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Yummy Niouk Yen (Steamed Chayote Balls)

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Nomnom!

Personally I wouldn’t say No to a big bowl of Niouk Yen no matter what time of the day. Niouk Yen or ”Boulette Chou Chou ” as being commonly known in Mauritius is a highly appreciated street food among the locals.You can find them mostly everywhere around the Island. They are served in various ways and also with different combinations of vegetables or even accompanied by other types of dumplings such as smoked tofu, Shao Mai or fish balls. There is no doubt that you won’t fall in love with them.

Niouk Yen are dumplings that are made with chayote (Choko for some) then steamed and eaten accompanied by your favourite chili, soy or garlic sauce. They are very delicious and require very few ingredients in order to make them. I love reproducing the food I eat at restaurants or even street food. I don’t know, I believe there is no such thing that you cannot make at home,Certainly taste wise it won’t be the same but hey it tends to be better sometimes. 😀

In order to make these beautiful dumplings you will need the followings :

  • 3-4 Chayotes ( From 3-4 Chayotes you can make approx up to 15 dumplings )
  • Garlic Paste
  • Onion Paste
  • Corn Starch / Tapioca flour
  • Dry Shrimps for more flavours to the dumplings
  • 2-3 red chilies
  • Salt to taste
  • Steamer

We will start off first by finely grating the chayotes. Afterwards add 2 pinch of salt to the grated chayote in order to release the excess of water present in the vegetable.Normally vegetable like chayote,zucchini and squash contains a lot of water.Salt is added to help release the extra water content from the vegetable. If you do not drain the excess of water from your chayote then the dumplings will fall apart in the steamer.

Meanwhile in a grinder add your dried shrimps,garlic,onions and chilies and grind until a smooth paste is obtained. After having drained all the excess of water from your chayote,combine the paste to your vegetable. Next add 2-3 big spoonful of corn starch in order to bind the balls more tightly and thus preventing them to fall apart in your steamer and knead.

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You can also add more to the mixture. Like there are some who add minced meat rather than dry shrimps. And some even add soy sauce and ginger and cabbage as well. It all depends on you how you would like to have yours. In the mean time get your steamer ready so that once you made the balls,you can place them straightaway to cook.  They should be ready in about 30 mins max depending on how hot is your steamer. Serve hot  with a garlic sauce or chili sauce. Any sauce you prefer.

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As for the vegetarian,you only have to omit the dried shrimps. I mean finely grate your chayotes, then combine with the smooth spice paste and then add soy sauce,corn stard and if you want some minced mushrooms as well for more taste. Afterwards place on your steamer and let it cook. Serve with any sauce you like and fall in love with dumplings. 😀

Normally these can be stored in the fridge for later use for about a week or two. Because the only method to cook them are on a steamer.So they should be just as tasty as when you make them fresh. Still fresh is best and also more appropriate. After kneading the mixture into small balls, just store them in a plastic container in the fridge for later use if ever you want to store some for later use.

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If you love dumplings too and you know another version of making dumplings,please do share with me.

I would love to know new exciting ways of having dumplings at home!

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