Food: Shumai from scratch (kinda)

I really do enjoy asian cooking because I like how its just OMGamazing flavors but not that fattening - of course that depends on what you make. I'm scared of hot oil (and sometimes even boiling water), so by default my food tends to be oil free most of the time. That doesn't mean I don't indulge in the occasional Pann's Restaurant chicken wing and deep fried sole that my mom makes. Out of all types of asian cooking, I really enjoy the dumpling - in all its shapes, sizes, and flavors! I invested in two asian dumpling books recently (without investing in a much needed Joyce Chen 10-Inch Bamboo Steamer Set which I have been eyeing recently but my pocketbook is screaming NO!). The shumai recipe I got from Dim Sum: The Art of Chinese Tea Lunch which is odd because you would think I would at least make dim sum not its easier, less time consuming dumpling-cousin, the shumai!

 Shumai is like the food you order for an appetizer or find frozen in a pack of six with mysterious congealed orange-yellow seafood inside. The fresh kind is better, complete with pork, shrimp, green onion, water chestnuts and a motley of seasonings (soy sauce, rice vinegar, white pepper, rice wine, etc). After chopping and mixing everything together, you let it sit for awhile to let the flavors seep in then you wrap them in a dough wonton wrapper which I usually get from the asian markets already packaged (I am not that skilled to start making my own dough from scratch). With shumai you dont have to concern yourself so much with closing the dumpling than just letting the filling peek outside the wonton wrapper. I cooked half of them in a frying pan (adding water to get the steam effect to cook dumpling through) and the other half I steamed in my vegetable steamer, which I prefer - less clean up than with the frying pan!

Shumai-licious
Shumai-licious

The best part about dumpling making is dipping your glorious meat filled creation into a vinegar, hot mustard, soy sauce and hot oil sauce - my own concoction :-)