(STAR) EAT’S EASY By Ernest Reynoso Gala - “One of the delights of life is eating with friends, second to that is talking about eating. And, for an unsurpassed double whammy, there is talking about eating while you are eating with friends.” — Laurie Colwin, Home Cooking

During our discussions in class, a student asked what would be a nice recipe for a home-based business, something that is not time-consuming and is profitable. I suggested siomai making because it can be prepared ahead of time and kept in the freezer.

One secret to achieving a firm, professionally-done siomai is to steam right away straight from the freezer. It is important that when steaming, the water should be boiling and is kept always on high fire.

Cooked siomai can also be skewered on bamboo sticks, three pieces at a time, and deep fried in hot oil. When deep-frying, there should be enough oil to cover what you are cooking and always have a strainer lined with paper napkins to absorb the excess oil.

To check if the temperature of the oil is correct, place a wooden chopstick at the center of the pan; if there are plenty of bubbles around the stick, it is hot and ready for frying. The siomai can be served with bottled sweet chili sauce found in supermarkets or Chinese stores.

Siomai wrappers (wonton), lumpia wrappers, kikiam (bean curd skin) can be kept in the freezer, wrapped in foil, and then placed in a freezer plastic bag on the side door of the freezer for six months. When ready to use, thaw. This process will extend the shelf life of your wrappers, keeping them fresh and whole.

Seafood Siomai

1 cup shrimps, coarsely chopped, or fish fillet, finely chopped

4 Chinese or shiitake mushrooms, soaked for 15 minutes, drained, and chopped, to measure 1/4 cup

1/4 cup spring onions (sibuyas na mura), chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon rice wine

1/4 cup carrots, chopped

1 teaspoon rock salt

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg

1/4 cup cornstarch

32 siomai wrappers

For the sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon garlic, chopped

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon calamansi juice

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon chopped garlic

Put all filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Prepare siomai wrappers. Put one scoop filling on each, using a small (size 24) ice cream scooper or a tablespoon, in center of wrapper. Gather sides. With thumb and forefinger, make a “waist” in the middle. Put on a cling-lined tray, half an inch apart. Freeze at least one hour.

This siomai may be kept in the freezer, covered with cling wrap, for one week. It can be steamed directly from the freezer.

Prepare the steamer pan with two-inch-deep water. Boil.

Grease the steamer pan with sesame oil. Put the frozen siomai. Steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Remove from fire.

Wait for 15 minutes before removing the siomai from pan so that the wrapper does not fall off. Serve with sauce.

For the sauce:

Mix well soy sauce, one tablespoon garlic, sugar, and calamansi juice. Add sesame oil and 1 teaspoon garlic.

Pork/Chicken Siomai

1/2 kilo ground pork, or 1 500-gram pack chicken giniling

1 cup sweet ham, chopped

1/4 cup Chinese mushrooms, soaked, drained, chopped

1/4 cup carrots

2 teaspoons rock salt

2 teaspoons sesame oil

2 eggs

2 tablespoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup cornstarch

Follow procedure as for shrimp/seafood siomai. Makes 50 pieces. May be frozen for one month uncooked.


When making siomai in big quantities, put ingredients in a Hobart or Kitchen Aid bowl. Use a mixer paddle and beat for two minutes on medium speed.

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Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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