This is a recipe that I don’t make often, and when I do I choose a day when I know I have plenty of time. I also make a gargantuan batch so I have plenty for the freezer. This is one of my youngest son’s favorites, and I’ve been known to get up early to steam some of these yummy little bits so he can take them to school in his thermos for lunch.
There are two menus I prepare for my family so I have the necessary leftovers for making shumai. First, I get a 4 pound pork tenderloin roast and roast it in the oven, as well as an assortment of veggies. One of our favorites is squash and apples. The next meal I fix is an Asian chicken salad using a portion of a large head of napa cabbage. I’ll try to blog that recipe at a later date. Measurements given below are approximate for an average batch, but I never follow them and I always make way more. Any type of mushroom will work. I prefer shiitake, but they can be expensive and are not always available in the markets in my area. This time I found some very reasonably priced, beautiful organic baby bella mushrooms.
Vegetable Pork Shumai
Cooked pork, ground in food processor
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 pound fresh mushrooms, chopped
2 cups shredded napa cabbage
2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
2-3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 garlic clove, minced
2 or 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and grated
Maple syrup or honey to taste
I make the dipping sauce the day before so it will have plenty of time for the flavors to blend. Simply mix the ingredients together and store in a jar in the refrigerator.
Here’s a picture of the consistency I like the pork to be ground. I want it fine enough that the finished filling will hold together, but still coarse enough that the pork can be identified in the mixture.
Once all of the grinding, chopping, dicing, and shredding is completed it’s time to prepare the filling for the shumai. Heat sesame oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms, onion, and ginger. Cook until onions and mushrooms are softened. Add cabbage and continue cooking until cabbage has softened and reduced significantly. Add ground pork and hoisin sauce and mix thoroughly. I don’t measure my hoisin sauce. I add it a dollop at a time until the ingredients are coated and the mixture tastes appropriately seasoned. Take the mixture off the heat and allow it to cool until it can be handled comfortably.
This is one of the ways I assemble my shumai. I find it the fastest way to put them together if I’m going to steam them immediately. If I’m going to freeze them, then I fold them up using a samosa (with a twist) wonton fold. The link shows a number of different wonton folds, and one of these days I’m going to get around to trying more of them. I’ve also used this filling to make egg rolls. For egg rolls I tend to use a larger proportion of cabbage in the mixture.
Once the shumai are assembled, I place them in my Bamboo Steamer and steam for about 6 minutes. I use a double decker steamer basket so I steam them for 3 minutes, reverse the top and bottom baskets, and steam for an additional 3 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce. My family enjoys steamed rice and some homemade eggdrop soup with our shumai.