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Jazzed Up Siu Mai – The Food Series

Emily Hua

Thu Apr 23 2020

jazzed up dumplings

This recipe sprung to fruition well before COVID-19. I’d hover over a pan, dopey and sleepy-eyed, watching the soy and vinegar concoction coat each little dumpling lovingly.  Who knew frozen dumplings could bring so much joy?

But more than ever, I am reaching for my frozen packet of dumplings because now buying fresh ingredients is a less safe option. 

If you don’t have any siu mai on hand, that’s okay, any dumplings will do. I suggest heading to your local Asian grocer to pick up a pack. It’s a simple yet meaningful way of supporting local businesses as well as ensuring your star ingredient is as authentic as can be. 

Jazzed-up siu mai is, as the title suggests, a handful of staple ingredients thrown together and jazzed-up.

The result: A deceptively delicious meal. 

Feeds: One hungry person and two peckish people


  • 9 Frozen siu mai (I prefer siu mai because it soaks in the sauce better, but any dumplings will do)
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil 
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • Chilli flakes
  • Toasted sesame seeds 
  • Thumb sized ginger, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 cloves finely sliced garlic 
  • Spring onion
  • Coriander 


  1. Microwave or steam your frozen Siu Mai per packet instructions. They don’t have to be crazy hot as you’ll be cooking them in a pan as well. 
  2. Heat up a small amount of sesame (vegetable/canola works too) oil in a pan ~ pop in finely sliced garlic and finely matchstick ginger, thinly sliced coriander stalks and chilli flakes last. Stir for two-to-three minutes until fragrant (not brown!). Add soy sauce*, rice wine vinegar, sugar and four tablespoons of water – bring to a boil and then leave on a low heat. 
  3. When the sauce hits a soft simmer, add in the siu mai. The sauce should come about half way up on the dumplings. Cover with a lid and let it further soak, reduce and caramelise for five minutes. 
  4. Serve in the pan with thinly sliced coriander, curly spring onions* and sesame seeds. 

*adjust the recipe depending on how salty/sweet your soy is. Add more water/vinegar if there is a high salt concentration. 

*slice spring onions into super thin long sticks and pop them in an ice bath to curl.

This piece and images were contributed by ex-Meld journalist and our very dear friend Emily Hua. Stay tuned for more recipes and good attempts from her and others in the team. Be sure to tag your creation to our Instagram to be feature in our page.