HERE in Sunway Resorts Hotel) & a lovely red dates one by One World Hotel , here’s one that I had the opportunity to make myself at Li Yen, Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur just last week.

Yes, “make” as in getting my hands dirty actually stuffing the dumplings & tying it up prior to boiling. Usually, the case is the other way round, me untying the dumpling & stuffing my mouth with it. :)

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All ingredients laid out on the table in preparation for us.

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My experience with “chang” (as we hokkiens would call it) was using the long bamboo leaves & tying the end product with hemp strings. Those were during the years when I was slaving away for my grandmother.

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Here & today, we were given lotus leaves instead, which is just as well, since the dumplings we were making are humongous & brimming with greedy morsels of gourmet ingredients. Oh yay! 😉

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‘Ko Ching Chung’ – Steamed Glutinous rice dumpling with split yellow peas. RM 32++.

Below are all the ingredients that goes into one; starting with the core ingredient – the glutinous rice of which Chef Tan has seasoned it with garlic, sesame oil & lard. 

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Yup, lard. Because this particular dumpling we are making is NON-HALAL. Oh finally, my first non-halal dumpling this year!

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Most dumplings I’ve seen this year have yellow beans in them. Same goes for here.

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My eyes widen when I saw this. Roast pork!

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They went even wider upon sighting this – cubes of glistening LARD. ‘This dumpling is going to be a truly original piece‘, I grinned to myself.

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The shy but patient Chef Tan started the session & showed us the process step-by-step.

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STEP 1: Spread open one big lotus leaf…

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STEP 2: Lay 3 bamboo leaves on to reinforce the lining of the lotus leaf. Then a chinese mushroom is the first of all the ingredients to be placed inside.

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Here is me during my turn.

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STEP 3: Glutinous rice, yellow beans as the base before going crazy piling on the yummy salted egg yolks, roast pork, dried shrimps, chestnuts and cubes of lard.

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STEP 4: Cover with more rice & yellow beans.

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Then it’s the difficult part, the wrapping & tying, especially if you been greedy like me & piled on too much stuffing. :P

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Fatboybakes did a good job! Goes to show that an experienced chef is well, an experienced cook.

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Then it’s tying time. Which looks simple but it’s definitely a skill that requires a bit of practice.

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All tied with these “natural” hemp strings.

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Of course, you can’t have foodies over at your restaurant & not feed us. The chefs & PR Oliver has kindly prepared in advance for us the cooked version of our dumplings for tea.

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Hot, soft & tasty!

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Part 2: Tea Infused Dim Sum..

Other than the rice dumplings, Li Yen is introducing a series of tea-infused Dim Sum to accompany its usual lunch-time servings.
Chef Tan, the restaurant’s dedicated Dim Sum chef, has married a range of Chinese teas with traditional ingredients, ranging from dark and bitter ‘Pu Erh’ to lighter ‘Cha Wang’, to create seven unique and interesting dishes.”

Chrysanthemum Bean Curd Puff with Shredded Lotus (杭菊佳藕): Chrysanthemum flower, Chrysanthemum sauce, bean curd puff, shrimp dumpling, fish dumpling, salted egg, shredded lotus. RM18++.

‘Longjing’ Sesame Sandwich with Shrimp Dumpling (龍井芝麻蝦): Mint sauce, sesame seeds, shrimp dumpling, ‘Longjing’. RM18++.

Pu Erh’ Soup with Siu Mai (普洱鮮肉湯丸): Superior broth, ginger, ‘Pu Erh’, glutinous rice skin, pork, shrimp, water chestnut, scallop, onion. RM18++.

Crispy ‘Shui Xian’ Spring Roll with Fresh Fruits (水仙脆鮮果): Onion ring, spring roll skin, honeydew, rockmelon, papaya, parmesan cheese, ‘Shui Xian’. RM18++.

Chee Cheong Fun with ‘Tie Kuan Yin’ (鐵觀音): Rice flower, scallops, choy san, light soy sauce, ‘Tie Kuan Yin’. RM18++

Green Tea Durian Spring Roll (香杯綠茶榴蓮): Lemon, sesame seeds, spring roll skin, durian, Green Tea. RM18++.
(I must try this!!)

‘Cha Wang’ Pear with Snow Frog Oil (茶王雪蛤梨): Sugar crystal, pear, ‘Cha Wang’, Snow Frog oil. RM25++.

We got to try making 2 of these new dim sums after our tea break, starting with the ‘Longjing’ Sesame Sandwich with Shrimp Dumpling (龍井芝麻蝦): Mint sauce, sesame seeds, shrimp dumpling, ‘Longjing’. RM18++.

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Actual Longjing tea leaves were mixed into the paste. We even munched on the tea leaves as Chef Tan was demonstrating the process of making the samdwich. The tea leaves were very fragrant, crispy, sweet but mild tasting.

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All done & ready for the fryer.

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Nest, we moved on to the Crispy ‘Shui Xian’ Spring Roll with Fresh Fruits (水仙脆鮮果): Onion ring, spring roll skin, honeydew, rockmelon, papaya, parmesan cheese, ‘Shui Xian’. RM18++.

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A bit fusioned no doubt, but works very well! We loved how the sweet fruits combined brilliantly with the savoury gooey cheese & how the crispy outer layer of the pastry roll added the crunch texture.

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Tea time 2nd round! :)

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The PORKY ‘Ko Ching Chung’ – Steamed Glutinous rice dumpling with split yellow peas. RM 32++. Order from Li Yen Chinese Restaurant – 03-2142-8000.

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Dim Sum @Li Yen – Level Two of The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur :
Monday to Saturday
12.00pm -2.30pm
Sundays and Public Holidays
10.30am – 2.30pm

Reservations: 03-2142-8000. Please note, Li Yen is non-halal.