Siu mai

Photographer: Adam
makes around 24 dumplings

These little bite-sized morsels are my absolute favourite item from the yum char menu.  I quite often meet my wife and her family for a yum char lunch during the week.  It makes a nice little break from my working day, and even better the restaurant is right across the road from the office.  Three things always happen; we order way too much food, we eat all of it (even if our sides are splitting), then we quietly make our way back to work for a little nap.  Well not quite a nap, but a very slow couple of hours!

This recipe is simple to prepare, mixed all in one bowl.  Once you get the knack of forming the dumpling you can turn them out pretty quickly.  I think round wrappers are the easiest, if you can’t get round ones just cut square wrappers with a cookie cutter.  The leftover pieces are great for bulking out miso soup or a nice clear broth.


320g minced pork
150g fresh shrimp, roughly chopped
2 spring onions, finely sliced
24 thin wonton wrappers
2 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp soya sauce
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sugar
Chilli paste to garnish


1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl
2. Lay wonton wrappers out between a folded damp towel
3. To form the siu mai make a circle by touching your thumb to your index finger. Place a wrapper over the circle you have made.
4. Brush some water around the outer edge of the wrapper using your fingers. Then flip the wrapper over (the water will help the wrapper stick together).
5. Take a teaspoon (approximately) of the pork and shrimp mixture and push it into the middle of the wrapper. This action will start forming the siu mai.
6. To finish squeeze with your thumb and index fingers to form the round cylinder shape while flattening the top of the siu mai.
7. Place the siu mai in an oiled steamer tray or in a basket steamer, space them out so the steam can move around the siu mai. Steam for around 10 to 12 minutes.
8. Serve with your favourite dipping sauces. I really like them with a little chilli but they are also really tasty just by themselves.