I am in the work weeds right now, the entirely predictable result of daring to take TWO WHOLE DAYS off and then spending the rest of the week ping-ponging around 17 different deadlines in a panic while completing exactly zero of them.
So you know what that means, blobs? Time to post a recipe that maybe like three people asked for on social media last week and pretend like OH MY GOD SOOOOOO MANY PEOPLE ARE BEGGING FOR THIS RECIPE I MUST INDULGE THE WILL OF THE MANY, MANY PEOPLE.
(But seriously, it's a good recipe. Teach it to your children well and let them make you dinner.)
Chef Zah's Shu Mai (Steamed Pork, Shrimp & Mushroom Dumplings)
(Adapted from dumplings we made at the Baltimore Chef Shop, with a few tweaks courtesy of Ezra)
¾ lbs. ground pork
¼ lb. shelled raw shrimp
1/2 cup fresh mushrooms (we use Shiitake, stems removed)
4 sprigs cilantro
1 small chunk of fresh ginger
1 ½ tsp. fish sauce
1 ½ tsp. salt
1 ½ tsp. cornstarch
1 large egg
2 tsp. toasted sesame oil
Napa cabbage leaves (or parchment paper)
Soy sauce (optional)
MISE EN PLACE!
1) Check that your shrimp are fully de-pooped and finely chop. (If you use frozen shrimp, defrost them in a strainer set in a bowl of cold water. Change out the water a couple times if you see floaty things in it.)
2) Thinly slice the mushrooms.
3) Thinly slice the scallions, separating the white bottoms from the dark green tops.
4) You can either pick the leaves off the cilantro stems and chop those up, or finely chop the leaves and stems together. It just depends on how much you like chopping. Or cilantro.
6) Crack the egg in a bowl and lightly beat with a fork.
7) Measure out the fish sauce, salt, cornstarch and sesame oil into little bowls because it will help you freak out less later.
8) Line a bamboo steamer with Napa cabbage leaves or parchment paper. (You can also use a vegetable strainer if you don't have the bamboo kind.) Fill a pot with a few inches of water and get it boiling.
8) In a large bowl, mix the pork, shrimp, mushrooms, white parts of the scallion, cilantro, ginger, egg, fish sauce, salt, cornstarch and sesame oil with your hands.
9) Roll the mixture into 1-2 inch balls (like meatballs) and put them on a baking sheet. You can make your mom do this part if you already washed your hands and don't feel like getting sticky again.
10) Get a wonton wrapper and hold it in the palm of your hand. Place a meatball in the center and then gather the edges of the wrapper upwards around the ball. Pinch the corners into folds and leave the top of the dumpling open. (Wet your fingers if your wrapper corners aren't holding together.) Lightly flatten the top of the meatball with your finger.
11) Put the dumplings in your steamer baskets and make sure none of them are touching.
12) Put the steamer basket over (but not touching) the boiling water and steam for 5 to 6 minutes. That's it. It's that easy.
13) In class we made a dipping sauce but we didn't feel like making the dipping sauce, so instead we topped each cooked dumping with a drop or two of soy sauce and garnished with the green parts of the scallions.
14) Chef Zah ProTip: Chopsticks make dumplings even more fun.
15) Make sure you and your brothers get all the dumplings you want on your plates before your dad comes over and eats the rest of them.