Experimenting with Asian ingredients can be fun.

In November we will be flying back to China for the third time this year. We are designing the menu for the Kiwi Ball, which is held each year in Shanghai. More than 600 guests attend and we are in charge of designing a menu that mixes everything we have learned and love about Chinese food, putting our own Kiwi twist on the dishes.

We are extremely proud to be from a country that has world-class ingredients and products that we can showcase on our menu.

This week we are sharing a couple of our favourite Chinese dishes for you to try at home. Most of the ingredients can be found at your local supermarket but if they aren't, venture into your closest Asian supermarket. They are amazing places with lots of weird and wonderful ingredients.

Experiment and have fun.


Pork dumplings

Serves 6

Dipping sauce
5cm piece ginger, finely chopped
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 small red chilli, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
4 Tbsp black vinegar

250g free-range pork mince
5cm piece of ginger, chopped finely
1/3 cup finely chopped spring onions
1/4 cup chicken stock
4 ½ tsp sesame oil
1/4 tsp white pepper
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
1 packet dumpling wrappers
2 Tbsp peanut oil to cook
Boiling water

For the dipping sauce, mix together all the ingredients.

For the dumplings, thoroughly mix together all the ingredients in a large bowl.

Wet the edge of the dumpling wrapper and hold it in one hand. Place 1 tsp of the mix into the middle and fold it so it forms a semi-circle, pinch together the sides of the wrapper so that the mixture is completely sealed in the middle. Pinch along the seal to make small pleats.

In a large frying pan that has a lid, place the peanut oil and place over a medium heat. Put the dumplings into the pan, making sure they aren't touching. Pour boiling water over the dumplings to of the height of the dumplings. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the wrappers become slightly transparent. The water should have evaporated and the base of the dumplings become crisp.

Remove from the pan and serve with the dipping sauce.

Sago with banana and chocolate

Serves 4

½ cup sago
2 Tbsp sugar
½ cup coconut cream
½ cup cream
50g dark chocolate
25g butter
½ cup cream
1 Tbsp caster sugar
2 bananas sliced into 1 cm slices

Fill a medium pot to with water and bring to the boil. Add the sago and boil until translucent, about 7-10mins.

Drain the water and using a sieve run cold water over the sago until it is cold to the touch. Mix in the creams and sugar and set aside.

For the sauce, chop the chocolate and butter into small pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Put the cream and sugar into a pot and heat to just simmering. Pour over the chocolate and butter and leave for 5 minutes. Combine well.

To assemble, place the sago into the bottom of a serving glass, top with a layer of sliced banana and drizzle over chocolate sauce.