How to make a simple siomai

The city of Saarbrücken is peppered with Chinese restaurants. These family-owned establishments generally make their money by offering lunch and dinner buffets at affordable prices. The Chinese restaurant staples like stir fried beef, chop suey, noodle dishes, spring rolls and the ever so yummy fried duck abound.

Visibly missing are the steamed dumplings. I am quite surprised by it because back home, a Chinese restaurant is never without dumplings, may it be a fancy restaurant in the city or a whole in the wall in China town. They offer different types of dumplings, from the delicate har gau (shrimp dumpling) to the rugged siomai (beef or pork dumplings).

Back in grade school, I subsisted on 4 pieces of siomai at PhP 2.50 each and a cup of rice during lunch time. It was served complete with calamansi, soy sauce, and chili garlic oil.  Since then it has been one of my favorite viands and for the most part, one of my favorite afternoon merienda.

Three years in Germany, you can imagine how siomai-deprived I was. So in line with my new PhooD philosophy, I made my own.


Kookie’s Simple Siomai

  • 500 g ground meat
  • 1/3 cup diced carrots (small dices)
  • 2 small onions chopped
  • 1 tsp dried chives (in lieu of spring onions)
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • wonton wrappers
  • Chili garlic oil and soy sauce for dipping

0 Prepare your steamer by covering the surface with a thin film of oil. Start to boil water.

1 In a huge bowl, mix together ground meat, carrots, onions, chives, sesame oil, soy sauce, salt, and ground pepper

2 Fill in wonton wrapper with the meat mixture (~ 1 Tbsp)

3 Put siomai in the steamer and let it cook for 12-15 minutes.

4 Serve with dark soy sauce and chili garlic oil.


I finished an entire package of wonton wrappers with the amount of meat that I used. So you can imagine how much leftovers you’ll have if you live by yourself or even if you live with a couple of people. They keep for a couple of days once they’re cooked. If you think you can’t finish it within 3 days, share it with your colleagues. Ph.D. students never say no to food 🙂

The type of meat really depends on your taste. The ground meat can either be pork or beef or a combination of both. I like pork siomai more than beef but Aldi offers mixed ground beef and pork so I used that.

Reheating is a breeze. You can either re-steam them for 5 minutes or so. That’s just enough time for the meat to be warm again. Or the other popular alternative is to fry the siomai until the wrapper is golden brown.

For those of you in the southwest part in Germany who’s never tried siomai or craves siomai but don’t want to prepare it yourself, there’s a restaurant in Mannheim called China Restaurant Pavillon. They have a good selection of dimsum that I have not found anywhere else in Germany.

The address is

China Restaurant
Augustanlage 59
68185 Mannheim

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