Keeping an open mind isn't always the easiest thing to do. We become comfortable when we are accustomed to doing something in a way that has always been successful.
But somewhere along the way I stumbled upon this cooking tutorial by Kenji Lopez-Alt author of The Food Lab and the Serious Eats food blog. The image of his dumplings was so beautiful it stuck in my head.
Left: How I've always made them - Right: How I made them last night
Even though I've made steamed Chinese dumplings Siu Mai (aka Shu Mai) for over two decades, maybe even three, by folding the skins upward and leaving the filling exposed I really wanted to try Kenji's way of spiraling the the dough together at the top of the dumpling just because it is so much prettier!
The image to the right is how they turned out last night! I will be making them this way from now on. Not only are they more elegant in design, they are also easier to move from the steamer to a plate because they hold together better.
There are many variations of fillings for siu mai and won ton wrappers available at most grocery stores work well if actual siu mai wrappers are not readily available or you don't want to make dough from scratch.
In the left photo above I'd added a tiny bit of shoyu and dab of wasabi to each dumpling. I didn't do that last night. Instead I served them with 4 different dipping sauces:
1. Coleman's Mustard: Just mix the dry powdered mustard with shoyu (aka soy sauce)
2. Hoisin Sauce: I like to thin it with just a bit of hot water to make it more fluid
3. Sweet Ginger Chili Sauce: I also thin this with just a bit of hot water to make it more fluid
4. A mixture of shoyu, sesame oil, and a little white vinegar
Fred liked 1 & 2 best while I like 3 & 4 so I guess I'll be stuck making 4 sauces whenever I serve them from now on :)
BTW leftovers are great because the dumpling are also good cold right out of the fridge or you can reheat them quickly in a microwave.