Chive and Shrimp Cake at the May Garden Restaurant
The May Garden Restaurant, in Bedford, Nova Scotia is not specifically a Dim Sum establishment, but they do a decent Dim Sum menu with some 45 items on the weekends. The Chive and Shrimp Cake you see pictured above is a creation of the restaurant rather than a standard Dim Sum classic, but it turned out to be very good indeed.
The dish was described on the menu as ‘Deep Fried Chives Cake with Shrimp’. However, when it was brought to the table it looked nothing like we were expecting and it was not until then that I paid attention to the Chinese name and saw that it read ‘煎韭菜虾饼’, which translates as ‘Pan-fried Chive Shrimp Cake’. It was pretty obvious from the appearance of this dish that the little ‘cakes’ were indeed pan-fried, which, I think is much better.
The wrapper appeared to be a simple wheat flour type along the lines of my Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough recipe. It was rolled out fairly thinly, nicely cooked with just a little oil, and had a texture that was a little crispy in places, but soft, and pleasantly chewy elsewhere.
The chive quotient of the filling was a little sparse and, while it added some nice points of color, even visibly through the wrapper, there really wasn’t much in the way of chive flavor apparent. This was a bit of a pity, but I noticed this in a few other Dim Sum items here that were also supposed to contain chives.
As it was though, the Shrimp used in the Chive and Shrimp Cake were quite generously represented and very tasty. The Shrimp in question were about 3cm or 4 cm in length (some were whole, some chopped), and they were clearly very fresh and packed with more flavor than larger Shrimp often are.
The restaurant supplied a little dipping sauce on the side which appeared to be Soy and Vinegar based, but which had a faint similarity to Worcestershire Sauce. It really didn’t compliment these dumplings, though, and we didn’t bother with it after the first try. I did have a little House-made Chili Oil with one of mine, but, while that was nice, I though that these little Chive and Shrimp Cake specialties were delicious enough without any additions.