Siu Mai, Shao Mai, or Steamed Meat Dumplings is one of the most popular Dim Sum dumpling. The main ingredients for this dumpling consists of pork, prawns, MSG, lard, and dried sole fish powder. In my home made recipe, I decided to omit the unhealthy bits, i.e. lard and MSG. As for the dried sole fish powder, you can purchase the dried sole fish from any Chinese medicinal shop; but, you would then have to grill and grind it to a fine powder yourself. If that’s clearly too much work, then I think a good substitute for it would be fish sauce.
Anyway, the bottom layer of the dumpling consists of the pork and prawns mixture, and the top layer is usually filled with prawns and topped off with some fish or prawn roe and/or green peas for garnishing. So, I have included two “home-style” pictorial guides to wrap the dumplings. The picture quality is not as good due to the gloomy Fall weather in Vancouver and the normal lightings in my kitchen. Nevertheless, I think you will get the basic idea. This is a “home-style” recipe after all, right? :-)
Siu Mai, Shao Mai - Steamed Meat Dumplings
1 Packet Wonton Wrappers (40 pcs)
Shrimp or Fish Roe
Fresh or Frozen Green Peas
Meat Filling – Bottom Layer
300 g Ground Pork (preferably with 15% fat)
150 g Peeled White Prawns, minced
2 Water Chestnuts, finely or chopped
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Shaoxing Rice Wine
2 tsp Sesame Oil
1 ½ Tbsp Sugar
1 ½ tsp Dried Sole Fish Powder or 2 tsp Fish Sauce
½ tsp White Pepper
1 tsp Sea Salt
1 Tbsp Corn Flour
½ of Egg White
Prawn Filling – Top Layer
250 g Peeled White Prawns, minced
1 tsp Sesame Oil
2 tsp Sugar
2 tsp Corn Flour
¼ tsp Sea Salt
½ of Egg White
Mix the filling mixture in a blender with a paddle attachment until well combine or mix with your hand. (Using a rubber glove) Refrigerate both filling mixtures for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Step 1: Cut the wonton wrapper with a cookie cutter or trim the edges with a small knife.
Step 2: Place the wonton wrapper into a small tea cup and place about 2 ½ tsp to 1 Tbsp of meat filling into the center of the wrapper. Then top with 1 ½ tsp of Prawn filling.
Step 3: Remove the dumpling from the tea cup and gather the edges together with your thumb and index finger, lightly squeeze it to form a “waist” (Siu Mai shape) and press down so that the filling is compact.
Place 1 Tbsp of meat filling in the center of a square wonton wrapper. Then top with 1 ½ tsp of prawn filling. Gather the edges of the wrapper with your thumb and index finger to make a waist. Press down so that the filling is compact.
Step 4: Use your finger or small knife to smooth the surface with a little water. Then place green pea or shrimp roe on top of the surface.
Step 5: Place the dumplings in a steamer lined with greaseproof paper and steam for about 15 minutes. Serve immediately.