Sunday, May 15, 2011

Eggplant & Black Bean Siew Mai

After potstickers I think these are the easiest dim sum items to make although I find them a little tricky to make them look pretty. Mine kept slumping on the plate as if the they had all the worries of the world on their shoulders. Luckily, I ate them and put them out of their misery. Next time I make them I will chop the filling more finely to hopefully make a sturdier siew mai.

These Siew Mai are traditionally made with minced pork but I got this vegetarian version off the Vegetarian Times website which has a whole page on veggie dim sum. If you want to make this recipe gluten free I think it would be better to use rice wrappers and make these into steamed dumplings rather than the siew mai shape which requires a sturdier wrapper. They will taste just as good and will be a lot easier to eat with chop sticks. If you need this dish to be gluten free make sure that the sauces and seasonings used in the mixture are also gluten free. These dumplings, like the potstickers from earlier in the week, can be frozen after assembling and steamed from frozen.

Eggplant (Aubergine) & Black Bean Siew Mai (Make 12+ dumplings)
Can be-vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free

250g Aubergine (eggplant), finely chopped
1tsp Garlic, crushed, 
2tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1tsp Vegetable oil
2tbs Black bean sauce (Check is gluten free brand e.g. Changs)
2tbs Fresh Coriander/cilantro, finely chopped
1tsp Five Spice powder
1tsp Sesame oil
12 Wanton wrappers
1tsp Cornflour mixed with 1tbs water -if using rice paper sheets

  •  Heat the vegetable oil in a pan and add the aubergine, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for five minutes until the aubergine starts to soften add the black bean sauce and five spice powder and continue to cook until the aubergine is soft and cooked through, add water if the mixture is too dry. Once the mixture is cooked through add the fresh coriander and sesame oil. Remove from the heat and leave the mixture to cool.
  • To make the siew mai dumplings with wanton wrappers: Take the wrapper and place 1-2tsp of the mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Gather up the edges of  the wanton and pleat to form a basket. Repeat until all the mixture is gone. Place on a steamer, bamboo or metal, and steam for 7-9 mins. Serve immediately.
  • To make the dumplings with rice paper sheets: Fill a bowl with warm water and dip one of the sheets into it. Once the sheet has started to get bendy and less like a sheet of card and more like cloth then take it out and cut into circles using a cookie cutter (10cm or 4" diameter) or a square using scissors or a pizza cutter. Only soak and cut one of the sheets before filling as it gets harder to work with the rice paper once it has been soaked and isn't worked with straight away. Lay the rice paper wrapper onto a plate lightly dusted with cornflour. Spoon 1 heaped tsp of the mixture into the centre of the wrapper. Take the cornflour mixture and smear a thin layer around the edge of the wrapper. Fold wrapper in half to form a half moon (if using circular wrappers) or triangle shape (for square wrappers) and gently press the edges to seal. Repeat until all filling is used up. Place on a steamer, bamboo or metal, and steam for 7-9 mins. Serve immediately.

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