We had friends come over, and I thought I'd cook something Asian for them. I decided on making Shu-mai (or siomai) since it is Oriental, and it is something that most Americans would recognize (of course, they call it dumplings here). I will "shu-mai" friends the Asian way of doing it. Ha ha ha. (A dry attempt at comedy).

Although the recipe might look complicated, it is very easy. Our friends even helped us do it. The only requirement - you should not be afraid of getting your hands dirty!

What you need:

1 lb. ground pork
1/2 tbsp. soy sauce

1/2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. oyster sauce
dash of pepper
1/2 tbsp. sesame oil

1 tbsp. rice wine
1/2 tsp. oregano, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. cilantro, chopped finely
a few pieces of Chinese mushroom, soaked in hot water and chopped into small pieces
green peas (for garnish)
wonton skins

What to do:

Put all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Use
your (clean) hands to mix them together really well. (Squish warning!) Spoon 1 tbsp. or so of filling in the middle of the wonton skin and gather the skin around the filling.

Put one piece of green pea on top as garnish (awww, isn't that pretty!). Repeat until you have used up all the fillings or wonton skins.

Place the shu-mai pieces in a steame
r and steam over high heat for 45 minutes. Serve with your favorite dip!

Tips, Tricks and Tweaks:

1. Instead of green peas, you can garnish it with a slice of hard boiled egg or a shrimp.
2. Make sure your mushrooms are soaked well and tender. Remove the stems if necessary.
3. You can omit the oyster sauce if you don't like its taste. Just replace it with an egg that will act as a binder for the ingredients.
4. You can line your steamer with parchment paper so the shu-mai won't stick on the surface of the steamer. Perforate it, though, so the steam could seep through. Don't use wax paper - it gives an unpleasant taste!


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