The Easy Dim Sum You Can Make At Home, According To Ming Tsai - Exclusive

It's not hard to find great dim sum all over the U.S. Today, you'll find restaurants serving authentic dim sum in pretty much any city, plus plenty of dim sum favorites in frozen form at the grocery store. But one of the best ways to experience dim sum is to immerse yourself fully in the culinary form and try making some for yourself. There are hundreds of dim sum dishes when you look across regions and techniques. However, if you're looking for a simple and tasty place to start, acclaimed Chinese American chef Ming Tsai has the answer. 

In an exclusive interview with Tasting Table promoting his new plant-based take on bings, called MingBings, chef Tsai shared one of his favorite underrated dim sum classics and it's one that you can easily make at home. "I love steamed siu mai," said Tsai. The dumpling-like snacks usually consist of pork or shrimp wrapped in a thin doughy wrapper and steamed until cooked through to create a soft and pillowy dumpling. They can be customized to your flavor and filling preferences and are much easier to fold than you might think. "It's not hard to make a siu mai," insists Tsai, and you'll find everything you need at your local grocery store.

Siu mai makes for an easy and delicious customizable snack

Siu mai starts with wonton wrappers, which Tsai says you can find "anywhere in the country." Next, make your filling out of whatever ingredients, spices, and aromatics you want — along with some egg, which acts as a binder — blending everything together until it forms a smooth, mousse texture. And your filling doesn't have to be made only from meat. "If you're using ground beef, you can put 50% veg in there because it's going to stick together," says Tsai.

Folding the siu mai up may seem intimidating, but Tsai insists that it's nothing fancy or complicated. "You literally wrap it up, flatten it up, and once you do five of them, you'll be like, 'Oh my God, I could be an Iron Chef.' They're not that hard."

Finally, you can steam them in a covered pan with a small amount of water for a few minutes. To make things even easier, Tsai adds that siu mai is "one of the only dim sums that can do well in a microwave by adding a little water to a covered dish. They're supposed to come out soft and luscious." And for a little extra pizazz, Tsai adds, "my one tip for the home cook is to put a tea bag in your water to steam because water has no flavor and tea does." And that's it — you're ready to dig into your homemade dim sum treat.

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