When it gets stressful at work, I turn to activities that don’t require much thinking. Surprisingly, I discovered that making pork dumplings, or siu mai, is the culinary equivalent of those no-brainer-relaxing-activities (and food) that I crave for once in a while. Siu mai, or siomai, can be found just about anywhere- every street corner, every food court, and I’m sure in every city in the Philippines! They’re the local equivalent of hotdog stands. They’re easy to eat, easy to find, and most likely filled with questionable meat (if there’s meat at all) and countless extenders. So why not make a big batch at home, freeze-and-steam anytime!
Hence, the cabbage in this photo.
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon ginger, minced
1 tablespoons leek, minced
1/2 kilo lean ground pork
2 cups cabbage, shredded (sprinkle with a tsp. of rock salt and let stand 20 minutes)
1 tablespoon rice wine
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon rock salt
1 teaspoon ground pepper
45 Molo wrappers (it’s important to use a qood quality wrapper- locally I used Marby brand export quality wrappers)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili paste
1 teaspoon sesame oil
Squeeze cabbage to remove excess moisture. Place in a bowl and mix in all ingredients. Mound about a tablespoon of filling in center of each wrapper. Gather edge of wrapper around side of filling, pleating wrapper to form a cup, and twist a bit to enclose the top. This portioning will make around 40-45 dumplings. Oil waxed paper and place on bamboo steamer. Fill a wok with with enough water to reach the bottom edge of a steamer tray and bring to a boil. Place dumplings on steamer about 1/4 inch apart from each other. Make holes on the waxed paper to let the steam circulate. Steam over moderate heat for at least 10 minutes until wrapper is translucent and filling is cooked through. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
Note: Dumplings can be formed and and steamed up to 1 day ahead. Cool completely then refrigerate covered. They can also be frozen for up to 1 week. Do not thaw if frozen when steaming.