I made siomai today. No, we, because my wife and our two kids helped. They were thinking of it as children’s play. A really enjoyable thing.
I my opinion, the only thing that set siomai apart from other minced meat products is the wrapper. The maker has a choice as to what ingredients to add, including proportions. As for mine, I only asked her to buy me molo wrapper and ground meat. I gonna add whenever I find fit in the kitchen. Things are different if we trace back its origin. Perhaps, China. It has defined set of ingredients and taste signature. Like our very own locals, adobo, menudo, mechado at kaldereta. However, it is changing depending on cook, locality and availability of ingredients. Mass production also has great effect.
I added chopped carrots and onions. Then black pepper, salt and oysters sauce. How did I knew all things were the right place? I used my sense of smell! I do not worry to much about this. the final taste can be adjusted with the sauce. Of course measurements are essential for commercial purposes. If you gonna sell it to someone regularly, in grocery shelves, kiosk or serve in restaurants and catering. You have to assure the uniformity of flavor profile. Do experiment on flavor combination and save note of the best.
No need to peel the carrots. Just remove the stalk portion and your good to go. The skin is thin. Barely noticeable when chopped. Imagine the quantity of food wasted by simply peeling it off. You may only need to remove the green part of potato if there is. I am patiently removing the camote skin because it taste bad. It ruins the sweet delicious taste.
The last were eggs and cornstarch. The two serve as binder and help the product hold its shape. More cornstarch means more output of inferior quality. Mixing potato, cassava, camote and taro may also be added as extender. I only added enough to make the mixture tacky.
The molo wrapper is still in good condition after several days in ambient room storage. I just made sure it is wrapped properly to avoid any mold growth. It has sort of foul smell that dissipates after opening. Preservative maybe. I forgot to look if there was ingredient listing on label. It is food item so it should have one.
Wrapping session was a complete mess. Our two kids were wrapping siomai own their own accord. Whatever shape that came out their mind. Candy, lumpia, lollipop and other weird designs I cannot figure out. It made me think if I can still call them siomai. They were so happy eating what the made though. Those pieces I shaped have no proper wrapper folding but round enough to be called such. I gonna learn the art sooner or later if I continue with it.
Marvin is the lead chocolate maker of Ben and Lyn Chocolate Inc. Has strong background in food research and development. Occasionally conducts training and lectures. Lecturer of Cocoa Foundation of the Philippines. Do coaching and consultancy services on his free time.