Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dim Sum for Lunch

Although my favorite place for dim sum is Ocean Palace (lunch only), I wanted to try to make some myself. I went for pork siu mai for my first try, and they turned out really good! I followed this recipe, but cut it in half since I didn't need so much food for me alone:

3 dried Chinese black or Shiitake mushrooms
6 ounces peeled deveined large shrimp
1 green onion
1 teaspoon minced ginger
3/4 cup ground pork
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
about 20 gyoza wrappers (or won ton wrappers cut into circles).
Soften the mushrooms by soaking in hot water for 20 to 30 minutes. Squeeze out any excess water. Cut off the stems.

Soak the shrimp in warm, lightly salted water for 5 minutes. Pat dry. Mince the mushrooms, shrimp, and green onion. Combine with the ginger and pork. Stir in the seasonings. Mix the filling ingredients thoroughly.

Lay a gyoza wrapper in front of you. Wet the edges. Put 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling in the middle, taking care not to get too close to the edges. Gather up the edges of the wrapper and gently pleat so that it forms a basket shape, with the top of the filling exposed.

Steam over boiling water until the filling is cooked through (5 to 10 minutes).

I used fresh mushrooms instead of dried so I wouldn't have to go through the soaking process. Shiitake worked really well for me. I also have a bamboo steamer for my wok, so the steaming process took longer, but I think they turned out better for it. The baskets are fairly inexpensive and can be found all over like Cost Plus or Bed Bath & Beyond, or even Target. I lined my steamer with lettuce leaves (cabbage leaves are typically used). My steamer is two-tiered, so I let the bottom tier steam for 30 minutes, and then ate while the top tier steamed for about another 8 to 10 minutes or so. I sliced some fresh cucumber with peppercorn ranch dressing as a side, and had some loose-leaf Jasmine tea with my lunch. The loose tea is best with more fragrant teas like chamomile, jasmine, or any flower teas. My favorite is the Republic of Tea Jasmine Jazz.