Sunday, January 2, 2011

From Scratch: Shrimp and Cilantro Shu Mai

Recently during a family trip to Ming's Supermarket I picked up a box of frozen shu mai. As I was about to place it into our shopping cart, my brother stopped me and handed me a small package of freshly made wonton wrappers. He told me to make the shu mai instead. I looked confused and he assured me it was really easy.

And so it was. I used a recipe I found on for Shrimp and Cilantro Shu Mai, which I'll repost below (with a few suggestions and pictures).

Makes about 18-19 shu mai.
Time: 30+ minutes.

1/4 cup soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine
1 1/2 sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 fresh cilantro leaves
1/4 cup roughly chopped scallions, white parts only
18-19 round dumpling/wonton skins
Juice of 1/2 a lime

((the original recipe makes twice as much dipping sauce, but I found this superfluous. if you think you'll need more then just double it))

For the Sauce
1. Mix the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, and ginger in a bowl.

For the Dumpling
1. Put half the shrimp, half the cilantro, and all of the scallions in a food processor. Pulse for about 15 seconds.
2. Add two tablespoons of the Sauce to the food processor. Pulse until mixture resembles a paste. Put this into another bowl.
3. Chop the rest of the shrimp and cilantro, and add to the paste mixture - stir to combine.

4. On a flat, clean work surface (I used a round cutting board), layout your wonton skins. Moisten the edges of one of the skins (I just dipped my finger in a bowl of water and wetted the edges on both sides).
5. Add about a teaspoon of the shrimp-cilantro mixture to the center of the wonton
6. Pinch the edges of the wrapper up together around the filling - it's okay if some filling shows. When you've made a dumpling, place it on another plate and cover with a damp cloth while you continue to work. Repeat the last two steps until you're out of wrappers and filling.

To Steam the Shu Mai
((you must have a steamer to do this))
1. Place your steamer over an inch of boiling water, then reduce to simmer
2. Oil steamer with a little bit of sesame oil to prevent sticking (especially important if you're using a bamboo steamer)
3. Place as many of your shu mai on the steamer as possible in a single layer
4. Cook about 6-10 minutes until the shrimp is visibly pink and the wrapper is tender.

- Add lime juice to the serving sauce, stir to combine
- Present the shu mai hot on a platter, along with the dipping sauce
- Serve with a cucumber-carrot salad with soy-ginger salad dressing

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