Pork, Prawn, Mushroom and Bamboo Shoot Siu Mai Recipe

Chef notes

Siu mai is an open-face dumpling with pork and prawn filling usually served in a bamboo basket. A dim sum favorite, siu mai is healthier than other dumplings because they’re steamed instead of fried. Dim sum is a Chinese tradition that came out of the Silk Road, originating from the Guangdong Province (formerly Canton). Teahouses opened up to serve travelers with teas and snacks served in bamboo baskets, giving them their “yum cha” break.

The first time I tried dim sum was in Hong Kong when I was about 13. My father took my brother and me on a trip to visit my aunt. I remember been woken up at early hours and we were taken to a bright, colorful restaurant in Kowloon Bay. It was a Sunday morning and we proceeded to eat our way through plates and baskets full of delicacies wheeled to us on trolleys. It was such a joyous breakfast and lunch experience, we didn’t leave until noon! Whenever I make this recipe, it takes me back to Hong Kong. These are famous the world over, sometimes made with pork and mushroom, but my favorite ones are with added prawns and bamboo shoots.

Technique tip: Dice the prawns roughly so that they cook at the same time as the minced pork without being overcooked and still retaining a juicy bite. To ensure the dumplings don’t open up, make sure you twist well and use water to dab along the edges of the wonton wrapper so they stick to the filling. You can trim off any excess wrapper with a pair of scissors.

Swap option: You can use minced chicken or fish instead of pork.

Special equipment: Bamboo steamer, steamer rack, wok, greaseproof paper, wok lid, chopsticks and scissors.

Preparation

For the siu mai:

1.

Mix all the ingredients well (except the wonton wrapper) using your hands and leave uncovered in the fridge for 30 minutes.

2.

Remove the mix from the fridge and remove any excess water. Using a pair of chopsticks, mix the mixture in clockwise direction until sticky (this helps to improve the texture and bind all the flavors together; you can also use your hands).

3.

Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wonton wrapper. Then gather the sides of the wonton wrapper and mold the filling into a ball shape, leaving the center unwrapped. Fold down any excess and, using a pair of scissors, cut away any excess wonton wrapper. The siu mai should have a flat bottom, open at the top, nipped at the waist and be filled to the top of the wrapper.

4.

Place greaseproof paper on a steamer rack, place the dumplings on top of some carrot slices, place rack in a wok halfway filled with water, place the wok lid on top and steam on medium-high heat for about 10 to 12 minutes, until cooked through.

For the vinegar-soy dressing:

In a small bowl, add all the ingredients and stir well to combine.

To serve:

Serve the steamed dumplings with vinegar-soy dressing or your favorite chile sauce.

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