June 8, 2010

shomai Chinese dumplings

Steamed sweet and savory snacks are so popular in Asia that they're served and enjoyed any time of the day. One of my favorites is shomai, a type of Chinese dumpling usually made with ground pork. It was years ago, on a busy time of day at a popular dim sum restaurant in Hong Kong where I had my first authentic Chinese dumplings. It was also interesting that the busy time of day was breakfast. Steaming hot bamboo baskets in rolling carts came out of the kitchen one after another and were pushed around the tables. This made the service very fast as the dumplings were delivered straight to the diners' tables. This must be one of the reasons why dim sum places in Asia are popular at breakfast time especially for people in a hurry to get to work. I would say it takes expertise and knowledge of this type of food to know which basket to grab from the cart. The last time I had this experience was at a similar dim sum restaurant in Los Angeles where my uncle took us for lunch. It was a fast paced environment as well.

Making dumplings is just as fun as eating them. Andrea Nguyen's new book (shown above) was very informative and inspiring. These steamed shomai dumplings keep well in the refrigerator for a few days and they may even be stored in the freezer for a longer time. They may be served with or without a soy and lemon dip.

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