MOTOism: Italian Shumai
(Disclaimer: I did NOT see any of the shadows when I was taking these photos. Sorry about this. My pics are usually bad, but these are extra bad...)
I love coming up with weird fusions. You will be surprised at how cultural combos work very well, such as the Natto Sandwich, Ramen della Carbonara, Natto Brie Dip -- just to name a few. One thing I can't stand is vanilla sauce. It just doesn't work for me.
Anyhow, shumai (open-face dumplings) is a very versatile dish. You can put anything inside, wrap with wonton wrapper, and steam them. Usually I use nira, ginger, sesame oil with ground pork or chopped shrimp. For this Italian version, let's replace all the Asian ingredients with Italian ones.
Here are what you need.
1/3 lb ground pork (150 g)
1/4 cup chopped onion
6 chopped basil leaves (or more)
2 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp corn starch
Salt & pepper
First, microwave the onion for a minute to get rid of raw oniony flavor. If you don't mind it, you can skip this process. I do not like raw onion flavor so I always do this process.
Once the onion cools, mix everything together. I didn't put garlic in it, but if you would like, you can add them too. Come to think of it, you can also add a tablespoon or so of tomato paste, which will kick the Italian factor up a notch.
Then divide them up into 6 equal sized balls
Cut 10 wonton wrappers into thin strip
Fluff them up:
Drop each ball onto wonton strips and stick them on the balls. This is a nifty trick. Instead of wrapping meat with the wonton wrapper, this "nest" style makes your shumai look extra fancy. Meanwhile, it's so much easier than wrapping the meat balls.
Make sure enough strips stick to meatball. Place them onto the steamer:
Steam them for 8 minutes or so until skin look translucent.
For the sauce, I used a simple balsamic glaze. You can reduce balsamic vinegar, or buy this glaze:
Drizzle glaze over shumai, and sprinkle over some thinly cut basil. You are done.
It's fancy right?
They taste good too. This could be applied to many different countries, for example use ground lamb with a bunch of spices to make Middle Eastern-style shumai. The possibilities are infinite.