Sunday, October 21, 2007

Foochow Siu Muai (Siew Mai)

Uncooked Siu Muai. Cook ones all walloped before photos can be taken (you guys know who you are).

Siew Mai is a must-have dim sum at any Yum Cha session. Besides Har Kow, a dim sum place is judged by its Siew Mai. It is basically minced pork with prawns semi wrapped in wanton wrapper. A good Siew Mai is crunchy and the meat and prawns must be super fresh.

Kuching has its own version called Sio Bee. It is chewier rather than crunchier with a slight hint of sweetness in some places. It is also denser. The famous Kuching Sio Bee is at the Open Air Market. And many eateries would claim they sell Open Air Sio Bee. But somehow we are not that keen on this version.

Interestingly, the Foochows in Sibu also has Siu Muai. People actually buy Siu Muai and carry it back to Kuching as gifts. Some foochows in Kuching actually order ins hundreds for occasions like weddings as the guests' finger food. You can freeze it and they keep quite well. This version is closer to the Cantonese version but not as crunchy. Slightly on the softer and juicy side. The
famous Siu Muai places in Sibu is non other than Fu Chew Liau and Sin Siew Tu (Foochow pronounciation).

We really dont want to go all the way Sibu to eat this. So here's the recipe. I kinda learn this from my Grand Aunt (Yi Po).

350 gm of pork mince with some fat (can ask your butcher to mince a piece of skin off sham cham meat), chicken mince can also but results not fantastic
120 gm of prawns, pat with chopper knife or mixture of prawns and fish (flat mackerel)
60 gm of sengkuang, shred and squeezed water out before using
2 stalks of spring onions, finely chopped
1 teasp of salt
1/2 teasp of white pepper
1 tbsp of oyster sauce
1/2 teasp of sesame oil
2tbsp of tapioca flour with 2 tbsp of plain flour
1/3 of small carrot, finely grated
30 nos of wanton wrapper (Sibu ones which is thin white round are the best for their Siu Muai)

1) Mix all ingredients in the bowl and stir with a pair of chopsticks until gluten developed. Take the mixture and slap it against the bowl for 10 -15 times til the mixture look slightly shiny. Set aside in fridge for at least an hour for easy wrapping.

2) Put a wanton wrapper in your palm and scope with a heaped tablespoon of mixture in the middle of wrapper. Squeeze gently between your fore finger and thumb to the Siu Muai Shape. And lightly pat the bottom so that Siu Muai can sit nicely.


3) Place some grated carrots on top to give colour. Steam on high for 10 to 12 (edited) min in bamboo steamer lined with oiled banana leaves or on plate lined with oiled banana leaves placed in normal steamer with a piece of cloth or aluminium foil covering the top of steamer to prevent water from dripping on Siu Muai.

4 comments:

Dummy Sum said...

Hello. Just wanna ask for your help. Do you know how to make sure that the siew mai stay fresh in the steamer even for several hours? I just want my customers to get fresh and hot dimsums, but not overcooked or half-cooked. I've tried to steam those siew mais only when customers made orders, but ended up being half-cooked. One more question, how long should I wait to defrost siew mai/bun if they are in the freezer? Thanks.

Greg Wee said...

Hi.I dont know if i can really help. First of all, you must decide whether to used uncooked ones or precooked ones.

If you use uncooked one, i assume you made everyday, you can keep in fridge until before steaming, that will take you 10 to 12 min to cook depending on the size. That would be the freshest i think. If you make for say whole week, you must have a system. Batch 1 for tomolo, batch 2 for day after and so on. and you keep them differently. Batch 1 in fridge, batch 2 - 6 you can precook and keep in freezer. another option is to store uncook in freezer. will take about 1 to 2 hour to defrost in room temperature.

If you pre cook it say steam about 5 min first. let cool, then you freeze, it will take about 1 hour or so to defrostin normal temp in this country. then steam for another 5 to 8 min or so. If you keep precook siumai in just fridge, it can go straight into steamer but def take a few min longer to cook.

To cook siu mai, steam on high. once fully cooked already, to keep warm only, very very low fire should be ok.

Keep on experimenting until you get time rite and perfect. say 5 min not enough, then 8 min and so on.good to know you care about quality. Good luck!

kakilai said...

Hi, I usually get my siew mai "skin" from Sibu, where can I get in Kuching? Tabuan Jaya? somehow I never come across it in Kuching..thanks

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