July 7, 2014
boulette des crevettes
(shrimp dumplings)
After 18 hours of flying and 6 hours or so in three different airports, we arrived. It was about two in the afternoon when we plopped on our beds. After an hour of napping, we headed into Singapore’s 35 °C (95 °F) air made heavy with the near 100 percent humidity. We didn’t stray too far from our hotel, but we did take the escalator underground at the nearest subway station to purchase our EZ‑Link cards so we could use the city bus network to get around town. On the way back we walked around the block our hotel was on to see what the neighborhood was like. Not too exciting. After a bit of relaxing and a shower, we headed back outside to walk to Chinatown and dinner.
The next morning, we awoke, showered, and headed downstairs to the hotel restaurant for our breakfast, which was included in the cost of our room. When breakfast is included with the room, it’s always a crap‑shoot. Sometimes, like at The Morrison in Dublin, the breakfast quality and selection is better than at the best stand‑alone restaurants. Unfortunately, at many hotels, the “included” breakfast is instant coffee, pasteurized apple juice, and not much else. At our Singapore hotel, the breakfast was eighty percent of the way towards The Morrison. I was smiling ear‑to‑ear.
Being Singapore, you could have a breakfast dishes from any of the local cultural groups. Peranakan, Chinese, Malay, British, and Indian food all found its way to the buffet table. One of the Chinese specialties, always a surprise when the lid of the steamer was lifted, was shumai. [http:⁄⁄en.wikipedia.org⁄wiki⁄Shumai] Each of the four mornings we ate breakfast at the hotel, the shumai was prepared with a different filling. This is contrary to the shumai I’m used to at home where the shumai tends to have the same pork filling from restaurant to restaurant.
By the time we made it to Hong Kong a week later and ate lots more dim sum, I had decided that I needed to do an amuse‑bouche version of shumai. My version had to be substantially smaller than most of the shumai I encountered so my guests wouldn’t get too stuffed. Other than that, it wouldn’t need many changes. My filling recipe is original and not as Asian as we had in Singapore.
80 g (278 oz))
ground shrimp meat
12 t
grated garlic
12 t
grated ginger
2 halves
tomato confit, 3‑mm dice
1 slice
jalapeño pepper, 2‑mm dice
1 t
light Chinese soy sauce
1 t
shaohsing wine
1 t
tapioca starch
thin gyoza skins, cut into 6‑cm (238 in) circles
1. Combine all the ingredients except for the gyoza skins. Chill thoroughly.
2. Very lightly brush both sides of a gyoza skin with water. Using a 1‑T scoop, place a portion of the shrimp mixture in the center of the skin. Fold the skin around the filling, flattening the top and bottom. Further shape the dumpling using your thumb and forefinger to form it into a circle, and to fold in the “flaps” of the gyoza skin.
3. Set the finished dumpling on a plate. Freeze until solid.
4. Use right away or vacuum pack and freeze.
5. To serve, cook the dumplings over heavy steam until cooked through, about 10 minutes.
6. Serve with Chinese black‑bean, garlic, and chili sauce.
Yield: 12 portions.

© 2014 Peter Hertzmann. All rights reserved.