Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Mutton Sio Mai

Mutton Sio Mai

We are a big fan of dim sum restaurants and once in a while at home we crave for it. The key to a tasty dim sum dumplings is to cook with a bamboo steamer. I have tried doing it in my metal steamer, there’s nothing like it with a bamboo steamer! It’s the flavor and the aroma that has stucked into it that gives a special touch. In my quest to find a bamboo steamer, I’ve been to china town, but wasn’t successful. I’ve seen huge gigantic bamboo steamer which is not what I’m looking to buy! Not until now, a colleague of hubby was kind enough to buy it for us, and we are very pleased to have a medium sized bamboo steamer in four layers. We just got it last night and we wanted to try it right away! Just in time, I have frozen dumpling wrapper which have been sitting in the freezer for quite some time now, But the available minced meat I have is mutton and mutton only! I haven’t had mutton sio mai in my life, but that didn’t leave me any much choice but to try making mutton sio mai. My imagination had worked fantastically with the flavors, hence I put spices that I haven’t used with chicken or pork dumplings. I added chili onion, mushrooms which worked out just well!

¼ Kg minced mutton
1 can button mushrooms (diced finely)
1 large white onion (diced finely)
1 red chili (diced finely)
1 green chili (diced finely)
6 Tbsp. Soy sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
2 Tbsp. corn starch

Soy Sauce:
¼ C. Soy sauce
2 Calamanci (small lime)
½ tsp. Sesame Oil


Prepare all the ingredients and place everything in a mixing bowl. Mix vigorously with your hand, you may wish to use plastic gloves, as I did, until all the flavors have been blended together. Let it stand for about 10 minutes that the flavors will develop nicely.

Place 1 teaspoon of meat mixture at the center of each dumpling wrapper, pat with water around the meat using your finger. Gather the edges of the wrapper up forming pleated raffles. Tap on the table to flatten the bottom of the siomai and squeeze a little just before the edge of the wrapper, leaving a little meat exposed. Do this until all the meat mixtures have been wrapped, then you are ready to steam.

To use the bamboo steamer, place about an inch deep of water in a large woke, taking care that the water should not get out of the rims of the steamer. This is important to keep the steam inside the bamboo steamer. Bring the water to boil and reduce the heat when it is bubbling already. Brush with the base of the bamboo steamer to avoid the dumplings sticking onto it. Place the dumplings in each base keeping a little distance in between each dumpling.

Stack the bamboo steamer over the simmering water and cover the last layer.

Cook for 15 minutes. Serve with soy sauce.

This siomai is just perfect to our taste, and I shall do it again! It’s even better than what I have tasted in the food court of KLCC which was a little bit commercialized, I should say.

Hubby was so impatient infusing flavor and aroma with the new bamboo steamer, he steamed by adding onion, garlic to the water instead of just plain water, I find it a brilliant idea. Hence, now we have a bamboo steamer that smells like it is used since a long time.

I have posted Chicken Siomai long time back, say 2 years ago, when we were in Angola. I did it quite differently as I have to settle what I can find there, and I even used bread crumbs coz I cant find cornstarch in the supermarket, and I remember there is no available sio mai wrapper there, so I used the spring roll wrapper instead and cut them into small pieces. Those were the days when I was living in (T.I.A.) which means “This Is Africa”. I tell you, it was not easy!
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