Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Pork Sui Mai

This year my 11 year old son discovered the joy of Dim Sum. Now, while his dad also likes Dim Sum, I can stand some of the dumplings. But sui mai? Sui mai isn’t just a tolerable dumpling, it is like a little packet of joy. Perfect for a snack, a dinner, a treat in lunch.

Well, this month also brought my husband fighting Guillain Barré Syndrome, and a need for little pockets of joy at odd hours. Seemed to me to be a perfect time to learn how to make them. I admit to being intimidated by these little gems. After all, I didn’t have a steamer. The last time I had really delved into Chinese cooking I think I was around 12 and learning from a fellow Girl Scout's mom. Having recently picked up an Instant Pot, which could work as a steamer, a whole new exciting, challenging world was opening up! Best of all, it gave me a chance to play with my son and make these wonderful little gems. The best part was watching my kids and hubby fight over who go to eat these as soon as they came out of the steamer.

While we like traditional Sui Mai, I'm not a big fan of shrimp, so I didn't add that in. I did add in some carrots for sweetness, some radishes for a peppery bite, and the green onions because I love green onions! I also differed and didn't use cabbage leaves underneath the Sui Mai to prevent sticking. I instead used leek leaves, which prevented them sticking, but also added a wonderful flavor.
I hope you enjoy making these as much as I did.


Pork Sui Mai
by T.S. Lamb
Adapted from Serious Eats Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai (Steamed Chinese Dumplings)

1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 Tablespoon baking soda
2 teaspoons rice wine
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon finely grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 carrot, peeled and minced
1 radish, minced
1 green onion, minced
2 leeks, cut in large 3-4 inch sections for layering
1 cup water
1 package extra-thin wonton wrappers or regular wonton wrappers

1 Instant pot with rack

2 Tablespoons Soy sauce
1/8 teaspoon of hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon sugar

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the pork, salt, pepper, cornstarch, baking soda, rice wine, oil, ginger, and sugar. Mix by hand or spatula til thoroughly combined.

Mix in most of the carrots, green onion and radish into the meat mixture.

Refrigerate mix for approximately 15 minutes. When the mix is chilled it is easier to work with.

Prepare the Instant Pot. First put the metal steamer rack on the bottom, then layer leek leaves in a cross hatch pattern on top of the rack. Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the pot.

Take the chilled mixture and the won ton wrappers and form the Sui Mai. Place a won ton wrapper on your palm, take a spoonful of the mixture and place in the center. Pull two opposite corners of the wrapper together. Grasp the base of the Sui Mai with one hand and with the other, using a gentle twisting motion press the wrapper against the pork mixture forming a cylinder.

Now place each Sui Mai in the pot on top of the leek leaves. Leave some space around each bundle. Close the lid, make sure the steam valve is closed, then press the Steam button and set the timer for 3. As soon as it finishes, carefully open the valve and let the steam fully escape. Then open remove and enjoy.

Normally, Sui Mai isn’t served with anything, however...we love sauces in our household. So I’ve included this wonderful sauce. To make, combine the soy sauce, hot sauce and sugar in a small dipping bowl. Enjoy.

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