Siu Mai (Shumai - Chinese Steamed Dumplings)
Recipe video above. Siu Mai is the first thing you grab off the trolleys when you descend upon your favourite Yum Cha. And now you can get your Siu Mai fix on demand! These Chinese steamed dumplings are filled with a classic pork and prawn filling. Serves 2 - 3 as a main meal, or more as part of a larger spread. Also see Japanese Shumai (smaller, topped with peas!)
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 mins
Servings: 20 - 24 pieces
- 3 dried shiitake mushrooms , soaked in boiling water, finely chopped (Note 1)
- 350g/ 13oz pork mince (ground pork) , fatty (Note 2)
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 2.5 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp light soy sauce (Note 4)
- 1.5 tbsp Chinese cooking wine (aka Shaoxing wine, sub Mirin or dry sherry) (Note 5)
- 150g/5oz prawns/shrimp , peeled and deveined, chopped 0.5cm / 1/5" (Note 3)
- 2 tbsp white part of green onions , finely minced (Note 6)
- 20 - 25 wonton wrappers / egg wrappers 8cm/3.5" squares or rounds (Note 7)
- 50g/1.5oz flying fish roe (Note 8 for alternatives)
Place pork, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, sugar with the pork meat/mince in a large mixing bowl. Mix vigorously with a spoon or use your hands until it becomes pasty (initially it will be crumbly) - about 30 seconds.
Add mushrooms, prawns and green onions, mix until just dispersed (don't crush the prawn meat).
Making Siu Mai (process steps and video helpful!):
Form an "O" with your forefinger and thumb.
Place a wonton wrapper over the "O". Push in 1 heaped teaspoon of Filling and push down into the "O" hole.
Use a butter knife to smear more Filling into until level with edge of wonton.
Place on work surface and push down to flatten base and use fingers to shape into a round.
Line a 30cm/12" bamboo steamer (or stove steamer) with baking paper with holes in it (Note 9)
Fill a wok big enough to hold steamer with about 2 cups of water (Note 10). Bring to rapid simmer over medium high heat.
Place Siu Mai in steamer (20 - 25 fits). Place lid on, place on wok over simmering water.
Steam 8 minutes, or until internal temperature of dumplings is 75°C/165°F. (If yours are bigger due to larger wonton wrappers are bigger, they will take longer).
Remove steamer from wok. Remove lid and place a tiny bit of roe in the middle of each dumpling.
Serve immediate with dipping sauce!
Siu Mai Dipping Sauce:
Provide soy sauce, Chinese black vinegar or normal white vinegar, Chinese chilli paste (or Sriracha or other chilli). Let people mix their own to their taste (I do: 3 parts soy, 1 part vinegar, as much chilli as I think I can handle).
1. Dried shiitake mushrooms - sold in Asian stores and Asian aisle of some grocery stores. Soak for 20 min in large bowl with boiling water. Squeeze out excess water, then finely chop.
2. Pork - fatty is better because fat = flavour and keeps the filling juicy. I like to get it from a butcher and ask them specifically, rather than packets at grocery stores (which tend to be lean). If you want to impress me, get a piece of skinless pork belly and pass it through a mincer or cut into 2.5cm/1" cubes and pulse in food processor to make your own. ;-)
If using your own ground pork belly rather than mince, add 1 small egg white and 1 tsp cornflour into the Filling mixture with the pork to help the mix bind.
CHICKEN could be used too but I highly recommend using a fatty cut (usually chicken mince is lean meat) to ensure filling stays juicy. Ask your butcher to ground chicken thighs with skin on if you can.
3. Prawns (shrimp) - if peeling raw whole ones, you'll need 300g/10oz. Otherwise, use raw peeled one (thaw frozen). Smaller is better if you can, otherwise just chop away (as I do, because I'd rather do that than peel loads of small prawns).
Seafood allergy? Skip it and use more pork!
4. Soy sauce - use Light or normal soy sauce. Don't use dark soy sauce (will stain filling dark colour and flavour is too strong). If you have Dark Soy, bottle will be labelled as such.
5. Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine) - key ingredient in Chinese cooking for that extra depth of flavour and complexity in sauces and fillings. If you can't consume alcohol, sub chicken stock/broth.
6. White part of green onions - also pale green part is ok. Sui Mai doesn't have visible green bits in it.
7. Wonton wrappers - 8cm/3.5" squares or rounds. Sold in Asian section (fridge) of large grocery stores (Coles, Woolies, Harris Farms) and Asian stores. SUB round white gyoza wrappers.
Proper Chinese Yum Cha / Dim Sum restaurants make it with round wrappers, strangely not even sold in Asian stores here in Sydney. It's the same wrappers as the square wonton ones, just cut round.
Don't bother cutting rounds, totally waste of time! Just use the square ones, then use a bit of water to fold the edges down. End result looks EXACTLY the same!
Gluten free option - see if you can find Tapioca white dumpling wrappers (round), they will work beautifully for this! The white dumpling wrappers are the classic wrappers used for Chinese dumplings at Yum Cha / Dim Sum - the ones that become a bit see through once steamed.
8. Flying fish roe (aka tobiko) - tiny little bright orange fish eggs used to garnish Siu Mai. Sold at Asian stores - or buy a couple of fish roe sashimi from the sushi shop and use the roe! SUB finely chopped carrot. It's just visual - too little for flavour!
9. Steamer paper liner with holes in it ("perforated paper liner") - required so they don't stick but steam gets through. Can buy from Asian stores, but I always make my own. Fold sheet of baking/parchment paper in half, quarters, then keep going to form pointy thin triangle. Line pointy end in middle of steamer, then cut the end off (this shapes the paper round). On the folded edge of the triangle, snip out tiny triangles, and snip middle off. Unfold - voila! Steamer liner!
10. Wok size - just needs to be big enough so steamer can sit in it. Mine is JUST big enough - the steamer literally sits 1 cm / 2/5" from top of rim!
11. Microwave steamer (with water) will work too but you lose about 25% juiciness (because you're not just cooking with steam, the microwave is also cooking the meat). 5 minutes on medium heat or until internal temperature of dumplings is 75°C/160°F. Note: If your dumplings are bigger because wonton wrappers are bigger, they will take longer.
12. STORING - 100% perfect for freezing raw! Best to cook from frozen: 11 minutes steaming on stove, 7 minutes microwave steamer on medium.
Cooked wontons can be kept in the fridge for a few days, reheat in steamer or microwave covered for 1 minute on high.
13. Nutrition per dumpling.
Calories: 69kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 33mg | Sodium: 165mg | Potassium: 64mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 15mg | Iron: 1mg