Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Pork & Shrimp Dumplings (Shao Mao or Siu Mai)

So this is the staple steamed pork and shrimp dumpling that you'll find at every and any dim sum restaurant around. In Mandarin it's called 'Shao Mai' and in Cantonese, 'Siu Mai.'  It's relatively easy to make, especially after your first attempt (aren't most recipes that way?). The fresher the shrimp, the better, and if you can find 'Shao Mai' wrappers at your local Asian market, well then, fantastic! Otherwise, regular square wonton wrappers will do - just trim off those square corners to make them more round, and voila! Lastly, DO NOT OVERCOOK these guys. I steam them over high heat for about 4-5 minutes only and let them rest a couple more minutes (off the heat) before serving. Shao Mai can be made in advance and frozen in a ziploc bag in a single layer, so they don't stick together. 


Ingredients:
4-6 dried shiitake mushrooms (more, if the shiitakes are small), soaked in hot water to reconstitute, stem removed & diced
1 lb. ground pork
1 lb. deveined, peeled and coarsely chopped raw shrimp (first prepped according to this technique: http://thegrubfiles.blogspot.com/2015/01/how-to-make-your-shrimp-bouncy-by-bee.html)
1 8-oz. can water chestnuts, finely chopped
1 tbsp. sesame oil
2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. Shaohsing or Michiu rice wine
2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. white pepper
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fresh ginger, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped


1 pkg. Shao Mai or wonton wrappers
Condiments: chili garlic sauce, Chinese mustard, and/or light soy sauce


1. Combine all ingredients for filling in a medium bowl. Mix well by hand. Cover and refrigerate filling 30 minutes to 2 hours to let the flavors blend.


2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper; set aside. 


3. Fill a small bowl with water. Place a shao mai wrapper in the center of your palm and scoop one heaping tablespoon of filling in the center. Then, dip the index finger of your free hand into the bowl of water and blot the outer edges of the shao mai wrapper with water (this will help it adhere to the filling). Slowly, fold up and twist the wrapper, just a tad counterclockwise, around the filling, then tamp the bottom of the dumpling down on a flat surface, such as a cutting board, to make it flat. Place the finished dumpling on the lined baking sheet. Continue making dumplings until all the filling is used up - should make a total of about 45 dumplings.


4. Spray the bottom of a perforated steamer with non-stick cooking spray. Line with dumplings and steam over high heat about 4-5 minutes. Remove the steamer tray from heat and let the dumplings sit a couple minutes before serving. Serve hot with chili garlic sauce, Chinese mustard and/or light soy sauce on the side.


Reconstitute the dried shiitakes in hot water.

Chopped water chestnuts, scallions, shiitakes & ginger.

Coarsely chop the fresh shrimp.

Combine all filling ingredients.

Mix together well by hand.

White pepper, cornstarch, soy sauce, Shaohsing rice wine, sesame oil.

Shao Mai (or Shu Mai here) wrappers.

Place wrapper on your palm and fill center with a heaping spoon of filling.

Using the index finger of your other hand, wet the edges of the wrapper with water, then start to gather up the wrapper, in a slightly counterclockwise motion, around the filling.

These are open-faced dumplings, so leave the tops exposed. Tamp the bottom of the dumpling down on a flat surface, such as a chopping board, so that it will stand up better. 


Place completed dumplings on a parchment or foil-lined baking sheet.

Steam dumplings, covered, over high heat, 4-5 minutes or until just done. Remove the steamer basket away from the heat, so that the dumplings don't continue cooking (overcooking makes the filling tough), and let stand a couple minutes before serving. 

Served with chili garlic sauce and Chinese mustard.

Served with chili garlic sauce and light soy sauce.



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