Siu Mai (Open-Face Pork and Shrimp Dumplings)
This recipe is an adaptation of one in <em>The Key to Chinese Cooking</em> by Irene Kuo.
Yield: makes 2 Dozen
- 6 whole leaves plus 1 packed cup finely chopped napa cabbage
- 24 frozen peas, thawed
- 1 tsp. plus 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 3⁄4 tsp. salt
- 3⁄4 lb. ground pork
- 2 Tbsp. shaoxing jiu (Chinese rice wine)
- 2 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 1⁄2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 Tbsp. finely chopped ginger
- 1⁄4 tsp. sugar
- 5 medium shelled deveined shrimp (about 2 oz.), finely chopped
- 4 canned drained water chestnuts, finely chopped
- 1 scallion, finely chopped
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 24 round thin 3 1⁄2" Hong Kong-style dumpling wrappers
- Line 3 stacking 10" bamboo steamers with napa cabbage leaves; set aside. Toss peas with 1 tsp. cornstarch; set aside. Combine chopped cabbage and 1⁄2 tsp. salt in a bowl; set aside to let rest for 5 minutes. Squeeze cabbage dry; transfer to a large bowl. Stir together remaining cornstarch with 3 tbsp. water; add to cabbage with remaining salt, pork, rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, sugar, shrimp, water chestnuts, scallions, and pepper. Stir filling mixture until it reaches a pastelike consistency.
- Lay 1 wrapper across the flattened palm of one hand. Put 1 tbsp. filling in center of wrapper. Close fingers around wrapper, gathering up edges, to form a "basket" with loosely pleated sides. Gently squeeze sides, pressing in the pleats to seal them. Gently drop dumpling on a flat surface to flatten the bottom. Work fingers gently around the edges to even out its shape. Use a knife to pat down any filling that protrudes above top of wrapper. Top with 1 pea and put in one of the steamers. Repeat to make 24 dumplings.
- Stack steamers, cover with lid, and put into a wok. Pour water into wok until just high enough to show around edges of the bottom steamer but not high enough to touch the dumplings inside. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Steam dumplings, replenishing water if necessary, until cooked through, 15–20 minutes. Serve with soy sauce, if you like.