This Is The Best Way To Cook Siomai And Other Dumplings Without A Steamer

No, you don't a steamer at all.

IMAGE Roselle Miranda

It's happened to the best of us. We are so hungry that we are just not capable of digging through the numerous pots and pans that line our cupboards and cabinets just to find the steamer.

Maybe you don't have a traditional pot steamer but you do have that little microwave plastic contraption that lets you steam food in it, but you also have to dig around for that, too. Perhaps, you do have a steamer and it's this big, bulky appliance that can cook a total of three tiers of food in one cooking session, but all you're going to cook is just a small half dozen frozen siomai.


We say, you don't need those specialized pots, gadgets, or appliances to cook siomai. In fact, we say don't bring any of these out at all. We say bring out the trusty nonstick frying pan to cook those siomai. 

Place frozen siomai and dumplings in a nonstick frying pan to easily steam it.
Photo by Roselle Miranda

Yes, a nonstick frying pan plus a lid. That's actually all you need plus some oil and water to cook perfectly good frozen siomai into tender, delicious bites. The best part is, you can appease that hunger faster than it would take you dig out the steamer from behind the tall stockpot in your kitchen cabinet. 

Curious how to do this? We thought you would be! We take a page from the Japanese way of cooking gyoza to make this kitchen trick work. If you've ever had the chance to cook gyoza, you know that these dumplings are not cooked in a steamer. In fact, it's cooked in a pan, too. 

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Need proof? Here's a video on how to make and cook gyoza: 

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See how these dumplings are cooked? You can take that same technique and use it for cooking siomai and other dumplings, too. You don't need a steamer at all! 

Just add water and a little oil to prevent sticking and you're ready to steam!
Photo by Roselle Miranda

Here's how we did it: 

  1. 1 In a nonstick frying pan, place siomai and dumplings in a row. Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup water and 2 tablespoons cooking oil. (The water will depend on how many dumplings you're cooking. The more dumplings, the more water is needed.)
  1. 2 Place over medium heat, cover, and let come to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer. Simmer the water until it's almost dry.
  1. 3 Once almost dry, remove the lid and check to see if the siomai are cooked through. Add more water as needed. If desired, let the oil heat up and crisp up the bottoms of the siomai before removing from the pan. Serve immediately. 

That's it. Easily cooked siomai and dumplings without any special equipment.

Eager to try out this neat kitchen trick? Here are siomai and dumpling recipes you may want to try: 

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