November 30, 2022

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法

How to Wrap Sui Mai 燒賣包法
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Time to wrap some sui mai 燒賣!  We have just posted our recipe on homemade sui mai, those iconic Chinese dim sum dumpling treats.  Now we have some tips and tricks for how to wrap sui mai 燒賣包法.

We had a few hiccups with the sui mai wrapping and wanted to share both the hiccups and how we fixed them.  

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

The siu mai uses a distinctive yellow tinted flour dough wrapper.  In HK these can be found at stores that sell fresh noodle products.  Look for such stores at your local wet market.  

The wrappers come in both square and circle shapes.  If you use the square ones the corners will form little flaps that stick out.  You could cut them off or leave 'em, works both ways.  There is also a thin dough wrapper w/o the yellow tint that is usually available.  That will work too, just not as pretty.

Don’t substitute with thick dumpling wrappers, those won’t work.  You don't want a sui mai that's mostly wrapper.  You want a thin delicate skin that will not overpower the meaty morsel inside.  

Or you can make your own sui mai wrappers like we did.  It’s easy to do, just takes a bit of time and a pasta machine.  Check out our easy homemade sui mai wrapper recipe

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

On to wrapping the sui mai!  There are two types of fillings in this dumpling, a bottom pork filling and a top shrimp filling.  

Scoop a rounded tbsp of bottom pork filling onto the middle of one sui mai wrapper.  Make the filling nice and round and tall, in preparation for the final cylindrical shape of the sui mai.

The amount of filling might need to be adjusted according to the size of your wrapper.  Warning, tho, I would go smaller rather than large.  Small and bite-sized is the way to go.  Our wrappers were 3 inches square (8 cm squared).

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

On top of the bottom pork filling goes the top shrimp filling.  The ratio of bottom filling to top filling should be 4:1.  

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

Top filling piled over bottom filling, all on top of the wrapper.  Make it tall in anticipation of the final cylindrical sui mai shape.

Let's talk about our first big hiccup.  Go forward for a moment:  wrapping is done and the sui mai are steaming.  Aiya!! Disaster strikes, after steaming we found that our sui mai had broken in sections and toppled over.  😫  

What the heck happened??

After much hair pulling, we figured out a couple of things that were causing the hiccups.  First of all we had used too much top filling.  Turns out the top filling expands more than the bottom filling.  Because we used too much top filling, the sui mai became top heavy and off balance after steaming.  

So we reduced the amount of top filling.  This is Tip No 1: keep to the ratio of bottom to top filling at 4:1.  And make sure the bottom of the sui mai is flat and balanced.

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

Once you have the fillings in place bring the wrapper up and around the filling to achieve a cylindrical shape.  To help with the cone shape tuck the sui mai into your hand as per the photo above.  

Press the filling down, turn the dumpling, repeat until filling is snuggly stuffed into the wrapper and the proper sui mai shape is achieved.

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

Here is our shaped sui mai.  At this point we present Tip no 2: make sure that the top filling completely covers the bottom filling and that the wrapper is firmly adhered to the sticky top filling, thus sealing the dumpling.

If you look at the photo above you can see that there are gaps where I did not achieve the seal between the top filling and wrapper yet.  That's a no-no.  You gotta seal the dumpling completely to the top filling.

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The final finish to the sui mai is to add a tiny scoop of fish roe or the traditionally used crab roe to the top.  A most lovely orange accent.  Press down on roe lightly to make sure it sticks.  You can also substitute a bit of finely diced carrot. 

how to wrap,sui mai,燒賣,包法,recipe,homemade,wrapping guide

These are our final wrapped sui mai 燒賣.  See how the sui mai are nicely sealed all around to the top filling (after I reduced the original amount of top filling used.)  And they are all well balanced on a flat bottom.  

I ended up cutting off the extra bits of wrapper from the square wrapper I used.  But I think if you want to leave the extra flaps it's fine.  Looks good, actually.

Tip no. 3 to make the perfect sui mai: Use low heat when steaming.  High temperature steaming was the last cause of the separation and toppling over of our original steamed sui mai. A lower temp works much better with these delicate dumplings.  

Check out our homemade Sui Mai 燒賣 recipe for the exact steaming requirements.

Aren’t our sui mai just gosh darn gorgeous?  And awesomely yummy as well, let me tell you.

Okay folks, it's been a grand dim sum adventure, making these dumplings at home and enjoying fresh, traditional dim sum and hot tea in the comfort of our home.  More Dim Sum adventures coming up soon at The Hong Kong Cookery, so stay tuned!



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