Every Thursday on the Good Food Blog we share a recipe from our archives.
Andrea Nguyen is the author of Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas and More. She recommends starting with a basic wrapper recipe using water and All-purpose flour. She uses a tortilla press to flatten the small balls of dough, and a dowel-like stick as a rolling pin. She first shared this recipe for Siu Mai Open-Faced Dumplings on January 16, 2010.
Keep reading for the full recipe…
Siu Mai Open-Faced Dumplings
Makes 30 dumplings, serving 6 to 8 as a snack
2/3 lb coarsely ground pork, fattier kind preferred, coarsely chopped to loosen
4 large dried shiitake mushrooms, reconstituted (see page 13), stemmed, and chopped (1/2 cup)
Generous 1/4 cup finely diced water chestnuts (fresh preferred)
3 Tablespoons finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
1/4 tsp salt
Generous 1 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon light (regular) soy sauce
1 Tablespoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
11/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 large egg white, beaten
30 small round siu mai skins
11/2 Tablespoons finely diced carrot, or 30 peas, for garnish
Light (regular) soy sauce
Chinese hot mustard or Colman’s English mustard
To make the filling, in a bowl, combine the pork, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and scallions. Use a fork or spatula to stir and lightly mash the ingredients together so they begin to blend.
Put the salt, sugar, white pepper, cornstarch, soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and egg white into a small bowl and stir to combine well. Pour over the meat mixture, and stir, fold, and mash everything together until they cohere into a compact mass. Cover the filling with plastic wrap and set aside for 30 minutes, or refrigerate overnight, returning it to room temperature before assembling the dumplings. You should have a generous 2 cups of filling.
Before assembling the dumplings, line steamer trays and/or a baking sheet with parchment paper. For the baking sheet, lightly dust the paper with cornstarch to prevent sticking. Set aside. Hold a skin in one hand. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of filling with a bamboo dumpling spatula, dinner knife, or fork and position it in the center of the skin, pressing down gently. Pick up the skin and gather and pinch it together to form an open bag. Crown the dumpling with some finely diced carrot or a pea.
If steaming right away, place each finished dumpling in a steamer tray open side up, spacing them 1/2 inch apart, and 1 inch away from the edge if you are using a metal steamer. Otherwise, place the waiting dumplings on the baking sheet a good 1/2 inch apart.
Keeping the finished dumplings covered with a dry kitchen towel to prevent drying, form and fill wrappers from the remaining dough. Dumplings made several hours in advance of cooking should be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated. For longer storage, freeze them on their baking sheet until hard (about 1 hour), transfer them to a plastic container, and keep them frozen for up to 1 month; partially thaw them before steaming.
To cook, steam the dumplings over boiling water for 6 to 8 minutes, until the dumplings have puffed slightly and their skins have become translucent. Remove each tray and place it atop a serving plate.
Serve immediately with the soy sauce and hot mustard. Invite guests to mix up their own dipping sauce.