Watch this professional dumpling chef make siu mai. He applies the filling as if it’s a spread so that it will stick to the wrapper and minimize air bubbles (which cause the wrapper to fall away from the filling). He rotates the siu mai in his hands as he uses the blade of his spreader to add more filling and to compact it into the wrapper.
‘Team Dumpling’ was a group of 10 who worked with me to make about 100 dumplings in just 2 hours for the 60+ attendees of the Professional Development Day at Stephanie Alexander’s Kitchen Garden Foundation. Stay calm & make dumplings!
Five Spice Beef Wonton Filling – makes about 50 wontons
” T ” is my abbreviation for tablespoon.
1 teaspoon freshly ground blk pepper
1 T 5 spice powder (from Gewurzhaus http://www.gewurzhaus.com.au)
pinch of salt
2 T light soy sauce
1.5 T dark soy sauce
1 T Shao xing wine
1 T oyster sauce
¼ cup spring onions (2 stalks) green and white parts, coarsely chopped
1 T Vietnamese mint, chopped finely
1 T mint leaves, chopped finely
1 T Perilla, chopped finely
1 heaping cup jicama peeled, cut into little cubes (don’t use food processor as that turns the jicama into mush)
2 teaspoons ginger peeled, finely minced
2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
500 grams organic beef mince (Aldi’s)
You will need about 80 Wonton wrappers – 1 kilo pack has about 130 wrappers (” Gold Star ” brand)
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the ingredients in the order in which they are listed, adding the beef last. Blend gently with your hand, fingers apart (like your hand is a claw) and blend only in one direction (so that you do not break the meat fibres. Don’t squish the filling with your hands.
Transfer the filling into 4 or so smaller bowls and cover. Chill the filling in the refrigerator for about an hour. Remove only one bowl at a time when you are ready to wrap the filling using the wonton wrappers.
If you are not cooking them right away, store them in the freezer for up to 2 months. To do so, place the made wonton so that are not touching each other on a tray that has been sprinkled with cornflour/corn starch. Place the tray into the freezer. When the wonton have hardened, place them into freezer bags and seal well. They do not need to be thawed out – just pop them straight into a pot of boiling water.
To cook either fresh or frozen wonton- bring a pot of water to boil. There should be enough water so that the wonton can float about. When the water boils, drop in your wonton. They will start to float to the top of the water’s edge and then resume boiling. At this stage, lower the flame so that the water is at a gentle boil (not a raging boil). If wonton were freshly made, you can remove them from the boiling water after a couple of minutes. If the wonton were frozen, give them an extra minutes.
Use a slotted or mesh spoon to lift them out of the water and into a bowl. Add a little of the boiling water to the bowl to keep the wonton from sticking. For each serving, 8 -10 is a meal, 4 to 6 is entree/starter size.
To serve in soup: heat up some soup stock and add to each bowl in which you have already placed the wonton and some blanched vegetables. Vegetables such as Napa cabbage cut into chunks or string beans are good.
To serve on a platter (without soup): place sprigs of coriander on the platter and place the wonton on top. Sprinkle with snow peas that you have julienned (narrow strips) and blanched for about 30 seconds in boiling water. Then add a sprinkle of black sesame seeds, a few drops of chili oil and some Sichuan pepper corns (crushed and lightly dry roasted in a pan).
Recipe: Pork & Lemongrass wonton filling
1 kilo pork mince
1/2 cup jicama, finely diced by hand * (or 1/2 cup chopped water chestnuts, fresh or canned)
1 tablespoon of dried Lemongrass from Gewurzhaus (or 2 stalks finely mince the white part only)
1 1/4 tsp of Gewurzhaus chili salt (or 1 tsp of salt + 1/4 tsp of dried red pepper flakes )
3 cloves garlic – smashed and chopped
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1/2 tsp of freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp light brown sugar
3 tablespoons of fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tablespoons of fresh lime juice
(add this last) 1 heaping tablespoon of corn flour (also known as cornstarch)