On Shanton Demiglace

Previously, on tastingmenu.wordpress.com –
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2018/04/29/on-the-importance-of-bone-stocks/
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2010/11/25/on-chinese-superior-broth-%e9%ab%98%e6%b9%af%e4%b8%8a%e6%b9%af/
* https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/chili-shrimp-from-iron-chef-chen-kenichi/

Recently, I’d been musing over my recent reflections on bone stocks, sauces and my thoughts about applying demiglace techniques to chinese cooking. The superior broth/stock that I’ve been making for sometime now has been:

Sheung Tong Broth
1 lb chicken
1 lb smithfield ham
6 cups water
2 ounces ginger, lightly crushed
3 scallions

But in light of Iron Chef Chen’s comment about the way he makes chicken stock:

Ingredient List:
7 1/2 cups water
8 chicken wings
green parts of 2 leeks (scallions)
1 knob of ginger (sliced into 4 pieces [in the book’s picture])
4 Tablespoons sake

and the observation that his stock tends to gel when refridgerated, it occurred to me to merge the two recipes as:

7 1/2 cups water (8 cups of water?)
1 lb chicken wings
1 lb smithfield ham (I’ve recently been using Niman Ranch Jambon Royale)
2 ounces ginger, lightly crushed
3 scallions
4 Tablespoons sake

So last weekend, I went ahead and cooked the stock as I would for the chinese superior broth (see link above).  When the stock was done, I strained out the stock.  I reserved the chicken wings and used a little of the stock to make chinese, drunken chicken (https://tastingmenu.wordpress.com/2011/03/22/chinese-drunken-chicken/), then reduced the remaining stock down to 1/2 c (4oz) from 42oz.   It was basically a 10:1 reduction.   After refridgerating the stock reduction, I pulled it out and checked the results.  Sure enough, it had gelled to the point where the shanton demiglace  it had the gel consistency of French demiglace.  I then put the shanton demiglace into the freezer while I began considering the possibility of making my own xiao long bao – chinese soup dumplings.

The recipe for the soup dumpling stock gel comes from the cookbook The Wind And Rain Bring The Soul Of Ktangnan (p. 154)

1.3 lbs pork skin
2/3 lb chicken bones
2/3 lb ground pork
2 ginger slice
2 scallions
4 cups water

The recipe for this stock gel calls for:
1. rinse and blanching the pork skin, shock it and then chop it into small pieces
2. Cook the pork skin in 4 cups of water until boiled and reduce the heat to low and cook 2 1/2 hrs
3. The cooked skin is the strained and reserved (the dregs are thrown out)
4. The cooked skin is cooled to room temperature and then refridgerated until firm.
5. Once the cooked/cooled skin is set, it is finely chopped and then cooked in water with the chicken bones, scallion and ginger for an hour, (presumably with a little water to help liquify the mixture)
6. The bones, scallion and ginger are strained out and the stock gel is poured into a flat mold and left to cool and set

Upon examining this gel recipe, it clearly read to me like a superior broth stock base, though I think most of the gel was coming from the pork skin and chicken bones.  And at that point I clearly could see the application of the shanton demiglace to making these soup dumplings.

The rest of filling was a combination of:

2/3 lb ground pork
1 T sesame oil
1/2 T soy sauce
1/2 t salt
1/2 C (minced) scallions
ginger water
dash of pepper

The recipe’s author goes on to comment that the gel should be combined with the seasoned pork filling in a ratio of 2:3.  At this point, I could scale the recipe microbatch to:

1/3 lb ground pork
1/2 T sesame oil
3/4 t soy sauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 C (minced) scallions
ginger water
dash of pepper

and that would mean I would need to combine that with 3 1/2 oz of the shanton demiglace.  Obviously, I would have to quickly mince up the shanton demiglace and blend it into the seasoned filling and chill the mixture until set.  If 5g of filling were needed per dumpling, I’d estimate that this filling could make up to 54 dumplings.

Now I would just have to schedule time on a weekend to try out this understanding and make the xiao long bao/soup dumplings…

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