I was thinking about making wontons originally. I got the wonton wrappings, which are the yellowish ones, not the white wrappings.  I got some shrimp, some ground pork. I was ready.  But then I changed my mind.  Hm.. how about making steamed siu mei instead?  I actually have never made siu mei before.  But I thought the ingredients are kind of similar.  I was gonna be adventurous and gave it a try.  A friend of mine always says that there is always a first time for everything.  So true.  I did it!!  The wrapping or shaping of the siu mei was so easy.  There was basically 0 technique involved.  I made it last night, it was very good, and I made again tonight 🙂  And you know what?  As lazy as I am, I really think that the siu mei is much easier to make than wontons because I can just steam them after they are shaped, and 18 minutes later, they are done.  There is no boiling of wontons on one pot, and making another pot of soup, or checking if the wontons stick together or to the pot.  Well, may be when I got more time, I’ll make wonton from scratch.  For now, I enjoy the steamed siu mei.

Wonton wrappings
Put ground pork, chopped shrimp and mushroom in a bowl
Put generous filing in a wrapping
Fold the edge of the wrapping up like a cup cake
Put siu mei in a steamer
Steamed Siu Mei

Ingredients (Make about 15):

  • Wonton wrappings, 1 pack (Get the yellow wonton wrappings instead of the white ones.  The white wrappings are ok, they are just thicker)
  • Ground pork, ½ pound
  • Shrimp, about 1/2 pound
  • Dried shiitake mushrooms, 3 (or 5 or 6 fresh shiitake mushrooms)
  • Egg white, 1
  • Oyster sauce, 1 tsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tsp
  • Chinese cooking wine, 1 Tbsp
  • Garlic, 1 clove
  • Sesame oil, 1 tsp
  • Chicken powder, 1 tsp
  • Sugar, 1/2 tsp
  • White pepper, a dash

Steps:

  1. Soak dried shiitake mushrooms in a hot water for 30 minutes or until they are softened. Or you can pre-soak them and leave them in the refrigerator overnight.  Or you can use fresh shiitake mushrooms instead.  Dried shiitake mushrooms have a strong mushroom taste.  I used the dried one here.  When they are softened, finely chopped them, and put them in a big mixing bowl.
  2. Finely chop garlic, add it to the mixing bowl.
  3. Add ground port into the mixing bowl.  Add soy sauce, oyster sauce, Chinese cooking wine, chicken powder, sesame oil, sugar and a dash of white pepper.  Mix it well.  Put it aside.
  4. Peel and clean shrimp.  Cut it into small pieces. You can then finely chop it if you prefer. That’s what I did.  It looks like a chunky paste.  Add the shrimp to the mixing bowl.
  5. Break an egg, and just add the egg white to the mixing bowl.  Mix everything well.
  6. Prepare a small bowl of water, put it aside.
  7. Prepare the steamer.  Add enough water in the steamer. Start boiling the water.
  8. Prepare a plate the can fit into the steamer.  Or you can use two pieces of aluminum foil and foil it like a container that will fit.  Spray oil on the plate/foil to prevent the siu mei from sticking.
  9. While you wait for the steamer to get ready, you can start wrapping the siu mei.  Get a piece of wonton wrapping, put it on your left hand.  Then put one tablespoon of filing and put it in the middle of the wrapping. Leave a little space on the edge.  Use your finger to dip a little bit of water on the edge of the wrapping.  Then fold the edge of the wrapping up like a cup cake.
  10. Put each siu mei on the plate.  For the best result, leave space between siu mei.  In my case, I was too lazy to steam them two times, there wasn’t much space between them. They end up sticking a bit. But that’s ok. I didn’t care. They still tasted good 🙂
  11. Put siu mei in the steamer.  Steam with a lid on for 18 minutes on high heat.  Serve hot. You can serve it with a little bit soy sauce or chili sauce on the side.  BTW, you can freeze the leftover wrappings.  Just defrost them before you use it next time.
February 14, 2010

It’s not “damn tart”, it’s “dan tart”, Egg Tart.  “Dan” in Cantonese means egg.

I wasn”t crazy about Egg Tarts when I was young.  It was one of those food that I would eat it but I didn”t have any special craving for it.  One year my childhood best friend got a summer job in a bakery shop.  I visited her a few times that summer.  Every time I visited her, she was making egg tarts.  They smelled so good.  I saw her poured the liquid to the tart shells.  She said it was so easy to make egg tarts.  Of course, back then I had no clue how to cook.  Now I don”t live anywhere near any bakery that serves egg tarts.  And I do crave egg tarts once in a while, I don’t know why.   I probably crave the smell of it more than the taste.  Now I would order it whenever I have dim sum in a Chinese restaurant.  One time, I had lunch with my sister and a bunch of friends at a dim sum place.  We ordered egg tarts as desserts.  The waiter told us that their egg tarts were very special.  My sister asked him “How special?”  He said, “especially small”  What a surprising and stupid answer!  We all laughed.

Soft Egg Tart Filling
Soft Egg Tart Filling
Chinese Egg Tart
Chinese Egg Tart

Ingredients: (make 12-15)

Dough:

  • Confectioners” sugar, 1 cup
  • All-purpose flour, 3 cup
  • Butter, 1 cup
  • Egg, 1 beaten

Filling:

  • Sugar, 2/3 cup
  • Water 1.5 cups
  • Eggs, 5 beaten
  • Vanilla extract, a dash
  • Evaporated milk or half and half, 1 cup

Steps:

  1. In a  mixing bowl, add confectioners” sugar, flour, and butter.  Use a fork or two knives to cut the butter into small crumbs.  Mix well with the flour mixture. If you have one of those fancy gadget that can cut the butter into small crumbs, use that instead of a fork or knives.
  2. Add egg to the mixture.  Mix well and form a dough.   The dough should be moist.  If it is too dry, you can add some more butter.  If  it is too moist, add some more flour.  Knead the dough a few times.  Form a big ball.
  3. Shape dough into 1.5 inches balls.  Press it flat with a rolling pin.  Lay it on a tart mold/paper shell.  Make sure if covers the whole mold, ie bottom and side.  Finsih the rest of the molds.  Put them aside.
  4. To make the filling, combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan.  Use low heat, cook until the sugar is dissolved.  Turn off the heat.  Let it cool (this step is important!).
  5. Wait till the sugar mixture is cool.  Beat the eggs in a bowl.  Strain it through a sieve to remove lumps. Add the egg into the sugar mixture.  Mix well.  Add evaporated milk and a dash of vanilla.   You can strain the whole mixture through a sieve the second time to make sure the mxiture has no lumps.
  6. Pour the mixture to the shells.
  7. Preheat the oven to 400F.  Bake for 25-30 minutes in a preheated oven, or until they turn golden brown.