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little eats: 
by Yee-Fan Sun
1 2

There are many reasons I love going back home to spend time with my parents in Boston – and near the top of the list, is the fact that I know that a trip home is a guarantee of many yummy, home-cooked meals courtesy of Mom. I never leave my parents’ home without a happy belly (yay!), a couple of extra pounds (boo!) … and at least a new recipe or two to try out when I get back to my own home in Tucson.

Like all the best cooks, my mom’s always experimenting with new dishes. Each time I go home, she has some new recipe she’s concocted (although mom being mom, her idea of a recipe usually sounds like “add a little of this, some more of that, cook until done …”). On my most recent trip back to Boston, mom had just worked out her own version of “golden bags,” a very tasty, deep-fried appetizer that my family had sampled and adored at a nearby Thai restaurant. Her version uses bean curd sheets to wrap a delicious seafood mixture in a pretty little golden pouch, finished off with an edible Chinese chive bow. It’s surprisingly easy to make, and makes for a very attractive appetizer that tastes every bit as yum as it looks.

Bean curd sheets look like very thin, wrinkled, flat pale-yellow rectangles of paper; they’re fragile and brittle when you buy them, but after a little bit of soaking, quickly soften up. You can find both the bean curd sheets and the Chinese chives at most Asian markets.

8 oz. beancurd sheets
handful of Chinese chives

2 thin slices of fresh ginger
1 lb. mixture of shrimp, or equal parts shrimp and halibut (or similar white fish)
2 stalks scallion
1 egg white
1 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. wine
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup minced jicama or water chestnut

time 1 hour

Making the filling
1 Smash the two ginger slices with the flat side of a big knife, and place in a small bowl with about 1/3 cup of water. Let the ginger steep in the water for 30 minutes.

2 Shell and de-vein (you can skip the deveining if the vein doesn’t bother you) the shrimp. Roughly chop up the shrimp/fish. Do the same for the scallion. Place both in the container of a food processor.

3 Add the egg white, salt, wine, and cornstarch. Add 4 Tbsp. of the ginger water (don’t add in the ginger slices). Process the whole mixture until you have a good, smooth paste.

4 Stir in the minced jicama or water chestnut.

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