|Seafood wonton with US blueberries. (Photo credit by Chef Tran Le Thanh Thien)
A: Hi, foodies out there. We’re back with another edition of Food Delight on VOV24/7.
B: Today, we’re bringing you an amazing culinary experience: blueberries and wonton.
A: I can’t imagine what that would be like. I’ve had wontons hundreds of times, with a filling made from minced pork and shrimp, but I’ve never had wontons made with blueberries.
B: Today, you can try this new culinary invention of Chef Tran Le Thanh Thien, who is Vice President of the World Association of Master Chefs in Vietnam. He has come up with a recipe that combines wontons and US blueberries. North American blueberries are at their peak from mid-June through mid-August, and right now we have some of those sweet, juicy blueberries in Vietnam.
A: Thien says he had the idea of adding US blueberries to traditional seafood wonton to elevate the dish to the level of fine dining.
“For this recipe, I use both frozen and dried blueberries. The frozen blueberries add color and flavor to seafood wonton, reducing the fishy smell of the seafood. The dried blueberries add a sour flavor and a crunchy texture to the dish. A fine-dining dish must have umami flavor and be eye-catching,” said Thien.
B: To prepare the dish, first we must have wonton leaves, which are available in most markets or supermarkets. Those who want to make everything themselves can make a home-made version from egg yolks, all-purpose flour, salt, and oil.
A: But that will take more time, because you’ll have to make the flour mixture, let the dough rest for 30 minutes, then knead the dough and cut it into wonton leaves.
B: The star of the seafood wonton is its filling, made from minced shrimp meat, fish paste, both frozen and dried USA blueberries, seasoning powder, pepper, minced shallot, ginger, and coriander.
“For the seafood, we use shrimp and fish paste. There are several options. We can use flounder, or pangasius fish, or mackerel, whose flesh is whiter and tougher. The fish fillet should be ground into a paste. Next, mix the minced shrimp meat and the fish paste together. Blend them with the frozen (or fresh) US blueberries, seasoning powder and tapioca powder,” said chef Thien.
“Then mix them with minced shallot, ginger, and coriander to enhance the flavor and get rid of the fishy smell. Add dried blueberries to the filling and let it rest for 5 minutes. Finally, use wonton leaves to wrap the filling, and steam them for 5 to 8 minutes,” he added.
|Chef Tran Le Thanh Thien (second from left) at a cooking demonstration at Ho Chi Minh City University of Technology and Education. (Photo credit by Chef Tran Le Thanh Thien)
A: While waiting for the wontons to cook, our chef is preparing Dashi broth with US blueberries.
B: Dashi broth is used in every Japanese kitchen. It contains bonito flakes, kombu, water, and seasoning powder. This time, we’re adding frozen or fresh US blueberries.
“Add kelp, grated fish, and seasoning powder to water and boil for 10 minutes to make the Dashi broth. Then pour the broth into a blender, add the US blueberries, and blend them. Finally, pour it all into a hot pot and season again,” said Thien.
A: Next, comes the most exciting part: garnishing the dish. The steamed wontons are put into a bowl, and Dashi broth with US blueberries is poured over them. Then, make the dish more fragrant and eye-catching by garnishing with sliced red chili peppers, scallions, and some edible flowers.
B: With Chef Thien’s instructions, you can make this fine-dining dish at home if you happen to have some frozen and dried blueberries in your fridge. Give it a try. Good luck. And be sure to join us on our next show.