19 (Sun) December 2010
-Oksu, Seongdong, Seoul, Korea-
Shumai is a Chinese dish. It’s a dumpling, made primarily of pork, usually a bit shrimp, wrapped in a wonton skin and steamed. One of the most common dumplings in the dimsum repertoire.
The ones here, by Korean food maker Ottogi, were all shrimp, which would ordinarily be a good thing, but, perhaps owing to their frozen nature, the texture was a bit pasty and the taste somewhat artificial, like fake shrimp, like how watermelon candy doesn’t really taste like watermelon.
I thought the bamboo steamer would be a nice touch, imparting a sense of verisimilitude, if not class. But come to think of it, every shumai that I have encountered came in dented stainless steel steamers lined with wax paper. So long as I’m getting things off my chest, I admit that the dumplings were steamed separately and subsequently placed in the bamboo, along with the perilla leaf, purely for the sake of the photo.
It was one of those Sunday evening dinners dedicated to cleaning out the fridge of leftovers. Somewhere in the back of the freezer, I discovered the package of so-called shumai. However, I had absolutely no recollection of ever buying it. I’m convinced that I didn’t. But, try as I might, I can’t imagine how it got there.