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Help! need ingredient for soup dumplings!

  • m

Some of you may be familiar with my new obsession...
I need Chinese style cured smoked ham to make the broth. Where can I find this in Montreal? I found salted cured chinese ham, but I fear it might not have the lovely smoky flavour that the other item has. A good substitute is "smithfield ham" which i assume is some kind of Virginia ham, which i have never seen here in Montreal either ( i keep on trying to find it as it is indispensible in the making of Southern style collard greens, also with a lovely smoky flavour). Any tips?

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  1. Wow, you're not making these easy on yourself, are you? Maybe you could pay Hong Kong to do it for you, or that little place downstairs from Kam Fung, on the left when you enter from St. Urbain.

    4 Replies
    1. re: bomobob

      well, this presumes I can communicate in Chinese, which I can't. I can point and nod yes, that's how we got the black chicken soup. Could I recreate that experience? Possibly not. You should have seen me trying to buy the salted cured chinese ham! I had a photo of what i needed, but no help. First they should me the ground pork, then they showed me some Chinese sausage, then some Chinese salt pork. it was chaos!

      Do you have some kind of in? Have you had a chance to eat soup dumplings here in montreal? Oh please share if you do!

      1. re: moh

        No, I haven't, but I think if Marche Hawai doesn't have your ham, nobody will. Have you tried them?

        1. re: bomobob

          Also, the Kim Phat on Jarry has a pretty massive butcher counter...

          And BTW, most of the waiters at Hong Kong speak fine English (Joseph is my pal) and could translate if need be. :-)

          Good luck!

      1. re: celfie

        Me too, I would like to help closing the dumplings. Might help eating too :)

      2. Thanks for all the great suggestions. I have still not found a product that is exactly what I need, but we shall soldier on. (I did however find my beloved canned mangosteens! Thanks!!!) We will continue the great experiment and report back. If the recipe works out, we can then work out some way to share... (Aspic: broth cooking as we speak. We should have dumplings by tomorrow sometime...)

        8 Replies
        1. re: moh

          Just a guess, but at the Atwater Market, Fromagerie Atwater, or Charcuterie de Tours (which has now appropriated part of the counter at the sausage stand next door to sell smoked/cured meats) may have what you're looking for.

          1. re: cherylmtl

            Yes, that is a great suggestion, for our next batch I shall try to find a non-Asian smoked porc product to supplement the Chinese salt-cured ham.

            So a report on the first batch: Pretty Tasty! Still needs tweaking. The meat filling was really tasty, and the broth was rich and meaty. But I need to get even more broth into the dumpling! Also the dumpling wrapper was good but not great. I used a premade wrapper, and may try to find an alternate brand or even consider from scratch... we shall continue our work.

            More importantly, there must be some restauranteur that could be convinced to offer soup dumplings here. There is obviously a market...

            1. re: moh

              P.M.restaurant on Ste-Catherine just west of St-Mathieu serves some pretty good soup dumplings. They're on the small side, but very juicy and tasty!

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  Whilst ordering some late night take away tonight at Prêt-à-Manger, I inquired about xiao long bao. They told me they didn't make them. They have some steamed dumplings, but no soup dumplings.

              1. re: moh

                I once used smoked meat from Lester's as a stand in for salted beef in a Surinaams peanut soup and it was fine. So some other ham would probably work well. Or bring the words "Chinese salt cured ham" in Chinese characters with you, something a friend suggested when I was wandering Chinese herb shops for some special herbs. I think he used an online tool to produce them.

                I make dumpling wrappers from scratch, very easy, just flour and boiled water. Then you roll them with a bit of cornstarch.

                1. re: moh

                  You said that you need to get even more broth into the dumpling. Have you tried combining some of the broth with gelatin, so you add cubes of broth ? Reading your posts always makes me hungry moh.

                  1. re: moh

                    If you are willing to travel - Yangtze in Ottawa serves them for dim sum. They are quite nice.

              2. I can't help with the ham but someone told me they have these things at Mon Nan upstairs - can anyone corroborate the info?!

                1. Darn. I thought I'd found this ham, but now I'm not so sure -- didn't take note of whether the product I saw was salted or smoked.

                  Anyway, if you're still looking, check the grocery store on the northwest corner of de La Gauchetière and St. Dominique. (I'm not sure, but I think the store is called Emily. The entrance is on de La Gauchetière, store is at basement level.)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Mr F

                    Mr. F, thanks for the tip, I will check it out next time I am down there!

                  2. The soup dumpling thread, as well as, on other Asian dumplings has been going on for some time... Clearly, there is quite a bit of interest on this topic.

                    If anyone is interested, Levi Toh, an accomplished chef and cooking teacher from China, would be more than happy to instruct classes on topics of specific interest. Soup dumplings is one of the many items in his repertoire.

                    Actually, all most his classes on making Dim Sum are spot on. He usually conducts small groups of no more than 10, and will cover 2 (and sometimes 3) items in a single session.

                    If anyone is interested in learning more about making authentic Chinese classics on evenings or weekends, I would be happy to coordinate.

                    I can be reached at fedelst@gmail.com