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siu mai (stuffed zucchini)

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I don’t think anything in this world inspires me more than my own Cantonese heritage aside from the sight of vibrant edible plants and vegetables, and, of course, all things tasty. With this recipe, I’m hoping to focus in on my particular involvement in utilizing vegetables in Cantonese cuisine. I present to you the first of a Vegetable-forward Dim Sum-inspired series: Stuffed Zucchini Siu Mai. This dish is inspired by the look and taste of wonton wrapped pork dumplings 燒賣 (siu mai) and made possible by the logistics of stuffed bitter melon 釀苦瓜 (yurng foo gwa).

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium yellow zucchini or yellow squash
  • 1/4 pound ground pork
  • 3 pieces of shrimp
  • 3 dried chinese shiitake mushrooms (rehydrated with water)
  • 1/4 inch of ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon roasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon 5-spice powder (optional)
  • The tiniest bit of carrot, minced, for garnish (optional)

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Instructions

1. Gather your ingredients.

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2. Mince your shrimp, shiitake mushrooms, ginger and garlic. Combine all the flavorings and spices with the minced meat then mix in the rest. Before you move on to the zucchini, set a large wok or steamer fitted with a rack with about 3″ inches of water and let come to a boil.

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3. Slice your zucchini into 1/2″ inch slices. Then, using a metal spoon with the thinnest edge you’ve got, scoop out the inside, but not all the way through— leaving about 1/4″ inch at the bottom. As you can see from the picture, I first traced around where I wanted to hollow out first, then went back in to gently scoop the innards out. Set your zucchini innards aside to toss in your next soup or stir-fry!

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4. Stuff your zucchini with the meat mixture, and for the siu mai effect, I added some minced carrot on top of mine. (Fun fact: Traditionally the orange stuff on top of siu mai is crab roe! Fancy.)

5. Steam for 15 minutes on medium heat or until the meat is thoroughly cooked through.

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Serve immediately, hot out of the steamer, for maximum enjoyment.

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Enjoy!!