Oriental "Tapas"

Who said "Tapas" had to be from the Iberian Peninsula ?
The real meaning of "Tapas" is lid or cover... they are little appetizers served with ones drink, and can be made from anything. They originate from Spain. If you want to read more about tapas, there's a ton of information available on Google or other search engines. Here's an Oriental twist to "Tapas" !
Wonton wrappers shaped into cups, filled with seared scallops, giant shrimp. Served with mini pork dumplings,fried wonton crisps and peanut sauce, Thai sweet chili sauce and Soy-Hoisin Espuma (purple cauliflower in the middle)
Time: 1 hour (approx.)
Effort: Easy
Serves: 2

Extras that you will need for this presentation: 
  • Wonton wrappers
  • Thai Sweet Chili Sauce
  • Mini pork dumplings (store bought)
  • Steamed vegetables for decoration and to dip (I used purple cauliflower)

1. Soy-Hosin Espuma (or Whip)
Note - this recipe calls for a cream whipper. If you don't have one, you can simply whip the cream and add the rest of the ingredients, however with a cream whipper the texture is totally different. I use the ISI whipper. See below for details on where to buy or at your local kitchen supply store.

1 cup whipping cream
1 tbsp Soy Sauce
2 - 3 tbsp Hoisin sauce
Combine the ingredients until well blended. Adjust the taste to your liking. Pour the mixture into your cream whipper and charge twice. Shake a couple of times and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the "tapas".

2. Wonton Cups & Crisps
10 wonton wrappers
4 giant shrimp (raw, shelled)
4 giant scallops, each cut in half
1 tsp Safflower or Canola oil, plus 1/4 cup for frying & brushing the cups
2-3 drops of Sesame oil

Heat oven to 450o. Take 2 muffin tins that hold 4 muffins each (or a larger one - as long as you make 8 cups, 4 for each person) and brush the insides lightly with safflower oil. Place each wonton over a cup, and gently press down so that they form a cup in the mold. Brush the tops with a little more safflower oil. Bake in the oven for approx. 10-15 minutes or until golden. Remove to cool. Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of safflower oil with the sesame oil unti it is very hot, and saute the shrimp until pink on all sides. Remove and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Saute the scallops until golden on all sides and springy to the touch - try not to over cook or they'll be rubbery. Remove and place on the plate with the shrimp. Add the remaining oil to the pan, and return to the heat until piping hot. Cut strips from the remaining wontons and fry quickly, a few strips at a time, turning once. Careful because they burn quickly ! Using a slotted spoon remove the strips onto another plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the rest of the strips. 

3. Peanut Sauce
2 tbsp Soy Sauce
1 tbsp rice vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp Hoisin sauce
2 tbsp black & white roasted sesame seeds
2 tbsp peanut butter
1/2 cup warm water
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp red pepper flakes

Mix all the ingredients together until it makes a smoothe sauce. You may need to add a little more water if the sauce is too thick.

4. Mini Pork Dumplings
8 mini pork dumplings (found in most supermarkets in the frozen section)
3 cups water for boiling
1 tbsp oil
2-3 drops of Sesame oil
In a medium sized saucepan, bring the water to a rolling boil. Add the oils and the dumplings. Boil for approx. 3 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and let drain in a collander. Make sure not to let them stick together!

Assembly of the "Tapas"
Take two large plates and arrange the wonton cups nicely, filling each one with shrimp and scallops. Form a circle with your vegetables, and pour in your Soy-hoisin Espuma or whip. In between each cup, add a spoon of peanut sauce and top with a dumpling. Pour a little Thai sweet chili sauce all around, and garnish with the wonton crisps that you can use to dip into the sauces. 

ISI Whipper: