Ground pork and shrimp are wrapped as open-faced dumplings and steamed to perfection. It’s hard to resist homemade pork and shrimp siu mai. Can be made with steamer and Instant Pot.
CANTONESE PORK SHUMAI / SHAO MAI
Siu 燒 means to cook and mai 賣 means to sell. The direct English translation is called “cook and sell” dumplings. Like I’ve mentioned before, the Chinese like to name the dishes that convey good messages/meanings. To be able to “siu mai” is a good thing. It means your business is running smoothly, you cook and it is sold immediately. Make sense? 😉
Don’t be mistaken with the Japanese gyoza, which is also a dumpling, but gyoza is more similar to the Chinese jiao zi, where as siu mai uses different wrapper, usually way thinner compared to jiao zi and the filling is slightly different too.
Cantonese siu mai usually filled with minced pork, shrimp, mushrooms and seasoned with Asian seasonings and then wrapped in round siu mai wrappers.
TOP TIPS YOU NEED TO KNOW
1. FOR FLAVORFUL TENDER FILLING
– Use ground pork with some fat
– An addition of egg
– Marinade the filling for at least 30 minutes
2. FOR FILLING TO ADHERE TO THE WRAP
Brush an egg wash inside the wrapper before adding the filling. This helps to shape the siu mai better and when they are steamed the siu mai maintain the shapes pretty well
HOW TO NICELY WRAP SIU MAI
1. Place the wrapper on your palm
2. Brush lightly with some egg wash
3. Scoop about 1 Tablespoon of the filling on the middle of the wrapper
4. Gather the edge to enclose the wrap
5. Use your thumb and index finger to shape the siu mai while topping up with more filling to make sure it’s nicely packed
6. Place the siu mai on a flat surface so the bottom is flat and can “sit”
7. And there you have it!
8. Decorate with some grated carrot (optional)
9. Arrange siu mai on a bamboo steamer or a plate lined with parchment paper
COOKING SIU MAI : STEAMER OR INSTANT POT
Food steamer is a common kitchen gadget that most Asians have in their kitchen. I’m aware that my American friends usually do not have a steamer, but majority own an Instant Pot. Here’s how to do it either way:
1. STEAMED IN THE STEAMER
Simply bring the water in the steamer to a boil. Arrange the siu mai in the bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper or if you don’t have bamboo steamer, place on a dish lined with parchment paper. Steam over high heat for 7 minutes
2. PRESSURE COOK IN INSTANT POT
Pour 1/2 cup of water in the inner pot of Instant Pot. Place a trivet. Set the bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper on top. If you don’t have one, use a regular heat-proof round plate lined with parchment paper. Arrange the siu mai on top. Close the lid. Turn the steam release valve to seal. Press “pressure cook”, and then “high pressure”. Set the timer to 2 minutes and then release pressure immediately when it’s done
My boy loves siu mai and he could easily inhaled 3 in less than 1 minute!
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*Recipe is written for 6-quart Instant Pot. Cooking time should remain the same for 8-quart size but will take longer to pressurize. For mini duo (3-quart), I suggest to half the recipe and use the same amount of time to cook*
For baking/ kueh making: I highly encourage to weigh ingredients with a digital kitchen scale instead of using measuring cups as they are not very accurate especially when it comes to recipe that requires precision.GRAMS TO CUPS CONVERSION (UNSIFTED)
- About 25-30 store-bought thin round dumpling wrappers - white or yellow wrappers are fine
- 1 egg - beaten
For garnishing (optional):
- Grated carrot
Prepare the filling:
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in warm water for 30 minutes until they are soft. Removed stems and finely chopped
- Mix all the ingredients for filling and seasonings in a large mixing bowl. Use a spoon to stir in one direction until they come together (paste-like). Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes
- Mix all the ingredients in a small sauce pan and bring to a boil until the sugar is melted. Let it cool down before serving
- Get your steamer ready by bringing the water to a boil. Place one of the wrappers on your palm. Brush the wrapper with some egg wash. Scoop about 2-3 Tbsp or more of the filling into the center of the wrapper . Shape the wrapper to surround the filling. Smooth the filling on top with wet fingers and add more filling to top it up all the way to the top and smooth again to make sure they are fully packed. Kinda a little overflowing is fine because they will shrink a bit after steaming. Give the wrapper one last gentle squeeze to make sure everything holds up together. Garnish with some 1 peas and 1 corn if using or grated carrots. Place them in a steamer basket or plate lined with parchment paper
Using Instant Pot:
- Place the steaming basket/plate in instant pot. Press high pressure and set the timer to 3 minutes. If your instant pot can fit in another stack of a bamboo basket, you may do so. Once the 3 minutes is up, release pressure and open the lid carefully. Serve immediately once cooked
Using steamer with bamboo basket:
- Fill up a large pot/wok with water (not higher than the trivet that you are going to put in)and bring them to rolling boil. Place a trivet or collapsible veggie steamer and place the bamboo basket on top of this. You may stack another 2 basket on top and then close with the lid of the basket. Steam them in batches for 10 minutes on high heat. Serve immediately once cooked
Using steamer without bamboo basket:
- Fill up a large pot/wok with water (not higher than the trivet that you are going to put in) and bring them to rolling boil. Place a heat-proof plate inside the steamer and steam for 10 minutes. You can only steam one plate at a time. Serve immediately once cooked