¾pound(340 grams) ground chicken meat(I pulse chicken thighs or breasts in the food processor to finely chop, but not puree them)
4dried shiitake mushroomsrehydrated overnight, squeezed dry, stems removed, and caps minced (net ½ cup [40 grams])
¼cup(50 grams) finely minced yellow onion
¼cup(65 grams) finely minced fresh or canned bamboo shoots
¼cup(85 grams) finely minced green cabbage
3tablespoons(30 grams) finely minced carrot
1large egg whitelightly beaten
1tablespoon(10 grams) cornstarch
1teaspoonShaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
½teaspoonwhite or black pepper
¼cupChinese black vinegar(preferably Chinkiang vinegar)
Assembly and Cooking:
30 to 40siu mai or wonton wrappers
Decoratively cut carrots for garnish
Peanut, canola, or vegetable oil, if pan-frying
Chili oilfor serving, if desired (preferably homemade)
To make the filling, in a mixing bowl combine all of the ingredients. Refrigerate if needed.
To make the dipping sauce, combine the vinegar and soy sauce and store for up to a month in your refrigerator.
To assemble, place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper and then gently gather the sides of the wrapper up and around the filling, forming the sides of the siu mai by circling your forefinger and thumb together.
Use a small knife or spatula to smooth down the top of the filling (it should come to the edges of the wrapper, and will be exposed) while continuing to gently squeeze and form the sides and bottom of the cup-shaped dumpling. Gently tap the finish siu mai on the work surface to flatten the bottom so it stands up and resembles a short cylinder.
Finish by pressing the carrot garnish gently into the top of the filling. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking. The siu mai can also be frozen at this point in a single layer on a parchment lined tray, and then transferred gently to a large freezer bag or freezer-safe container for up to a month. If cooking from a frozen state, add a few more minutes of cooking time.
If steaming, prepare a steamer basket lined with blanched cabbage leaves or lightly greased parchment paper. Place the siu mai in the steamer basket, being careful to space them apart so they are not touching. Cover with a lid and steam for about 6 to 8 minutes (or a few minutes longer if frozen), until they are cooked through.
If pan-frying, heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add ½ tablespoon of oil to the hot pan, tilting to coat the bottom of the pan. Place the siu mai in a single layer in the hot pan and cook until the bottoms are golden brown. Add ½ cup water and immediately cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until all of the water has been absorbed and the dumpling skins have cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes (or a few minutes longer if frozen). Uncover and allow them to crisp back up for another minute after all the water has absorbed; remove immediately from the pan. Repeat with the remaining siu mai.
Serve with the dipping sauce and chili oil, if desired.
For the wrappers: aim for 3-inch round or square wrappers or smaller if you can find them; you can trim larger wrappers if needed, although my 3-¼-inch wrappers worked just fine, but yielded less, somewhat larger siu mai.