{Event} Hands on dim sum workshop with Chef Susur Lee at Luckee

Website: http://www.luckeerestaurant.com/
Address: 
328 Wellington St. W, Toronto ON
When I visited:
July 23rd, 2014

I’m a huge fan of Chef Susur Lee! I have seen Chef Lee’s documentary on the Food Network, watched him battle Bobby Flay on Iron Chef America as well as countless TV appearances. Food and Wine magazine praised the world renowned Chef as one if the “Ten Chefs of the Millennium” in 2000. Also, having eaten at Luckee (@LuckeeTO) (review here), I know that his passion and creativity is evident in every dish served at this restaurant.  They have a new summer menu and I highly recommend that you check it out.

More recently for my birthday present I was given a book called “My last Supper: The next course” where Chef Lee mentioned that Hong Kong style wonton noodles is what he would like his last meal to be. My last meal would probably be dim sum!

Talking about dim sum, I was ecstatic when I got the invitation to be among top Toronto food bloggers for an intimate event at Luckee where Chef Susur Lee taught us how to make dim sum. Having the opportunity to meet Chef Lee was already an honour, having a lesson from a culinary master was once of a lifetime opportunity. I am still in awe that it happened!

Chef Susur Lee

Chef Susur Lee

Chef Lee’s son Kai Bent Lee, who is the owner of Bent Restaurant in Toronto and also responsible for the wine and cocktail program at Luckee was at the event. He was the mixologist teaching us how to make Luckee’s ‘Ricky Rose Sangria’.

At the event, talkative Chef Lee was charming and friendly and was genuinely interested in getting to know more about us and social media, which I can imagine is a new beast to him. Chef Lee mentioned that my blog name would make a great restaurant name…and to think about it, I couldn’t agree more.

To start, we sampled many delicious dishes that were on the Luckee menu with Chef Lee explaining his inspirations and unique features of each dish. After the meal, we went into the kitchen for the workshop and got to sample our creations.

Luckee Restaurant

Luckee Restaurant

The dim sum dishes we sampled included the har gow (shrimp dumplings), spring rolls and chicken cheung fun (chicken rice roll). The beautiful orange wrapper on the har gow was derived from the carrots, as Chef Lee does not use dyes in his foods. The ‘chicken cheung fun’ was unique and had chicken, tofu, ginger, green onion and soy sauce.

Chicken cheung fun

Chicken cheung fun

Shrimp dumpling (har gow)

Shrimp dumpling (har gow)

Spring rolls

Spring rolls

The vegan cold noodle dish was spectacular with a spicy soy-mushroom vinaigrette and various types of mushrooms including enoki and shitake. The noodle dish was inspired by Chef Lee’s travels to China’s Yunan province where they cultivate many types of mushrooms.

Chef Lee's cold noodle dish

Chef Lee’s cold noodle dish

The dim sum workshop:

Our appetites were worked up after sampling the dim sim dishes and we were ready to get our hands dirty in the kitchen. We learned how to prepare, assemble and steam siu mai made of chicken and shrimp topped with scallops and black trufflesyes, black truffles. I enjoyed the delicious change from using pork.

Workshop time

Workshop time

Dim sum workshop

Dim sum workshop

Steaming the sui mai

Steaming the sui mai

From the lesson, here are industry tips from Chef Susur Lee on making siu mai:

  • Make sure the 4 corners of the won ton wrappers are cut. This is needed for even folding.
  • After packing the meat in the wrapper, put a knife in the middle and hold the siu mai upside down. This will help with the wrapping.
  • Pack the meat in! I did not do this with many of my dumplings and the meat came out of the wrapper when steamed.
  • My partner (@FatGirlFoodSquad) and I had 8 dumplings in our bamboo steamer. It took about 5-7 minutes to cook.

For dessert, we assembled the chocolate custard steamed sponge rolls, which is on the Luckee menu.

Chocolate custard sponge roll

Chocolate custard sponge roll

Dessert time!

Dessert time!

What I learned about making the sponge rolls is that the actual sponge part is hard to make and to perfect. If I were to make this again at home, I would make a thick crepe instead and fill it with a chocolate ganache or nutella. Best bet is to come to the restaurant and enjoy it there.

The sangria workshop:

Kai Bent Lee made us Luckee’s ‘Ricky Rose Sangria’ made with 20 ingredients including pama liquer and lychee cactus pear juice. I learned that it’s important to have fun experimenting with a combination of liquers, wine and fresh fruits in your sangria. Also, it is best to combine all the ingredients and refrigerate for at least 24 hours before serving for the flavours to mingle.

Kai giving us a Sangria lesson

Kai giving us a Sangria lesson

Sangria time

Sangria time

With summer still in full swing, it is best to leave it to the drink masters to serve the best cocktails. Right now at Chef Lee’s other restaurant “Lee”, between 5:30-7:30pm daily at the bar, they are serving $10 house cocktails and ½ price bar snacks.  I definitely need to pay a visit soon!

Thank you again to the Metropolitan Hotel, Chef Susur Lee and Kai Bent Lee for the incredible experience. I look forward to enjoying the delicious dim sum at Luckee again soon.

Thank you! Picture of Chef Susur Lee and Kai Bent Lee

Thank you for the workshop! Picture of Chef Susur Lee and Kai Bent Lee and I

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