Meals for the homeless – chicken siumai dumplings

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Winter is finally here, and it rained most days last week. This means it was very uncomfortable for our rough sleepers, with many of them having to seek shelter at temporary accommodation. However, I was assured that they would not miss our homemade hot meals on Saturday night. So I made an extra effort to provide them with some nice food – apricot chicken, prawn and chorizo pilau, and chicken siumai dumplings.

Although time consuming, chicken siumai dumplings are very easy to make. My simplest version has only a few key ingredients – wonton wrappers, chicken mince, chicken bouillon powder, salt and white pepper, and cooking oil for pan frying.

Meals for the homeless - chicken siumai dumplings
I first made the meat filling, then the dumplings. I steamed the dumplings, following by pan-frying the dumplings slightly, so they won’t stick during transit to the homeless feed.

The easy method is illustrated as follows:

Ingredients for the meat filling:

  • 750g chicken mince (it needs some fat to be juicy)
  • 1 tsp chicken bouillon powder (more if you prefer a restaurant-like flavor)
  • 2 tsp sesame oil (optional)
  • salt and white pepper to taste

Other ingredients

  • Wonton wrappers
  • frozen green peas for garnishing (optional)
  • cooking oil for pan frying (pan frying is optional)

Method

  1. How to make chicken siumai dumplings - methodTo make the meat filling, place all ingredients in a mixer, mix for at lease 10 minutes on low. I use a K hook for mixing.
  2. Pan fry a little meat filling for taste of seasoning – add a little more salt if desired.
  3. Transfer the meat to a airtight container, refrigerate overnight. The flavor will intensify the next day.
  4. Place generous amount of meat in the center of a wonton wrapper; roll up the sides with the palm of your hand to form a cylinder shape; use a teaspoon to press the top of the dumpling to make the meat as firm as possible.
  5. Press a green pea on top of the dumpling for garnishing (optional).
  6. Use a sharp stick, prick a hole at the bottom of the dumpling. This will avoid water building up during the steaming process.
  7. Line a steamer with a cheese cloth, or baking paper punched with holes. Because I use a stainless steel steamer, I also use an chopstick-elevated wire net under the cheese cloth, so water won’t build up under the cheese cloth.
  8. Place the dumplings on top of the cheese cloth, steam the dumplings for 20 minutes or until cooked.
  9. If you like steamed dumpling, they are ready to eat now.
  10. If you like them pan fried, remove the steamer from heat to cool slightly (careful, very hot).
  11. Transfer the dumplings to a cooling rack to cool for further 15 minutes, so they are not too sticky.
  12. Pan fry the dumplings on all sides, with generous amount of cooking oil.

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