I have always loved my mom's cooking. Who doesn't, huh? I mean, who does not love their mom's cooking? I bet everyone does. No one is a greater cook than our own mothers, right?
Living away from her for years now, there are times wherein I wish that I will wake up in the morning with the smell of whatever it is that she is preparing for breakfast. Sometimes, I miss the days when I will just have to ask what's for dinner and don't bother cooking them. Well, these are some of the prices I have to pay for living away from her.
When those days are bugging me, I just replicate and cook things that she would normally serve me and my siblings. One of which is this dish - Pork Siomai. Okay, I tweak it a bit and put some mushrooms for I just love them!
Siomai is a type of dimsum (food prepared in bit-sized portions) made from pork (usually) and other add-ons that you can find almost anywhere when you visit any Asian restaurant. Siomai is traditionally steamed, though in the recent years, fried siomai has become popular as well in the local restaurants serving them. Pork, as the main ingredient of this dish is mixed with other ingredients like shrimps, mushrooms and the likes which results in different siomai "flavors".
PORK and MUSHROOM SIOMAI
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1/2 kilo finely minced pork (not ground)
1 medium raw egg
2 medium sized dried shitake mushrooms
1 small or about 1/4 cup minced white onion
2 slices white bread
1/2 cup shredded turnip (singkamas), juice squeezed
1/4 tsp salt
dash of pepper
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 pack wanton wrappers (size depends on how big or small you want your siomai to be, I used small size)
kalamansi (Philippine Lemon) or lemon
store bought chili oil
PREPARE THE MIXTURE
1. Soak shitake mushroom in 1/4 cup water for 10 minutes or until soft. Keep water. Mince mushroom.
2. Using all the water from the mushroom, soak white bread and mash. Set aside.
3. Combine all ingredients including mushroom and bread except wanton wrappers. Mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes for flavors to develop.
4. Should you wish, you may boil a portion of your mixture and taste. Adjust the amount of salt if necessary.
Making siomai is an art. For first timers, this may look difficult but it's actually not. Just make sure that you are using fresh wanton wrappers so you won't have any problem breaking them in the process. REMEMBER: wanton wrappers should be kept frozen, buy one that is stored in freezer.
This is how I assemble siomai. You may have your own way of doing it so go ahead, no fuss :)
1. Place a wanton wrapper on top of your thumb and forefinger.
2. Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture and place it on top of the wanton wrapper
3. Hold the siomai as if you are squeezing it (but don't) and with the use of a teaspoon, insert the sides of the wrapper in between the mixture so it won't fall off when steaming.
4. Shape the siomai using your fingers while bottom is flattened on a surface. This way, you'll have even sized siomai.
5. Do this until all mixture are used.
Place siomai pieces on a steamer lined with a cloth. Make sure you have spaces in between since your siomai will expand while steaming. You don't want to break your masterpiece when you are just about to serve them *wink* Cover the siomai with the ends of the cloth before placing the pot cover.
You may be wondering, "What is the cloth for?" steaming cloth or cheese cloths are use so your siomai won't be watery since the cloth will absorb the steam and any liquid.
Steam for 10 to 15 minutes.
You may put a drop of sesame oil on each siomai before serving for enhanced flavor. Serve hot with condiments.
NOTE: You can make siomai ahead of time. Just make sure to store them in freezer. This can be stored frozen for a month but I won't recommend you store these goodies that long for they will lose the flavors. A week inside the freezer is okay.