The Siomai and Relative Recipes

Ground meat is compose mainly of trimmings, fatty tissues and perhaps some internal organs. Parts of less value. Reducing further to smaller pieces almost always hide its true identity and deceiving many buyers. Not true when buying specific meat part and asking the seller to grind it.

Note: whenever buying processed meat products. Don’t expect it originated from high quality meats. Same is true for fruit juices and products. The pre-cut and pre-mix vegetables from public market are the same either. They are trimmings from rejects. Processing aims to add value to low quality commodities. Our favorite fast food gravy is made of drippings from bacon and related products making.

The ground meat can be turned to various products by means of little creativity, some manual works and basic meat ingredients. Jump from one recipe to another requires adding and or changing of few ingredients. Take less time learning one recipe and take lesser time learning the other recipe.

Let’s start with the siomai. The basic ingredients are  1) ground meat, 2) minced garlic, 3) minced onions, 4) fine black pepper, 5) paprika and 6) binder – egg and or cornstarch. Sugar, salt, chili and and other flavors can be added. Mix all the ingredients.  Adjust amounts according to taste preference. Add more binder to have a more solid product. Wrap a spoonful in molo wrapper and cook in steamer.

Relative recipes if molo wrapper and steaming are discarded.

1) Meat balls. Take a spoonful of mixture. Roll between palm and deep fry. Dip in favorite sauce and eat.

2) Empanada. Lay the flattened dough on a pastry puff maker. Place enough mixture on center. Close the tool to close the empanada. Lift out the empanada and cut off the excess edges. Deep fry.

3) Siopao. Place a lump on center of flattened dough. Pull all sides upward and toward the center to close the siopao. Steam for 15 minutes.

4) Meat Nuggets. Imitate the size and shape of chicken nuggets using both hands. Then roll on flour, dip in beaten egg and cover with bread crumbs. Deep fry and serve.

5) Skinless longanisa. Make the mixture sweeter. Produce rolls about the size of man’s point finger. Wrap every roll in cellophane or fry immediately.

6) Longanisa. Add more pork backfat and stuff into hog casing. Divide by placing ties at specific intervals.

Ampalayang Siomai  (Bitter Gourd)

Ingredients:
2 squares fried tofu, thinly sliced
1 medium ampalaya, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
siomai wrapper
cooking oil
pepper
salt to taste

Cooking Instructions:
Saute garlic until golden brown. Add fried tofu, carrots, pepper and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly. Then add sliced ampalaya, simmer to two minutes. Pour beaten egg and mix. Turn off the heat and cover the pan.

cooking ampalaya siomai

Wrap a teaspoon of mixture in siomai wrapper. Dab the closed end with  water  to make it stick together. Repeat until all mixture is consumed. Steam for five to ten minutes. Serve hot with sauce.

ampalaya siomai with sauce

How to Make Banana Heart Pork Siomai

Ingredients:
1/4 kilograms banana blossom, chopped. Include young banana fingers and soft bracts. Match sticks like filament of young fingers should be removed.
1/4 kilogram ground pork
1/2 cup chopped singkamas
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 eggs
5 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
1/2 tablespoon salt
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
molo / siomai wrapper

young banana flowers

Procedure:

1) Boil chopped banana heart in water for 15 minutes. Cool and strain to remove water.

boiling chopped banana heart

2) Add the rest of the ingredients to cooked banana blossoms and mix well.
3) Place enough mixture in a molo wrapper. Fold the corners upward and fold the protruding corners sidewards. Make the siomai more round. Care should be observed to prevent breakage of molo wrap.

adding veggies to pre-cooked banana heart

4) Arrange the siomai in a double boiler and steam for 30 minutes.
5) Serve with your favorite sauce.

steaming banana flower siomai

How to Make Fish Siomai, Blue Marlin

Ingredients:
1/2 kilogram, blue marlin
1 regular size carrot, chopped finely
2 regular size onion chopped finely
2 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 teaspoon black pepper, fine
1 teaspoon paprika
2 eggs, medium
5 tablespoon cornstarch or flour
1 teaspoon salt
molo / siomai wrapper

slice of blue marlin fish

Procedure:
1) Wash fish. Remove all bones, this is easy because this fish has fewer bones, unlike milkfish.
2) Chop the fish or pass it through meat grinder.
3) Mix all the ingredients thoroughly.

comminuted blue marlin fish

4) Place enough mixture in center of molo wrapper. Fold the four corners upward then fold the four protruding edge sidewards. Round the siomai using fingers and the center palm of other hand. Be gentle, siomai wrapper breaks easily.

blue marlin siomai

5) Arrange siomai in a double boiler and steam for 15 minutes.

cooking blue marlin siomai

6) Prepare sauce by mixing vinegar, soy sauce, calamansi, sugar, onions, garlic and black pepper. Adjust amount according to your taste preference.

Note: Other ingredients and extenders of choice may be added.

How to Make Fish Siomai Barbecue, Inihaw na Siomai

Good foods are discovered through experimentation. A lot of good things are discovered through conducting weird experiments.

I have left-over fish siomai in refrigerator. I cooked fish siomai on my previous blog post. I also have ready marinade and barbecue sticks. I asked her “What if I grill these siomai?”. She replied that siomai should not be broiled, deep frying will do. She also added the she can’t imagine the resulting flavor.

I don’t want to take extra fat from deep frying so I still proceed in grilling the yummy fish siomai. I pricked the siomai through the barbecue sticks, brushed with  marinade and grilled it on charcoal stove.  I also used the same marinade for grilling isaw and dugo. The grilling process almost last for 30 minutes, turning side and brushing with marinade every two minutes.

siomai and isaw

Here are the freshly grilled fish siomai or fish siomai barbecue.

grilled fish siomai

She and my younger sister comments: The taste was great. The molo wrapper is crispy. The whole fish shiomai barbecue became turned out delectable.

Note: molo wrapper is made of  flour, egg and water of about equal parts, plus salt. Ingredients are kneaded, flattened until thin, cut to size and stored for later use. Ready made wrappers are squares, of uniform width and thickness.  Expect it to have some sort of preservatives. Make your own at home if you are  worried.  Don’t pay attention too much on art details. Uniformity is hard to achieved by hand.

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.

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