One of the most basic Cantonese dim sum (hors d’oeuvres) is siu mai, open-topped pork dumplings. It is worth your trouble and expense to get the raw shrimp rather than use just pork, as so many restaurants seem to do these days.
1pound shelled and deveined small raw shrimp, pat dried and coarsely minced
1poundtrimmed lean pork, finely minced
10 medium-sized dried Chinese mushrooms, reconstituted and finely minced
Prepare the stuffing. Put the minced shrimp into a large bowl. Add the salt and, using either a pair of chopsticks or a fork, stir vigorously in the same direction for about 2 minutes or until the shrimp has become gelatinous. Add the minced pork and Chinese mushrooms, then add the soy sauce, sugar, and pepper. Stir in the same direction again for another 2-3 minutes, until the mixture is gelatinous. Leave to stand for 15-20 minutes. Stir in the oils.
Wrap the sui mai. Clip off the 4 corner triangles of 1piece of wonton skin, then place it between the fingertips and the palm of one hand. Put about 1tablespoon of stuffing on the center of the skin. Close your hand, squeezing the skin gently into an upright pouch, the skin forming natural pleats around the stuffing. Using a small knife, smooth down the stuffing to level with the top of the skin pleats, and squeeze gently to form a neck and ensure the stuffing remains stuck to the skin throughout the steaming. Stand the “pouches” on a flat surface to give them a flat bottom. Repeat until the stuffing is used up.
Steam the sui mai. Space them out on either an oiled bamboo steaming cage or a heatproof dish placed on a trivet, and steam in the wok, covered, until cooked. In a bamboo cage, the steaming time is 5-6 minutes; while in a dish, the time is 7-8 minutes. Serve piping hot.