lobster siu mai for
the year of the dragon
Lap-fai Lee, the chef consultant behind our very own Siu Siu, shares his thoughts on the traditions of Lunar New Year, and a celebratory recipe for the incoming Year of the Dragon. To see more from Lap, follow him at @oishinboy on Instagram.
With the Lunar New Year approaching, Chinese families come together to celebrate and feast at home. In China, they say it's the greatest human migration in the world. Millions upon millions of people travelling back to their hometowns. So it’s time to think about what to cook. There are always those home-cooked comfort dishes that you long for but as it’s the Year of the Dragon I’ve come up with a particularly auspicious dish to elevate the festive eats, Lobster Siu Mai.
These steamed dumplings in their ordinary guise, filled with pork and prawn, are a dim sum favourite. I’ve added a slice of lobster tail on top not just to make it fancy but to acknowledge the Year of the Dragon. Lobster in Chinese is 龍蝦“dragon prawn”. The golden exterior of the dumpling and the red garnish makes this dish auspicious in many ways.
Gung Hei Fat Choy 恭喜發財
Happiness and Prosperity!
Sun Nin Fai Lok 新年快樂
Happy New Year!
Enough to make 20 dumplings
LOBSTER SIU MAI
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING
200g fatty pork mince
200g raw prawn, peeled and deveined, smashed with side of a knife and roughly chopped
10g fish sauce
2g white pepper
5g sesame oil
2 raw lobster tails
First make the filling, take the following and mix thoroughly by hand in a wide bowl. Once mixed, scrape up the mixture with one hand and slap it down into the bowl. Do this several times as it makes the mixture extra bouncy.
Now take the meat out of two raw lobster tails and slice them into approx 3-5mm thick coins. Each coin piece will top one siu mai dumpling. Near the thinner end of the tail, two or more pieces will top one siu mai dumpling. Two tails will be enough to top 10-20 siu mai dumplings.
Prepare the wonton skins. There are usually between 40-50 skins in one packet. If you have the choice, buy the ones more suited for steaming and boiling, not frying. Take approx 10 skins, keep them neatly in a stack and cut the corners off with scissors leaving octagon shaped wonton skins. Do the same with the rest of the pack. These octagon or rounder shaped wonton skins make more elegant looking siu mai dumplings.
Take 20g of the pork and prawn mixture and place it into the centre of a wonton skin. Make it into a drum shape with your hand in a horizontal “OK” position. The top will be exposed, stick a coin of lobster on top and it should look plump and round. Level the bottom so it can stand up straight. Repeat with the rest of the filling. If you run out of lobster before the filling then just make some plain siu mai dumplings.
To make the siu mai dumplings look extra special, place a small reddish garnish in the centre of the lobster. This can be masago fish roe, shrimp roe, crab roe, lobster roe or even a single goji berry.
These dumplings are best made and cooked straight away. But they can be prepared a few hours in advance, placed on non-stick paper and chilled.
To cook, steam them for 8-10 minutes. This is best in a traditional dim sum style steaming basket. Make sure to line with non-stick paper to prevent sticking. You can steam anyway you like, just make sure the bottoms aren’t sitting in condensation getting wet. Enjoy these as they are or with your favourite Chinese chilli condiment.
Best of all, enjoy them with your favourite people!