The Philippines has been greatly influenced by Chinese cooking since the time of Chinese trading with the Philippines. In fact many Filipinos are partly Chinese; me, case in point is partly Chinese. Siomai or steamed pork dumpling is Chinese in origin. This recipe is Chinese in origin with a slight twist; the exchange of rice in place of wonton wrapper. The reason for this exchange is that sometimes the wonton wrapper gets soggy and looks wilted; whereas the rice makes the Siomai look always fresh.
My first encounter with ‘siomai’ was when I was a grade schooler at the Assumption Convent in Manila. The nuns sold these dumplings bought from the famous “Ma Mon Luk” restaurant during the school fairs.
- 500 grams ground pork
- 250 grams shrimps – steamed, peeled and cut into tiny cubes
- 1/2 cup carrots – peeled, cut into tiny cubes 1/8-inch size
- 3/4 cup water chestnuts or singkamas – cut into tiny cubes (water chestnuts preferred)
- 1/4 cup spring onions – finely chopped
- 1/2 cup pork luncheon meat (Spam) or ham – cut into tiny cubes
- 3 pieces dried black Chinese mushrooms – soaked in hot water till soft, drained, stems removed, and cut into tiny pieces or 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh Shitake mushrooms
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon seat salt
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 3 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 egg whites
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cornstarch (corn flour)
- 1 cup rice – soaked in water for 1 hour and drained or 50 pieces wonton wrappers
- 1/2 cup frozen green peas (optional for decoration)
- Wear plastic gloves and, with hands, combine all the ingredients except rice or wrapper and peas, until well blended.
- With hands, shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and roll in rice until the whole ball is covered with rice.
- Set aside on a tray until all the balls have been rolled.
- Place a pea on top of each ball.
- Arrange the dumplings in single layer in an oiled basket steamer or line steamer basket with ‘katcha’.
- Have two inches of water in the bottom layer of steamer and bring to a boil.
- Place the steamer basket on top and steam dumplings for 20 to 30 minutes or until the dumplings and rice are cooked.
- Serve with the dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon calamansi or lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (Tabasco or Chili sauce)
- 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Dipping Sauce Procedure:
- Mix together in a small bowl and use as dipping sauce for Siomai.
- Wrap the cover of the steamer with ‘katcha’ to prevent the dumplings from getting soggy specially if you are using wonton wrappers.
- This is good for ‘merienda’, or as appetizer or ‘pulutan’.