Now that you have a lovely Asian Inspired Table, you need some food for it. I have been working on Asian inspired recipes and I have three new ones for you. Today, my take on a Chinese shumai, a steamed dumpling open at the top instead of completely encased in the wrapper. I thought this was a good time to show a new recipe for Chinese New Year coming up on the 16th. The shumai in Japan are made only from shrimp, while the Chinese use pork or different types of seafood. The Chinese chop the filling, while the Japanese form is ground to a paste. These are really easy to make, and this recipe is a good size for two. It will take a bit of effort, but truly, it only takes about 15 minutes to make the shumai, and then another 20-25 to steam them.
I found that chopping the ingredients made a little meatball out of the filling, which was fine except that the wrapper fell off as it was served. These little bowls were perfect to serve, a great thrift store find last summer. Set on gold square plates, they have an Oriental vibe.
I went with the Japanese method of making a paste, and the addition of an egg solved the meatball problem. I have made these a half dozen times trying to get the recipe just right. These plates are melamine, another thrift store score perfect for outdoor meals on the verandah. The shumai are between the broccoli and the chopsticks. This time I took a few extra wrappers and made some mushroom won-tons to go with the shumai. The sauces in the divided dish are teriyaki, soy, and horseradish as I didn’t have any wasabi. I used an ice cream scoop to serve the rice so it has the same shape as what you get in a restaurant.
Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut your won-ton wrappers into rounds. One note here, I tried several different brands of oyster sauce, and this one was by far the best – Ka-me Oyster Sauce. Don’t be afraid of this, it doesn’t taste anything like oysters. It is a richly umami flavor more like a very thick beefy sauce, with a bit of a salty taste.
Place about 4 ounces of ground pork and an egg in a food processor or blender, and process until you have a paste.
Add the other ingredients and pulse a few times. I then transferred the mixture to a bowl just for ease of working with it.
Place a small amount of filling on a won-ton wrapper, moisten the edges with water, and begin pinching pleats into the sides.
I put five pleats in each one. It sounds really labor intensive, but it really didn’t take that long. Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast – just spoon, pinch, place. Place the shumai on a piece of parchment paper in a bamboo steamer. You can also use lettuce leaves. Whichever you choose will keep the food from sticking to the bamboo. I add a few frozen potstickers to the steamer to add another element to the meal.
Steam the shumai about 20-25 minutes total, until the temperature inside reaches 170º-180º.
After about 10-12 minutes, add your vegetables in the second bamboo basket and place on top of the shumai basket.
Cover and continue steaming about 7-8 more minutes until done. I found this two level bamboo steamer at the thrift store too, LOL!! Hint, use a deep pan for boiling the water, it goes quickly and you don’t want it to dry out before the food is done.
Meanwhile, cook the rice as it also takes about 20 minutes. I like to use Jasmine rice or sticky sushi rice.
Another tasty addition for the meal is mini-egg rolls found in the frozen section of the grocery store. These bake in the oven while the shumai steam.
Using two frozen items plus the fresh steamed veggies, rice and shumai makes a lovely complex meal that looks like it took way more time than it actually did. From the beginning of set up to end of cooking time was only 45 minutes. On this occasion, I used my Oriental soup spoons to hold two sauces, one is soy the other is teriyaki. These spoons really give an Asian feel to the plate, and they are only 99 cents at World Market (no affiliation, just a happy customer).
If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, a regular veggie steamer will do just as well.
The last batch I made were topped with the green onion rather than incorporating them into the paste. I liked this way the best. The recipe makes about 15-16 shumai, enough for two with a few left over. If you left off the potstickers you probably wouldn’t have any left over.
15-16 won-ton wrappers
4 ounces ground pork
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2-3 chopped green onions
Optional – 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder or 1 teaspoon sirracha sauce
Using a round biscuit cutter, cut the won-ton wrappers into rounds and set aside under a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out. Place ground pork and egg in a food processor or blender, process until smooth. Add oyster sauce, carrot, onion powder and mix well. Add optional ingredients if you like. Spoon small teaspoon of filling into middle of won-ton round, moisten the edge with water and pinch five pleats into the edge creating a little bowl shape. Place in steamer basket. Repeat for all wrappers using all the filling. Top with chopped green onion. Steam for 20-25 minutes until temperature reaches 170-180 degrees. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.
Download a pdf – Shumai
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Are you a fan of Asian food?