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Four-color Shu Mai I

Dim Sum and Other Snack Foods

Four-color Shu Mai I
30 skins or wrappers (if purchased frozen, defrost and bring to room temperature)
1/4 pound ground pork
1 cup chopped bamboo shoots
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cornstarch
dash black pepper
1/2 to 1 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 black mushrooms
3 Tablespoons dried shrimp
3 Tablespoons chopped Virginia ham
3 Tablespoons chopped spinach (if using frozen spinach, squeeze well)
1. Cover defrosted or fresh wrappers with a damp cloth.
2. For the filling, combine pork with bamboo shoots and mix well with the salt, cornstarch, pepper and sesame oil. Set aside.
3. Soak mushrooms in warm water until soft, about fifteen to twenty minutes, discard their stems and chop into tiny pieces.
4. Rinse the shrimp and soak in warm water until soft, chop fine.
5. To stuff the dumplings, place a small portion of the meat filling on each skin or wrapper and pinch each one together leaving four holes or openings on top. Fill each hole with a tiny bit of mushrooms, shrimp, spinach and ham, respectively.
6. Place the finshed dumplings (makes about thirty of them) on a steamer shelf lined with large leaves of lettuce or a doubled piece of cheesecloth. Steam for fifteen minutes, then serve hot, and with hoisin sauce, if desired.
Note: The skins, also called wrappers, can be purchased fresh or frozen in Chinese grocery stores. If they are unavailable, the wrapper skins for wontons or egg rolls (cut in quarters), can be used.

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