Shao Mai -- Dim Sum Dumplings
2 dried or fresh shiitake mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped green onion, divided
1 pound ground pork or chicken
1 tablespoon chopped water chestnuts
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 pack dumping or won ton wrappers
For the filling: If using dried shiitake, soak mushrooms in warm water for 10 minutes or until softened.
Cut off and discard the stems, then finely chop the caps.
In a mixing bowl combine meat, salt, pepper, sugar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon chopped green onion, chopped mushrooms, water chestnut and egg. Mix well.
To assemble: Place 1 tablespoon filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper, gather up the edges of the wrapper to hold in the filling, pleating the wrapper around the edges. Squeeze the middle gently to make sure the wrapper sticks firmly to the filling. Holding the sides with both hands, press the bottom down on a flat surface so that the dumpling can stand, with the filling exposed at the top. Add more filling on top if necessary. Smooth top with a plastic knife.
To cook: Grease steamer rack with oil or cover the bottom of the rack with cheese cloth. Place shao mai on the rack and keep them about ¼ inch apart. Cover and steam over medium-high heat for 10 minutes. Remove shao mai from steamer, garnish with the remaining chopped green onion on top. Makes 25-30 dumplings.
Cook's note: To keep shao mai from sticking to the rack, you can also use parchment paper instead of cheesecloth. Just cut parchment paper into squares a little larger than the shao mai.