After making the dumpling skins (Part 1) from the cookbook Asian Dumplings (Amazon.ca), the next day I began working on making the filling and bringing everything together.
Making the Siu Mai Open-Faced Dumplings
You will need 1/4 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp white pepper (I used black), 1 tbsp cornstarch, 1 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry and…
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil and a beaten egg. Mix together.
Pour over 2/3 lb coarsely ground pork.
The pork was supposed to already be mixed with 4 large dried reconstituted shiitake mushrooms, chopped, 1/4 finely diced water chestnuts (I can’t get any right now) and 3 tbsp finely chopped scallions. I added it at this point, mixed together and then “smooshed” everything together so it was combined well.
You will also need 1 1/2 tbsp finely diced carrots. I got out my homemade dumpling skins and lined a bamboo steamer with parchment paper. If you want to use wonton wrappers instead, go for it.
My mini ice cream scoop worked perfectly for dividing the filling.
I LOVE that the cookbook Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More has illustrations in it for making the dumplings! From triangles to nurse’s caps to flower buds…
I used the “open bag” technique for completing the dumpling. I gently pressed the filling on the dough, brought up the sides of the skin and pressed. I gathered and pinched the dumpling, rotating as I worked and then wrapped my fingers around it and secure it together. Click here to see the illustration.
I would have taken photographs but my hands were covered in pork goo.
I put the dumplings in the steamer and gave them lots of space.
Then I topped them with 3 pieces of diced carrots.
I made sure that the water in my Dutch oven was at a full rolling boil and then topped it with the steamer.
I steamed them for 8 minutes until the dumplings puffed and the skins became translucent.
So pretty! So perfect! They actually looked very similar to the photo in the book. This made me very happy.
The only problem? I am a sauce junkie. The only thing better than a dumpling is having a stunning sauce to dunk it in. This is where the recipe let me down. It said to combine light soy sauce and hot mustard. Did not say how much of either so no real recipe.
I don’t get it. The recipe goes into so much details about everything else but then the sauce is ambiguous?
I did not have hot mustard so I just used soy sauce. The dumpling was very good but the sweetness of the pork did need some heat from the sauce. All I got was salt. All that work and with one missed component, the balance was not there. Which was partially my fault. I should have gotten some hot mustard.
Are these worth making?! Damn straight! And I loved making my own dumpling dough. So smart to season the dough with salt since the skins were going to be steamed. According to the cookbook, these dumplings “are a requisite part of the Cantonese dim sum repertoire” and I can see why. Filling, delicious and when made properly, probably very balanced. I missed the crunch the water chestnuts would have brought. Superstore, why have you stopped getting water chestnuts?!
If you make these, follow the directions exactly, you will not be sorry. Even though my dumplings were flawed, they were still absolutely amazing. If you do not want to make your own dumpling dough, just get some wantons and make the filling. What an impressive treat to share with friends! Or eat them all in one sitting like I did. Yum.
Wow Suzie, what a dumpling adventure! I am so impressed that you made everything from scratch and that it was totally worth it in the end. I hope you ended up finding, or making, a good sauce for them! The few times I’ve had dumplings I’ve just had them with soy sauce but I think with all that attention along the way, having a special sauce to finish them off makes a lot of sense.
Suzie Ridler says
Thanks Shannon! It was so cool to make absolutely everything, even though it took days. Very gratifying. It’s true, I think soy sauce is the traditional dipping sauce for most dumplings. I wonder if Dijon mustard would be considered hot mustard?!
Debra She Who Seeks says
Mmmm, they DO look good! And your first photo of them on the oriental plate looks VERY professional!
Suzie Ridler says
Awww… thanks you Debra! That means so much to me. I really wanted to do them honour and show them off.