Dumplings are up there with one of my favourite foods. They are easy to eat and incredibly moreish, and with more and more Asian yum cha restaurants and dumpling bars popping up around the place, I believe that most people are probably now aware of how delicious and addictive they are.
A historic staple of the Asian diet, dumplings have been made for thousands and thousands of years. With many countries you visit, you will find a signature steamed or fried dumpling filled with the likes of meat, seafood or vegetables. In Japan they have gyoza, in Italy you’ll find ravioli, in India you’ll get samosas and in countries boasting a strong Chinese culture, you’ll find siu mai.
Siu mai dumplings are always on the table if I’ve ordered, but until today, I’ve never attempted to make my own. Typically, siu mai are filled with pork, chicken or prawns, enclosed in a wonton wrapper pastry made from flour, egg, water and salt and steamed. I’ve made a few other types of dumplings before, and these are one of the most simplistic; they require only basic skill to wrap, don’t require fancy kitchenware, and cook in under 10 minutes.
If you don’t have a bamboo steamer at home, you could use any sort of steaming device, however the bamboo baskets are readily available in the masses at your local Asian grocer or from Kmart – if you’re in Australia. This siu mai recipe is a little fancier, with the addition of coriander and spring onions and chilli and what not, but you can omit a few of those as you like to keep the dumpling a little more classic.
Pork & Prawn Siu Mai
- 2 stalks spring onion , roughly chopped
- 1 fresh red chilli , roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic , peeled
- 1 small bunch coriander , leaves and stalks
- 300 g raw prawns , shelled and cleaned
- 500 g pork mince
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp salt
- 30 wonton wrappers
In a food processor, combine spring onion, chilli, garlic and coriander and blitz until finely chopped. Add prawns and process until a paste forms.
In a bowl, add the prawn mixture to the pork mince along with fish sauce and salt. Mix by hand until meat becomes sticky.
Scoop approximately one tablespoon of mixture into the centre of a wonton wrapper, gathering the sides up around the meat. Using a little water, fold and pat down edges of the wonton wrapper.
Line a bamboo steamer basket with baking paper and place 5-6 dumplings. Fill a wok or fry pan with a small amount of water and place on the stove over high heat. When the water is boiling, put covered bamboo steamer with dumplings on top, making sure the water does not touch the baking paper or the dumplings. Steam for 8-9 minutes or until dumplings are cooked through. Serve with chopped spring onion, chilli and soy sauce.
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