Friday, May 6, 2011

Siomai or Shumai: Steamed Pork & Shrimp Dumplings


Confused as I am about how its spelled? There are a lot more, just try to Google "siomai". Apparently there are a number of ways to spell "siomai" as to how many variations it has. Siomai recipes varies from region to region and from country to country. 

The term "siomai" or in the traditional Chinese  or 烧卖 in simplified Chinese, literally means to cook and sell. So I guess you might want to double check on your Chinese character tattoo if the someone played a prank on you. :p

Seriously, siomai dumplings are pretty easy to cook. Just combine everything into a paste, fill the siomai wrapper then steam.You don't really need to have a bamboo steamer, I'm using a aluminum round pan and a metal steamer. You can even use a makeshift steamer using a large deep pot and any heatproof dish small enough to fit into the pot.

Here's a staple recipe in our kitchen, this usually comes out during Sunday dinner paired with a noodle dish. Feel free to modify to you taste. The pictures below may look a bit gross because of the raw meat, but that's how burgers start, right?


*makes about 30 pieces 
2 cups ground pork with 1:3 ratio of meat to fat
1 cup minced jicama (singkamas)
1/2 cup chopped shrimps
1/3 cup chopped shitake mushrooms
1/4 cup minced carrots
1/4 cup minced chinese sausage (la chang)
2 tbsp minced scallions + 1 tbsp for topping
1 tbsp minced ginger root
7 tbsp of sesame oil
3 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tsp accord powder
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 egg
Siomai wrapper

1. Except the siomai wrapper, combine everything in a large bowl using your hands or in a food processor.
2. Once well combined, prepare you siomai wrapper. Scoop in about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture on the center of the siomai wrapper and shape. See picture above on basic siomai shaping.
3. Arrange in a pan and steam for 15-20 minutes, depending on the size of the size of the siomai. Do not over steam as it will result to mushy dumplings. Serve hot with soy sauce and calmondin with Chinese chili-garlic sauce.

My mom's kick-ass family-of-6 steamer. LOL! I think this was my grandmother's.

See? A 3-step process. Though I'm not going to lie to you, this is one of my fave food but all the chopping and mincing of ingredients can be tiresome. So get someone to help you out, I think kids would like to help you shape the siomai like my nephew did. Just give them instructions and make sure have them wash their hands after.

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