What are Boulettes ?
Boulettes are dumplings you can find in Mauritius which are served in various ways and in different combinations. You will surely fall in love with those local dumplings – Niouk Yen being one of them. You might visit many countries where Chinese cuisine is popular but you will never come across a Chinese place that sells Niouk Yen. So, undoubtedly, they must really be a typical Mauritian-Chinese delicacy.
In Mauritius, these dumplings are a common street food, so much that no one really makes them at home. We just go to one of the reputable “marchand boulettes” (dumpling sellers) and order them. If you are looking for boulettes, you will surely get them at any street corner shop in China Town in Port Louis or in any restaurant around the island or in your hotels.
How are they served?
They are usually served in two ways- either in soup or salad. Whichever the way you prefer them, you will have the opportunity to taste the various type of dumpling proposed- Niouk Yen (Boulette Chouchou), Meat Balls, Shao Mai, Wonton, Fish Balls and Smoked Tofu (Teokon).
What are the various types of Dumplings?
They are dumplings that are made with chayote then steamed and eaten accompanied by your favourite chili, soy or garlic sauce. They are delicious and require very few ingredients.
They are vegetarian or pork dumplings that can be made solely of chayote or mixed with pork, meat, chicken or shrimp, which is then surrounded by a thin square wrapper (a dough skin made of flour, egg, water, and salt) and then steamed before eaten.
Wontons are made by spreading a square wrapper flat in the palm of one’s hand, placing a small amount of filling in the center, and sealing the wonton into the desired shape by compressing the wrapper’s edges together with the fingers.
Niouk- Yen Recipe (Boulette Chou-chou)
– 500g chou chou (Chayote-Christophines)
– 100g of tapioca starch
– 100g minced meat (or dried shrimps)
– 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
– 2 tablespoon of salt
- Peel and grate the cabbage cabbage and salt.
- Let stand 15 minutes, drain well in a cloth and set aside.
- Mix the tapioca starch, ground meat, soy sauce and cabbage cabbage.
- Add salt and knead.
- Form the dumplings with the dough and cook steamed for 20 minutes.
- For Tapioca starch, the dosage may vary, I suggest you bouler a ball and put leather in the steam, if your ball flattens, add the starch in the mix, knead again and try cooking. .. and so on.
Sao-Mai Recipe (Bouchon)
– 200g chicken breast
– 1 tbsp of crushed garlic
– A pinch crushed ginger
– 1 tbsp soy sauce
– 1tbsp of oyster sauce
– 1/2 tbsp of sesame oil
– 1 tbsp sugar
– 1/2 tbsp salt
– 1/2 tbsp Pepper
– 1 packet of wantan sheets
– 2 christophines (chayotte–chouchou) grated and pressed (to remove all the water)
Crush the chicken cut into cubes in a blender , grate the chayotte and remove all the water from it by sprinkling salt on it. Then squeeze the grated and salted chayotte in a clean cloth. Add a pinch of garlic, a bit of spring onion, oyster sauce and soy sauce and fill the wantan sheets with the mixture that will form balls. It’s ready to go to the steamer.
For the Soup
The soup remains the simplest part of the recipe! You will need:
– 500ml of water
– Fish Sauce or Table Salt
– Monosodium Glutamate
– Black Pepper
– A chicken wing (To add some flavouring)
Some might prefer making a bouillon with Maggie Cube which can be rather simple but the real Boulette Soup requires some more time to prepare.
Pour 100ml of water into your steamer (On Stove), add the chicken wing, 3 tablespoon of fish sauce or 1 tablespoon of table salt. Add 1 tablespoon of monosodium glutamate and some black paper to taste. Allow the wing to cook in the boiling water. When the water has reduced to half add the rest of water and re-season similarly. Taste and add fish sauce or salt if required. In the end you can add some fish balls and some shallot.
If you are a vegetarian to add flavouring you can use dried mushrooms and maize as seasoning.
Bon Appetit Biensure!