Sunday, July 4, 2021

Filipino Shao Mai ( Siomai )


Back home, Siomai or dumplings is one of my favorite comfort food. It is of Chinese origin and already a classic food in Filipino Cuisine. Dumplings are in different varieties such as Pork, Beef, Seafood or mixed ingredients in one. Well, our cuisine is not only influenced by the Spaniards, another great one is Chinese Cuisine. Surprisingly many people are amazed to discover that Filipinos are of different features. Come to the Philippines and you will see Chinitas (Chinitos), Mestizas (Mestizos) and the typical Filipinos with brown complexion. Nowadays there are more of us with different features because of inter racial marriages with Filipinos. My best friend when I was in college is a Chinese guy, I haven't seen him for two decades already. I remember their kitchen and the food, the familiar scent of Chinese stew with boiled eggs and the very tender meat.

Chinese cuisine has great influence not only in our food but also with our culture and tradition. There is a great number of Chinoy ( Chinese Filipinos) population too. We even have our famous Divisoria and Binondo ( our China Town ). These two places are Chinese populated areas, they live and do business there. If you happen to visit our country, then try to consider these places. You might want to enjoy Chinese food, buy some native collections, take a caleza ride, buy some cloths..or just walk and see the view.

This is my own version of Chinese Dumplings or Shao Mai (Siomai). Living in Singapore, I saw it written as Shao Mai while in the Philippines its Siomai. I have great curiosity at first because it is my son's favorite and eventually became my favorite. Everywhere I went, I would try to eat the same food, Shao Mai. In the end I got tired because of the commercial taste. These dumpling are done in mass production and I don't like it so I made mine together with soya sauce and garlic ginger sauce. Later on, I became so happy with the result that I offer my precious chinitas to people. Well, that's another story.

I kg Pork lean ground coarsely ( its important that its grounded coarsely)
100 grams shrimp meat chopped finely
200 grams minced Pork fat ( this is also very important)
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup jincama or singkamas grated
1/4 cup spring onion chopped
1 cup white chinese mushroom chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp corn flour
3 tbsp grated garlic
1/2 tsp all spice powder
1/2 tsp all spice salt
1/2 tbsp ground black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs beaten
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp rice wine
1 tbsp sugar

Put ground pork, chopped shrimp and minced pork fat in a bowl (big enough to mix all the ingredients).
Add grated carrots, bread crumbs, water chestnut, spring onion, chopped white mushroom, cheese, flour, grated garlic, all spice powder, all spice salt and ground black pepper.
Mix them until well combined.
In another bowl, put the rest of the ingredients: soy sauce, eggs, sesame oil, rice wine and sugar.
Mix well until sugar dissolves and add to the bowl of pork mixture.
Combine all the ingredients and set aside in the fridge overnight before wrapping. 
Half a tbsp for each wrapper is enough but if you want it big, then you can adjust according to your preference. I want mine not big but not very small so half a tbsp per wrapper is just fine. 
Arrange in a bamboo steamer or aluminum steamer but if you have the means, use bamboo steamer. 
I went to Singapore China Town just to buy Bamboo steamer, kinda expensive but I don't mind. I want my Chinitas to be in their respective kingdom! 
Steam in a medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes.
Note: For the wrapper, you can buy vacuum pack wanton wrapper nowadays. It is nice if you can make your own dumpling wrapper but I cant waste much of my time so I buy wanton wrapper. 
For proper storage: you can store the prepared dumplings in the freezer. Just thaw them before steaming.

For the dipping soy sauce: 
1/2 cup soy sauce 
1/2 cup chilled water 
juice of 12 pcs calamansi 
1 tbsp sugar 
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp fried chopped garlic 
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl then transfer to a better container for storing soy sauce. Set aside in the fridge if you will not use. This can last up to a week 

For the chili garlic sauce: 
1 cup chopped bird's eye chili 
1 cup chopped garlic 
1/2 cup water + 1/4 cup water 
1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 tbsp water 
1 tsp sugar 
2 tsp vinegar 
1/2 cup olive oil 
Combine the ingredients except olive oil and keep the other 1/4 cup of water too. Use a blender to blend the mixture. Note: use your old blender. Transfer the mixture to a sauce pan Cook the mixture, once it boils, turn the heat to simmering mode Stir from time to time until the mixture is cooked and becomes thick Adjust the consistency according to your preference You may use the extra 1/4 cup of water if needed. Let it cool and then slowly add olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a glass container for better storage. Keep inside the fridge. This will last up to 3 months.

These are my lovely Chinitas!..after the heat and outside their dominion. Now, they are ready so come on, get your chopsticks, grab them, eat them and together lets say, " Ni Hao Ma" to everyone... ( How are you? ) Back home, I always offer this to some of my friends and it makes them smile all the time. 

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  1. You dumplings look amazing and I bet taste delicious. Thanks for the recipe!

  2. These look delicious! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party. Have a great week.

  3. I love the read the stories behind a recipe, Mareliz! This looks like such a delicious recipe too. Thank you for sharing with Hearth and Soul.


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