Monday 19 March 2018

Pork open top dumplings

Sui Mai
Sui Mai

Helen and Lisa Tse

Pork Open Top DumplingsOur grandmother, Lily, loved joining her father when he went off to sell his soy sauce to the restaurants back in the 1920s. Our great-grandfather made his own cart to transport his barrels of soy sauce. It was heavy yet functional and was pulled by him and Lily, who ran alongside her father tantalised by the blur of lights, shapes, people and noise.

When they finally arrived at their destination, she was often treated to free siu mai, which she gladly accepted, calling it 'a little piece of Heaven' as the meat, Chinese mushrooms and delicate pastry were so delicious.

I love siu mai and this is my own personal take, adapted from the recipe of the Hong Kong chef who trained me.

Use crab roe to garnish for the ultimate luxury, although if you are just making these for a week night dinner you can use finely grated carrot.

Use gluten-free wrappers

Dairy-free, egg-free

Makes approximately 12

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes


200g minced pork

100g raw, peeled king prawns, coarsely chopped

½ tsp salt

½ tsp sugar

Pinch of black pepper

1 tbsp potato starch

1 drop of sesame oil

2 tbsps water

10 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in boiling water for 15 minutes then finely chopped

1 tsp dried finely grated orange peel

12 wonton skins, corners trimmed so they are roughly circular

Lisa's tip: Before steaming, oil the plate with a dab of vegetable oil and set each siu mai apart from one another, otherwise they will stick together when they steam and cook.


Put the minced pork and chopped prawns in a bowl and mash together with a spoon until well blended. Don't use a food-processor for this as you still want to retain some texture.

Add the salt, sugar, pepper, potato starch, sesame oil and water and continue to lightly mash the ingredients together. Finally add the chopped Chinese mushrooms and orange peel, mixing well. The mixture is ready when everything is well blended and the mixture sticks to the spoon.

To assemble the dumplings, take one trimmed wonton skin and place it into a cupped hand. Scoop 1 tbsp of the filling into the wonton skin. Move the dumpling between the thumb and index finger and continue scooping in more filling until it appears full.

Begin to turn the dumpling using your thumb and index finger and mould it into the siu mai shape. Repeat with the remaining skins.

Lightly grease a heatproof plate with oil and arrange the siu mai on top.

To cook the siu mai, carefully place the plate of dumplings inside a preheated steamer and steam for 15 minutes.

If you don't have a steamer, you can use a wok instead.

Irish Independent

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