Dimsum is more than just a meal or a category of items on a menu. It’s a Sunday tradition where my little brother ate nothing but char siu baos until he was in high school. It’s weekly lunches in Chinatown with friends during university and agreeing that 3 people was the optimal number for sharing dishes so we couldn’t invite anyone else. It’s getting up at 7am to secure a table at the first seating at our favourite restaurant with Stephen’s parents. It’s gathering around a table with family we haven’t seen in months to catch up over tea and steamer baskets of little dishes. It’s comfort and delicious food and memories all wrapped in a translucent dumpling wrapper. Needless to say, I’ve been craving dimsum since March.
Stephen and I started exploring the freezer section of our local Asian grocery store for their pre-made dimsum options with mixed results. We decided to try making a few staple dishes ourselves, starting with siu mai. I’ve made wontons since I was a kid so how hard could it be? After lots of research, videos watched and a couple of practice rounds, I was really happy with the result of this Turkey siu mai recipe. The ground turkey paired wonderfully with the flavours of the shitake mushrooms. Once steamed, the siu mai were super juicy and tender even with a lean protein like turkey. With my failed attempts, when the wonton wrapper did not stay folded around the turkey filling, I had broth leaking everywhere.
For me, the trick to folding the Siu Mai was to use an angled spatula to handle the filling and to take my time with the pleats. Once they’re folded, the siu mai only takes 8 minutes to steam and they’re perfect for freezing uncooked. This makes them great for meal prep! Also, since they’re cooked by steaming, so there’s no additional oil. Super easy, convenient and delicious.
For more inspiration and recipes featuring turkey, visit www.ThinkTurkey.ca
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Turkey Farmers of Canada. All ideas and opinions expressed are wholly mine.
- 1-2 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in water overnight
- 1 tbsp of the white part of green onions, minced
- 1/2 lb extra lean ground turkey
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1-1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- 1/2 tsp sesame oil
- 3/4 tbsp Shaoxing cooking wine
- 12-18 yellow wonton wrappers
- 1 tbsp of water
- 50g tobiko, capelin fish roe (optional)
- Dice the soaked shiitake mushrooms and mince the green onion whites into 1mm slices.
- Combine the ground turkey, diced shiitake mushrooms, minced green onions, salt, sugar, light soy sauce, cornstarch, sesame oil and Shaoxing cooking wine into a large mixing bowl. Using a fork, thoroughly mix the filling until it becomes incorporated and a thick paste like consistency.
- To fold, form a circle with the tip of your thumb and pointer or middle finger. Place the wonton wrapper over the middle of the circle, overhanging your fingers.
- Using a spoon or angled spatula, place a disc of filling in the middle of the wrapper, over the hole made by your fingers, and push down gently. The wonton wrapper will naturally create folds around the filling. Add more filling to the centre of the wrapper and push down gently until the filling reaches the edges of the wonton wrapper. If you're using square wonton wrappers, you will have triangular pieces of wrapper sticking up once your siu mai is stuffed. Using water as glue, you can fold down those pieces on the outside to create a clean edge around each siu mai.
- Place the folded siu mai into a steamer lined with parchment paper, keeping them separate from each other and the sides of the steamer.
- Optional: garnish each siu mai with a pinch of tobiko.
- Steam for 8-10 minutes, until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.
- Optional: serve with soy sauce for dipping, Chinese vinegar and chili oil.
Use an angled spatula to handle the filling easier.
While filling the siu mai, I use my pinky to brace the bottom of the siu mai being formed by closing that finger to my palm. Using your ring finger would also work.
To keep the wonton wrappers moist while folding cover them with a damp towel.
When steaming, make sure the siu mai are not touching each other or the walls of the steamer to prevent sticking.