Saturday, 2 March 2013

Steam Time Dream Time

Sachetti di Maiale & Verdura di Mostarda Asiatica al Vapore
Steamed Thai Pork & Veg Parcels + Asian Mustard Greens

I was in the mood for a change this evening, not Mediterranean or Italian but rather something a little more exotic. There were wonderful, tender and juicy Asian mustard greens on offer at the market hall today- and how could I resist? I tried them for the first time just recently and loved their mellow, sweet and yet slightly peppery flavor- and so I brought back a whole bagful this time... and this was the first dish I prepared with them...

I wanted to have something really flavorful and fun, but light and healthy at the same time- which is indeed doable and I would go as far as to say even easy when you know how! With just a little prep work to make the parcels, this great little meal was cooked and ready to serve in not even 15 minutes of cooking time... and then all in one pot! Sounds even better still now, doesn't it?

For the parcels, 6 in this case, I took just 1 good handful of ground pork. To this I added the same amount of been sprouts, a little finely chopped onion, a little finely grated ginger, a little finely grated garlic a handful of finely chopped cilantro. I mixed these all together well with salt, pepper and a teaspoon of 5-spice powder. I mixed it together with a fork at first, but them used my hand to knead the ingredients together into a compact mass... and then prepared the sheets of spring-roll pastry in order to form the parcels.

I made sure to use 2-layers of pastry for the parcels as it is so thin and delicate. I used the frozen, pre-made sheets which I thawed out and then peeled apart... the rest went back into the freezer till next time. I set myself a saucepan of water on the stove which I brought up to the boil in order to steam everything... but first, dropped in a few chives, which soon softened up enough for me to be able to use them to tie the parcels together. I placed 1 teaspoon of filling into the center of each pastry square and then folded  the sides up around it to form a parcel, which I then tied together with the softened strands of chives.

I then washed the mustard greens and cut first the stalks into chunks, set these onto the steamer and let them begin cooking, and then added the leaves on top about 5 minutes later. When I added the leaves, I also added the parcels on top- this is a great way to keep them from sticking to the steam rack too!

After a further 10 minutes of steaming, the stalks were tender and juicy, the leaves soft and delicious and the parcels, fluffy, light and ready to be enjoyed! I served the greens up with a good drizzle of oyster sauce and sesame seeds and the parcels with a little pot of sweet chili sauce for dipping... mmm! Who said healthy cant be easy or fun???


  1. I'm a lover of Asian food—but you need not be to see how beautiful this dish is. And that pork filling sounds heavenly.

    1. Thanks Frank! Sometimes these things look more complicated to make than they are... and usually it is the simple stuff that tastes the best anyway! Grazie amico! Glad you liked it! Francesco