Shumai with daikon 大根入り焼売

Japanese Food

This was my first attempt to make shumai 焼売 and I am posting this as an example of how things don’t always work out well in the cooking world. (I can only hope my next attempt may be better). I followed a recipe I saw in a Japanese newspaper on line (Asahi shinbun). Although the meat mixture was just fine, the wonton skin did not stick together or to the meat and the dish became “meatballs with wonton noodles”. In any case, I served several examples with two sauces; on the left is rice vinegar with white pepper and the right is soy sauce.

As you can see the skin got loose and separated from the filling after steaming. In any case, it tasted great.

I followed the recipe closely. One unique item in this recipe was using pre-cooked small cubes of daikon in the filling.

Ingredients: (make 14-15 shumai)
Minced (or ground) pork 200 grams (I used my usual hand minced pork tenderloin trimming but meat from the fattier portion may work better).
Daikon 100 grams
Shiitake mushrooms; 1 dried (I used two fresh including the stems torn lengthwise and then chopped. I am sure the dried mushroom may have more umami flavor but I did not have time to rehydrate some).
Wonton skins

Salt 2 grams (probably 1/2 tsp)
Soy sauce 1 tsp
Ginger juice 2 tsp
Sake 2 tbs
Dry shiitake soaking liquid 2 tbs (I used dashi instead).
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil 1tsp
Potato starch (Katakuri-ko) 1/2 tsp

1. Peel and cut the daikon into 7 mm cubes and cook in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and cool.
2. Mix the seasoning into the pork starting with the salt and mix well.
3. Add the daikon and mushrooms and mix (#1 and #2).
4. Prepare the steamer for continuous steam (#3).
5. Meanwhile, make the shumai by placing the filling in the middle of the wonton skin placed on a circle made from the index finger and thumb, push it in and add more filling to make a cylinder (#4).
6. Place them on the steamer (#5) and cook for 10 minutes (#6)

I think I made 2 mistakes. When I formed the shumai, I needed to pinch firmly so that the side of the wonton skin would adhere better to the filling. When steaming, I should have placed the shumai slightly apart so that they would not stick to each other.

In any case, despite this, they tasted really good. The addition of the daikon added a nice texture and taste. The dipping sauces were also nice. I ended up dipping the shumai in both. I also used some Japanese hot mustard. Later, based on the philosophy that when an unsuccessful attempt at something results in lemons make lemonade, I converted these shumai into another dish. Stay tuned more to follow.

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