Friday, August 14, 2009
Siomay Bandung (Indonesian steamed dumplings)
Siomay Bandung is an Indonesian dish you can easily find at many street food vendors in West Java. This dish originated from the city of Bandung, thus the name "Siomay Bandung." Siomay are steamed dumplings made from a fish paste base mixed with ground shrimp and/or chicken or pork. The mixture becomes the filling for wonton skins, cabbage, bittermelon, potatoes, and tofu. It is served with peanut sauce, sweet soy sauce, fried shallots, and a splash of key lime.
This dish does take a bit of coordination and patience to make due to its many elements. But it's all worth it once you put the first bite into your mouth!
Makes 8-10 servings
1 lb. fish paste
1 lb. ground chicken or pork
1/4 lb. ground shrimp
2 t. minced garlic
1 T. minced shallots
1/4 C. fish sauce
2 t. white pepper
2 C. tapioca starch
1-2 C. cold water
1 small cabbage (carefully tear each layer)
2 large tofu (cut into 8 triangle pieces)
4 small potatoes (cut in half)
2 bittermelon (cut into 2" pieces, then cut lengthwise and remove seeds - making them into little boats)
16 wonton skins
8 boiled eggs
2 C. deep fried peanuts
4 cloves garlic
5 red chili
4 T. sugar
2 t. salt
2-3 C. water
1 T. sweet soy sauce
Sweet soy sauce
Key lime wedges
1. In a large bowl, mix all the filling ingredients except for water. Once the mixture is even, start adding the water a little bit at a time until the consistency of the mixture is soft, but still sticky (like thick porridge). I find it easier to mix using my hand instead of a wooden spoon or potato masher.
2. Immerse the separated cabbage leaves in boiling water for 1-2 minutes until they're soft and flexible. Place a spoonful of mixture at the hard end of the cabbage leaf and fold in just like you would wrap an egg roll. Place a spoonful of mixture inside the bittermelon boats, on top of the flat half of the potatoes, and the slanted side of the tofu triangles. For the wonton skin, place a teaspoon of mixture in the middle of the skin then pull the skin to cover the sides. Make meatballs out of the leftover mixture.
3. Arrange all the pieces inside a steamer and steam until meat and vegetables are done, usually about 20-30 minutes.
4. To make peanut sauce, place all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and cook on med-high heat until hot and sauce thickens.
5. Place one of each kind of siomay and a boiled egg on a plate. Pour some peanut sauce, drizzle some sweet soy sauce, top with fried shallots, squeeze a wedge of fresh key lime...and ENJOY!
TIP: If you're pressed for time or just don't have the patience to wrap each siomay, just steam the cabbage, potatoes, and tofu by themselves. You can also buy pre-made peanut sauce that can be dissolved in hot water. They can be found at most Asian grocery stores.