Sonoma Food Photographer | International Holiday Menu with Chef John Ash

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

This past month, I had the privilege of photographing the December event hosted by Fresh Starts Chef Events, a project to support Homeward Bound of Marin, a homeless shelter in Marin County, California, providing food, shelter and job training for those in need. December’s Marin County Cooking Class was hosted by Chef John Ash, renowned chef, author, and food and wine educator. He is often referred to as the “Father of Wine Country Cuisine” and is the owner of John Ash & Company, in Santa Rosa, CA. He currently travels the world teaching cooking classes to both home cooks and professionals and is an adjunct instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley. Chef Ash has co-hosted a radio show called the Good Food Hour since 1987 on KSRO (1350 AM) in Northern California and was also the host of two TV shows on the Food Network, back when the network actually taught you how to cook instead of being all about cooking contests, he says. I totally agree. Chef Ash has also written four cookbooks, the fourth of which is entitled, Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook, which won a James Beard award in 2014.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

John Ash had taught at Fresh Starts Chef Events before, and at the last event, he was even a guest. My husband and I got to sit with him, and ironically, my husband didn’t remember who he was, and I, of course, did not tell him. It was funny hearing them chat and the questions my husband asked him not realizing who he was until later. We had a great time enjoying dinner with Chef Ash and talking with him about his signature dishes and what he cooks at home. I’ll admit I was a bit star struck.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

The menu for the evening centered around holiday dishes from around the world which reflects Chef Ash’s many experiences teaching internationally. His first dish was Israeli Hummus with Pita Bread.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

I’ve never made my own hummus before because I’m quite lazy and find it easier to pick up pre-made hummus at the market. I did once buy a rather expensive jar of tahini in hopes of one day making hummus, but then ended up throwing the whole jar away as I forgot that it was tucked away in the back of my fridge. Always good intentions.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The hummus was made with chickpeas, garlic tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. It was garnished with sumac (a mediterranean spice that adds a lemony flavor to foods), parsley and cornichon pickles.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Chef Ash shared that the secret to good hummus is making sure to grind it in the food processor as long as 5 minutes, which makes it lighter by imparting more air to it, as well as poaching or toasting the garlic, so that it doesn’t continue to oxidize causing the flavor to get too strong.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Chef Ash remarked that it’s very important to plate dishes well, because they tell a visual story. He was, in fact, a painting major in undergrad, but knew he wasn’t going to make it. He realized that everything he wanted to do with art on a canvas, he could do with food on a plate — and eat it!

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

The appetizer was followed by a delicious Miso Soup with Clams & Spinach. Miso Soup is made with dashi, which according to Chef Ash, is the chicken stock of Japan.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The soup was also made with white miso (or Shiro miso), which is sweeter and not as salty as other darker types of miso, littleneck clams, spinach leaves, toasted sesame oil and green onions. 

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

He shared that instead of discarding open raw clams, one should squeeze open raw clams to see if they snap shut and are actually still alive and edible.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Chef Ash shared that his new secret ingredient is smoked olive oil (www.smokedolive.com), which adds a great finishing touch to soups.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The students and teaching chefs prepared the same soup in the kitchen for all the guests – 125 – the most guests they’ve ever had. Chef Ash is so well-known in the community that his class was sold out before he even created the menu!

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

The main course of the evening was Black Cod and Bok Choy in Spicy Coconut Broth, which my husband could not stop raving about. I think this recipe might actually get my husband cooking in the kitchen!

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Black cod, otherwise known as sablefish or butterfish, is caught from Northern California to Alaska and is fully sustainable and difficult to overcook. It is a great substitute for chilean sea bass. Chef Ash shared that if he were only able to eat one fish for the rest of his life, it would be black cod. After tasting it, I could see why — high in omega 3 fatty acids, extremely light and moist — delicious! The skin is left on, which keeps the fish from deteriorating while it cooks, and the fillets are cooked skin-side down.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Both the cod and the coconut broth were so good, it was hard to tell which was the star of the plate! The coconut broth was made with chicken stock, coconut milk and laksa paste. Laksa paste is a Malaysian/Southeast Asian curry paste that encompass the “4 flavor gods” — sweet (sugar), sour (lime, tamarind), hot (chiles), salty (fish sauce, soy sauce). It is made of chili garlic sauce, shallots, macadamia nuts, ginger, coriander, fish sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, sesame oil and coconut milk. It can be kept frozen for up to 3 months and used on many other types of meats and vegetables. I could have probably licked that bowl clean!

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Here Chef Ash adds the laksa paste…

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

followed by the coconut milk…

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

and finally the browned fish. Like another chef recommended, Chef Ash shared a restaurant secret — use wondra flour for a light, crisp crust.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The dessert of the evening was Lime Posset, which was originally an English drink made of hot milk curdled with ale or wine, sweetened and spiced. 

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Cream and sugar are whisked together and simmered, followed by the addition of ginger and lime juice, which curdles the mixture. It is then whisked until smooth and refrigerated. I’m a sucker for lemon/lime desserts. This was so good and very simple to make!

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

 

Next month, Chef John Ash comes back to teach again with Chef Mei Ibach, featuring a menu of Mycopia gourmet mushrooms (my favorite!), sustainable salmon from Verlasso, artisan cheese from Redwood Hill Farms and wine from Merry Edwards Winery.

In the meantime, since my husband loved this dish so much, here is John Ash’s recipe for Black Cod in Spicy Coconut Broth — enjoy!

Black Cod in Spicy Coconut Broth

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:
4 fillets fresh black cod cut at least 3/4 inch tick (approx 1 1/2 pounds total)
salt and pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup coconut milk, well-stirred (preferably Mae Ploy brand)
1/2 cup laksa paste (recipe follows)
4 baby bok choy, steamed until crisp tender and halved
daikon sprouts for garnish

Directions:
1. Pat cod dry, season lightly with salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 450F.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in ovenproof sauté pan (non-stick) over moderately high heat and quickly sauté the fish on one side until browned.
3. Turn fish over and place pan in hot oven for 4-5 min or until just cooked through.
4. While fish is cooking, heat stock and coconut milk in small saucepan and bring to simmer. Stir in laksa paste and keep warm. Adjust as desired for amount of stock and/or milk and/or paste.
5. When ready to serve, place bok choy in center of shallow soup plate and top with cod. Ladle laksa around, top with sprouts and serve immediately.

Laksa Paste

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce
1/3 cup chopped shallots
1/3 cup chopped and toasted macadamia, cashew or blanched almonds
1/4 cup peeled and finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoons coriander seeds, toasted and ground
2 tablespoons fish sauce
juice and zest from 2 large limes (1/3 cup juice)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup coconut milk

Directions:
1. Add all ingredients to a blender and process for a minute or two or until very smooth and fragrant.
2. Adjust the flavors to your taste. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Sonoma County Food Photographer | Chef Tracey Cenami Shepos of Kendall-Jackson Winery

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! As many of you are probably tired of eating turkey by now, this harvest menu from Chef Tracy Cenami Shepos is a delicious way to warm you up as the days get colder. This past month, I had the privilege of photographing the November event hosted by Fresh Starts Chef Events, a project to support Homeward Bound of Marin, a homeless shelter in Marin County, California, providing food, shelter and job training for those in need. I love what Homeward Bound is doing through this program — teaching people the skills they need to get out of homelessness!

Neely Wang Bay Area Food Photographer

November’s Marin County Cooking Class was hosted by Chef Tracey Shepos Cenami of Kendall-Jackson Family Wineries. Chef Cenami is a certified artisan cheesemaker who studied at San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy. She has worked at New York restaurants, catered, been a consulting chef and helped open Willi’s Wine Bar in Santa Rosa. Chef Cenami shared that her mom is a fantastic cook and that her parents loved to eat and would take her and her siblings out to eat with them. She had the opportunity to eat frog legs and foie gras as a young child, giving her the chance to develop discerning taste buds early on.

Chef Cenami’s menu for the evening began with a delicious Lobster-Squash Bisque with Pickled Persimmon.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

I love everything lobster, so I was very excited to try this bisque. It was made with carrots, onions, celery, butternut squash, squash and lobster stock, vanilla bean, lemon, olive oil, creme fraiche, lobster meat and Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

Chef Cenami demonstrated how to properly cut up a lobster and a squash — two food items that might be a bit unfamiliar for home cooks.

Neely Wang Bay Area Food Photographer

The star of this bisque (besides the lobster) were pickled persimmons. I have recently become a fan of persimmons, so this was a fun way to eat them. The pickled persimmons sit overnight in a mixture of water, balsamic vinegar, cloves, sugar, bay leaf and star anise.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

 I would never think to pair them with lobster, but their sweet and sour flavor balanced well with the creaminess of the soup.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The students were busy in the back preparing the lobster bisque for guests. 

Neely Wang Napa Food Photographer

The soup was finished with a drizzle of creme fraiche.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The main course of the evening was Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs, Parsnip Puree & Spiced Carrots.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Short ribs totally represent warm, homey comfort food to me, so these were a treat for these brisk evenings. The shorts ribs were made with veal broth, veal stock, tomato paste (which is cooked first to remove any chalky flavor), onions, carrot, celery, thyme, bay leaf, allspice and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Chef Cenami emphasized the need to leave the meat alone and let it brown — really brown to a nice dark color!

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Here she deglazes the pan with the wine and pours the whole thing into a braising pan.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Chef Cenami shared that whenever you braise anything, you should cook it the day before, cool it in the refrigerator and reheat it the next day, so that the all the flavors come together. I’ve been trying to do this with my stews and pulled pork/carnitas, and it truly makes a huge difference in the way the final dish tastes, but I will say that it’s hard to be patient and wait a whole day before I can eat it!

Neely Wang Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The parsnip puree was made with parsnips, russet potatoes, heavy cream, and butter. I really enjoyed the flavor of the parsnips — or was it the heavy cream and butter? The parsnips added a slightly sweet component that paired well with the potatoes.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

For the carrots, Chef Cenami advised that your baking sheet should be heated in the oven first, so that the oven doesn’t have to heat up both the pan and the vegetables, resulting in crispier vegetables. The spiced carrots were made with cinnamon, cardamon, honey and kosher salt — so good. Nothing like a handful of micro greens to make everything look so pretty!

Neely Wang Bay Area Food Photographer

The meal was finished with a Caramelia Panna Cotta with Caramel Cream & Almond Poppycock.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Chef Cenami first made the caramel cream. She shared that caramel cream is basically a caramel flavored whipped cream.

Neely Wang Napa Food Photographer

The caramel should be an amber color when it is ready. However, the best way to check if it’s done is to close your eyes and smell it. I don’t think I could trust just my nose to know if it’s done.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

The panna cotta was made with sheet gelatin, Valrhona Carmelia chocolate (similar in flavor to a “rolo”), heavy cream and whole milk.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The mixture was placed into little ramekins and then chilled.

Neely Wang Napa Food Photographer

After they are unmolded, a generous dollop of caramel creme is added.

Neely Wang Sonoma Food Photographer

The dessert was topped with a sweet, crunchy Almond Poppycock topping, which was made with brown sugar, butter, dark molasses, sliced raw almonds and smoked Maldon salt (my favorite part)!

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Chef Cenami was so fun to watch, and she had tons of energy! Check back next month for Chef John Ash’s international holiday menu. In the meantime, enjoy this delicious recipe for Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs to keep you warm.

Cabernet-Braised Short Ribs

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups veal broth
3 cups veal stock
3 1/2 lbs. beef short ribs, boneless
4 tablespoons rice oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup Cabernet Sauvignon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 cup onions, large dice
1/2 cup carrots, large dice
kosher salt
1/2 cup celery, large dice
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
3-4 parsley stems

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit. Bring veal broth and stock to a boil.
2. Season short ribs with salt. In a heavy bottomed sauté pan, brown the short ribs in rice oil over high heat. Transfer browned short ribs to braising pan.
3. Remove excess fat from sauté pan and add vegetables. Cook until caramelized and then add tomato paste. Stir and caramelize tomato paste with vegetables. Add wine to deglaze and scrape bottom of pan. Transfer to braising pan. Add hot veal and water mixture. Add herbs (in a sachet).
4. Cover with parchment and weigh down with perforated hotel pan. Cover with foil and roast in oven for 2 1/2 hours or until tender. Let ribs cool in liquid overnight.
5. Remove from the braising liquid and remove any excess fat, gristle and bone. Skim off any fat from the braising liquid and strain all ingredients out of the braising liquid. Return the liquid to simmer and reduce by half.

San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer | Chef Joyce Jue

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

This past month, I had the privilege of photographing the October event hosted by Fresh Starts Chef Events, a project to support Homeward Bound of Marin, a homeless shelter in Marin County, California, providing food, shelter and job training for those in need. Homeward Bound supplies over 500 beds each night to house the homeless, and its programs provide a pathway from homelessness back to housing and employment. Paul Fordham, the deputy director of Homeward Bound, shared that Fresh Starts Chef Events was their version of “the Food Network in a homeless shelter in Marin County.” A strange combination that initially began in 2009 with only 15 people attending their first event, to approximately 100 people now supporting their monthly events.

The Marin County Cooking Class for the month of October, “Get Acquainted with Dim Sum and Tea,” featured Chef Joyce Jue, a cookbook author and acclaimed instructor. This class was especially fun for me because I grew up eating dim sum at the restaurants in Chicago’s Chinatown as well as helping my mom make shrimp dumplings (also known as har gow), Chinese tamales (joong), potstickers and other dim sum treats at home. It was quite ironic for me to hear guests at the event say they would never attempt to make dim sum at home because it was so difficult, but homemade pizza was not a problem at all. I’m very much the opposite where pizza crust, fresh bread, pie crust — pretty much anything made with dough — completely freaks me out. It’s funny how culture and the experiences one has growing up totally shape a person’s outlook on food!

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Dim sum, which literally translates to “touch the heart,” is traditionally served in the morning with tea, but it was fun to enjoy it in the evening, and I will admit, I was quite curious to see how these non-Asian chefs and students would pull this off! Chef Jue shared that whenever she goes to a dim sum restaurant, she orders the siu mai and har gow first because if these two dishes are prepared well, then the rest of the dim sum at the restaurant will be good. So true!

Chef Joyce Jue was born and raised in San Francisco’s Chinatown, and much of what she learned was from her mother. I could definitely relate to many of her stories, particularly those about sitting around the table as a young child and helping to make dumplings. My mom used to make her har gow/shrimp dumplings by hand, and being the youngest in the family, my job was relegated to flattening the dough in a tortilla maker. Growing up, I never thought that was strange, but now I realize that although it’s not the traditional way of shaping the dough, it got the job done! In the same way, Chef Jue shared that the traditional way of making the fillings for dumplings was to chop everything by hand, but nowadays, she just mixes everything in a food processor, much to the disdain of her mother.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The menu for the evening was filled with many little bites being shared by the table, similar to the traditional chinese way of eating. On the table to try first as an appetizer were Krupuk Udang – Indonesian Prawn Chips. I remember eating smaller, more colorful versions of these as a child and filling them with rice. Before they are deep-fried, they literally look like colored pieces of plastic. But once they are dropped into the hot oil, they puff up into these delicious, savory chips. Probably not the healthiest things, but tasty nonetheless!

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The dishes were accompanied by teas donated by Fresh Starts Chef Events’ sponsor, The Republic of Tea. So fun to have a tea tasting!

Republic of Tea

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The first dish Chef Jue presented was Shrimp Toast, which is basically pureed shrimp (shrimp mousse) on bread. The mousse is made with green onions, shrimp, rice wine, sugar, cornstarch, chicken stock, ginger, cilantro, and egg white.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Her shrimp toasts are a fusion of Chinese and Italian tastes. To each, she adds a slice of proscuitto, which is reminiscent of the Italian version of Chinese ham. She joked that in San Francisco, Broadway Street separates Chinatown from Littly Italy, so she took her little shrimp toasts and walked across the street to capture the Italian side. Apparently, her mother does not approve.

Fresh Starts Culinary Academy

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Each piece of bread (in her recipe, she uses baguettes), is topped with the shrimp mousse before it is deep fried. My mom used to pan-fry these, and they were such a tasty snack.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The second dim sum dish on the menu was Steamed Pork & Shrimp Basket Dumplings, otherwise known as Siu Mai. The Siu Mai were made with shiitake mushrooms, ground pork butt, shrimp, water chestnuts, green onion. Chef Jue shared that the main meat in China is pork and that in Southern China, it is shrimp, so most of the items traditionally made in Chinese cuisine are made of pork or shrimp. Beef was not usually eaten because cows were considered a work animal.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Chef Jue also emphasized the importance of using Chinese ingredients and a plethora of Chinese sauces. She said that the reason many of the Chinese dishes we try to make at home taste a little bit off is because we are often using Kikkoman soy sauce, which is actually Japanese soy sauce, not Chinese soy sauce. And that the sesame oil used in Chinese cooking should be roasted for a more robust flavor.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Chef Jue added that an important step in using shrimp is to salt it ahead of time for maximum flavor.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Here she is making the dumplings into little baskets.

Making Siu Mai

The Siu Mai then get steamed in bamboo baskets for a delicate texture.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The third dim sum dish of the evening was Skinny Cilantro Shrimp Rolls.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

These shrimp rolls were made with green onions, water chestnuts, shrimp, rice wine, ginger and cilantro. The filling tasted similar to the shrimp toast mousse and had a comparable consistency, which provided a nice contrast to the crispy skins of the rolls. 

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Each roll was hand rolled and then deep fried. 

Making Spring Rolls

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

By this time I was pretty stuffed, but I still had a little bit more room for Chicken and Spinach Potstickers, which were prepared next. These potstickers were filled with spinach and napa cabbage leaves, ginger, green onions and ground chicken.

Pot Sticker

Chef Jue noted that it’s important to wrap both the cabbage and spinach in a towel and squeeze all the water out in order to prevent a soggy filling.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

She made it look so easy to wrap them. From experience, I know it’s much harder than it looks – especially if you make your own dough wrapper. But as I already shared about my previous aversion to making anything with dough, the store-bought wrappers seemed fine to me!

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Pot Sticker Making

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The story behind the name Potstickers is that a chef once mistakenly left their dumplings in the pan too long, causing them to stick and form a crisp, brown crust on the bottoms. A delicious mistake! The potstickers are initially pan-fried slightly on the bottom, and then water is added to steam them and cook them through. Chef Jue also quipped that the reason one has extra children in China is to help make more dumplings together!

Pot Stickers

The last dish Chef Jue shared were Mom’s Midnight Noodles, which is based off of her mom’s special noodle recipe. The noodles (or lo mien) were made late at night for her four children who were always hungry after watching late night movies.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

The noodle dish was made with Chinese egg-wheat flour noodles, barbecued pork, baby bok choi and a special sauce consisting of oyster sauce, light and dark soy sauces, sesame oil and sugar.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Lo Mein Noodles

A giant tray of barbecue pork!

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Bok Choy was cut up and added to the noodles.

Neely Wang Marin Food Photographer

Noodles, which represent long life in Chinese culture, are a mainstay of Chinese cuisine.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Neely Wang Bay Area Food Photographer

I did save room for the house made dessert, a refreshing Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream (my favorite!) with mandarin oranges, kiwi, honeydew, dried lotus root and sesame tuile.

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Aren’t these baked kiwis so pretty? I overheard the students say that pulling them off the trays was like pulling off stickers.

Dehydrated Kiwi Slices

Neely Wang San Francisco Bay Area Food Photographer

Beautifully presented and a wonderful finish to a delicious meal!

Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream

Check back next month for a Harvest Menu with Chef Tracy Shepos Cenami of Kendall-Jackson Winery. Her menu includes a Lobster Bisque, Short Ribs and Caramel Panna Cotta. In the meantime, enjoy this recipe for classic Siu Mai Dumplings!

Steamed Pork & Shrimp “Basket” Dumplings – Siu Mai

Makes about 3 dozen

Ingredients:

4 dried Chinese black mushrooms (shiitake)
1 pound coarsely ground pork butt (slightly fatty pork)
1/2 pound medium shrimp, shelled deveined and cut into 1/4-inch pieces
3 tablespoons minced bamboo shoots or fresh peeled water chestnuts
1 green onion, minced (white parts only)
1/2 teaspoon salt
pinch of white pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon shoaxing rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
36 siu mai (or thin wonton wrappers – trim corners to make rounds)

Directions:
1. Cover the mushrooms with warm water for 30 minutes or until pliable. Remove the mushrooms and squeeze out excess water. Trim off stems. Mince caps and put into mixing bowl with pork, shrimp, bamboo shoots and green noon. Mix thoroughly.

2. In a separate bowl, combine salt, white pepper, sugar soy sauce, wine, ginger, cornstarch and sesame oil. Mix thoroughly with meat mixture.

3. Lightly oil bottom of bamboo steamer basket before you begin wrapping. To start, lay one siu mai wrapper on flat surface. Using narrow spreader, put 1 heaping tablespoon filling in center, spreading to about 1/2 inch from edge.

4. Use fingertips to pinch sides of wrapper, many many tiny pleats around filling, to create a basket shape. Put between thumb and index finger to squeeze sides gently, which will pack filling and form basket.

5. Place dumplings in steamer. Add enough boiling water to wok so that it comes just below bottom of bamboo basket. Set basket filled with dumplings into wok over full boil. Cover and steam for 10 minutes.

6. To serve, siu mai can be dipped in light soy sauce mixed with chopped green onions.