Dumpling skins are usually found frozen. Small, round siu mai dumpling (or potsticker) skins are the best, but you can also use square wonton skins. Look for these in the Asian market for best results. At regular grocery stores, I’ve seen “pasta sheets” marketed as dumpling or egg roll wrappers that are refrigerated in the produce section, usually next to the tofu. I don’t like these at all – they are too thick and will make a gummy mess when you steam them.
Defrost the skins in the refrigerator overnight, or on the counter (they should take a couple of hours). You can try defrosting the package in the microwave, but please keep a close eye on them, over-doing it in the microwave will ruin the skins.
Keep the skins covered at all times under a damp cloth or paper towel. These skins dry out very quickly – and will crack, making it very difficult to wrap.
Steamed Siu Mai Dumplings Recipe
Ingredients:4 dried Chinese/shiitake mushrooms
2/3 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely diced water chestnuts (canned is fine)
1/4 cup chopped green onions (green parts only)
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
2 teaspoons Asian sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon sugar
dash ground white pepper (optional)
1 egg white
35 dumpling skins (round or square), thawed if frozen
1 carrot, minced
1. Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water until softened, about 1 hour. Drain the water, discard the stem, and finely chop the mushroom caps.
2. In a large bowl, combine the mushrooms, pork, water chestnuts, green onions, fresh ginger, soy sauce, cornstarch, wine, sesame oil, sugar, pepper and egg white. Mix well.
3. Line bamboo steamer trays with parchment paper.
4. Spoon scant 1 tablespoon of filling onto middle of a dumpling skin. Gather the dumpling skin together and use your cupped hands to form the siu mai. If you have trouble getting the skin to stick together, you can brush the inside of the dumpling skin with a little bit of cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon cornstarch + 3 tablespoons water). Top each siu mai with a bit of minced carrot.
5. Place dumplings into bamboo steamer, cover the dumplings with damp paper towel or plastic wrap until ready to cook - this will prevent the dumplings from drying out). When ready to cook, remember to remove the plastic wrap or paper towels. Steam for 8 minutes.