Siew Mai – Dim Sum for beginners

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Dim Sum is a favourite Cantonese “snack” of mine. They come in small portions like those Spanish tapas. You can never have enough of these Cantonese foodies as they come in small baskets of variety and in many flavors. There’s sweet, sour, or pastry, buns, dumplings or even chicken feet. Most of these dishes are steamed and must be eaten hot. Traditionally, you usually start off with something steamed like har kow, kau chi, Siew mai or char siu bao, and then continue with steamed chicken feet, tripe’s with black bean garlic sauce, spare ribs, spring rolls and finish off with egg tarts, or pancake in lotus bean sauce. Let’s start with Siew Mai.


3x Water chestnut (chopped)
300g Minced meat (mixed)
250g prawns (clean & diced)
30g dried Shitaki mushroom
1 stalk spring onion
1 stalk coriander leaves
salt, pepper
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp corn oil
2 tbsp corn starch (mondamin)

1 big red chilly, deseeded (chopped)
1 can crab meat (optional)
1 egg white

250g Wanton wrappings


Pour boiling water over the dried shitaki mushrooms and soak till soft for about 20 mins. Slice and then dice in small pieces. Chop spring onions and coriander leaves finely. Mix them all together with the mince meat and prawns, adding salt, pepper and sesame oil, oil and corn starch. Mix well and cover, and leave aside in the fridge for about 15 mins.

Take about a teaspoonful of filling into a piece of wonton wrap. Wet the ends with water. Fold the rectangle half, making it a triangle. Now take the bottom 2 ends and wet them and press this firmly together. There are videos available to show you how to form them. You could try forming them into a cup by gathering the ends of your round wrap. But I found it much easier to shape them like won tans. Grease your steamer, and steam them for 12-15 mins. This make about 50, so make sure you either have multiple stories of steaming baskets or  do them in different turns.

Eat while hot and serve together with the typical Dim Sum chilly sauce. Garnish with Chilly strips or sprigs of parsley or coriander.