I must have been out of my mind to even contemplate making shumai (シュマイ). Yup, from scratch. It's not difficult; it's just...tiresome. It's not like I can't buy it at the supermarkets or get good Chinese dumplings from the restaurants. But well, here goes nothing. Yes, I'm re-creating something from my childhood. Had to roll out the dough to make the skin for ten cute tiny seafood shumai. That's not dinner per se, it meant to be part of the meal.
Minced up the filling of scallops and prawns, and for authenticity, I added a little pork to it. (Since Japanese shumai is usually all pork compared to the Chinese shaomai or siewmai which hold a mix of shrimp and pork.) Didn't even need anything special since the fridge held stocks. Hahaha. The minced pork came from the portion needed for the takikomi gohan. While shaping the filling and pressing out the shumai was uncomplicated and not too time-consuming, OMG, the flour, dough and all made the kitchen sooooo messy!!! #ImpieCooks2019
The shumai would only be blanched, and it would be properly pan-seared after. The cabbage and prawn soup would need to be topped with pan-seared shumai for that umami. Kombu and cabbage stems result in a fairly sweet and clear dashi. Used that combination this round too for a light soup. The prawns would finish it beautifully. I used amaebi; even when lightly blanched, they do lend loads of flavor to the broth.
Now that I understand both the textures of the brand of Japanese brown rice, and the nature of the rice cooker, I can stop second-guessing how the rice would turn out. Takikomi gohan can now be done safely in the rice cooker. This batch turned out fine. Soup and rice would suffice for me, but the man always need something extra. Like animal protein. Thawed out a fillet of frozen salmon and seared it skin-crisp. There, herb-crusted salmon for protein.