Do it right…

When I bought some dim sum delights from that celebrated place in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Foo Phing, to bring home to Sibu a long long time ago, they were quite concerned about the quality of their products and kept reminding me that I should steam them for only 4 minutes, if I remember correctly – no more, no less.

I could understand their concern as more often than not, people would just dump everything in the steamer and steam them till kingdom come, not bothered to keep time at all and they would all end up over-steamed, the skin all soft and mushy and then they would grumble about the quality of what they had bought.

Well, in my previous post, I mentioned that my friend, Annie in KL, went to Jakar, Sarikei and she bought me some sio bee (meat dumplings) from there…

Jakar sio bee
*Archive photo*

They were still in the freezer when I wrote that post but not anymore.

The first thing I did when I took them out to defrost was  to open the pack…

Defrost, pack open

…so that the condensation and the moisture collecting inside would not wet and spoil the skin.

It would be best to use a flat plate or tray as sometimes, during the steaming, the water from the steam would collect in it and that would also be bad for the skin at the bottom of the sio bee. It would not be so bad if you are using those bamboo baskets like those at the dim sum places but I guess most of us do not have those at home.

I used a little cooking oil to grease the tray I was using – yes, the people at Foo Phing did tell me to do that – so the dumplings would not stick to it. Having done that, I placed them in the tray…

Place in greased tray or plate

…a little bit apart from one another…

Avoid any contact

…so they would not all stick together eventually.

When the water had started boiling, I placed the tray in the wok and waited a little bit longer, 5 minutes to be exact, after which, I opened the lid of the wok (my steamer is a little too small for the tray)…

Release the steam

…to release the steam.

I just took out what I wanted to eat…

Ready to eat

…and put back the lid, leaving the rest inside to keep warm in the residual heat.

I still had a bit of the very nice and very very spicy chili sauce from Payung so I had the dumplings with it…

Best served with chili sauce

…and yes, I would say they were really very good! I could detect the special seafood sweetness – no, I do not think they used prawns. Those would be too expensive so my guess is it was fish, bay ka (ikan tenggiri/mackerel) usually.

I hear they do sell these sio bee

Jakar sio bee, in natural light

…at some places in Sibu but I never paid attention as to where exactly. I certainly wouldn’t mind buying some more should I happen to see them around here.