International Innovation: Siomai
Today’s consumer is looking to satisfy their curiosity through exotic world flavors, new food experiences, and learning the story behind the food.1 With 55% of consumers enjoying new global offerings and 48% describing themselves as foodies, it is not surprising that both the origin and originality of foods have become an important factor in food formulations for manufacturers.2 Why not let these popular international dishes enhanced with potatoes inspire new food products?
Americans’ appetite for Asian foods is diversifying. According to IRI, Asian entrées grew two-and-a-half times faster than other frozen dinners or entrées in 2018.³ One of the foods gaining popularity with Americans is siomai, a popular street cuisine in the Pacific Rim. Siomai, originating from a traditional Chinese dumpling, has made its way into the hearts and stomachs of people around the world.
As the siomai has risen in popularity, so does transparency regarding food ingredients. Food transparency has a big influence affecting food behavior today, and consumers tend to look for verification of real ingredients on the food label. Using natural ingredients with functional benefits, like potatoes, adds a greater health appeal to consumers. Often made with artificial fillers and extenders, this popular dumpling can be made with potatoes and is sure to draw adventurous clean-label eaters.
Adding dehydrated potatoes into the siomai filling adds a beneficial twist to the traditional cuisine such as :
• A natural extender and binder
• Taste and texture improvements
• Increasing shelf-life
• Potential cost savings
• Clean label
By incorporating dehydrated potatoes as a binder in the siomai filling, the siomai will retain more moisture, resulting in a smooth, firm texture and desirable flavor. The addition of the dehydrated potatoes also allows for a longer shelf life by helping to prevent the filling from drying out. By using potatoes as a filler, reduced quantities of more expensive proteins are needed, thus cost savings may be achieved. Dehydrated potatoes function as the ideal binder for any processed meat item due to its cellular structure and denser output. Dehydrated potatoes also work well as more natural binder replacing artificial additives.
Here’s a formulation to make siomai with potatoes!
Pork Siomai with Dehydrated Potato Granules Formulation
- In a food processor, grind fat with onion using pulse setting. The pork fat should be diced but not puréed. Set aside.
- Combine dehydrated potatoes with water. Mix until it forms a thick paste. Set aside.
- Combine pork, diced pork fat and the remaining ingredients. Mix by hand while throwing it in the bowl a few times to make it sticky.
- Dip a brush in water and lightly brush a side of the wrapper where you will put the meat. Put 23 grams of the mixture for a large wrapper (17 grams for a small wrapper). Squeeze the sides up until the wrapper forms a cup. Make sure to tuck the sides, leaving the top exposed.
- Preheat the steamer. Prepare the bamboo steamer and line it with paper. Top each of the siomai with a piece of carrot for garnish. Place each siomai inside the bamboo steamer, at least a quarter of an inch apart to prevent them from sticking together.
- Steam siomai for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the siomai and whether fresh or frozen. Serve with soy sauce, calamansi and chili sauce on the side.
- Top Ten Trends for 2019, Sweets and Snacks, Innova Market Insights, January 2019, slides 3–4.
- Packaged Facts. 2018b. Organic and Clean Label Food Consumer in the U.S.
- McCorquodale, A. “Asian on the Ascent.” Frozen and Refrigerated Buyer 10(7): 46-50.
- 2018. Datassential’s Menu Adoption Cycle Projections. August. Datassential, Los Angeles. datassential.com.
- 2017. Health and Wellness 2017. The Hartman Group, Bellevue, WA. Hartman-group.com
- 2017. “Realigning for Growth: Win by Innovating across CPG Market Segments.” September. Information Resources Inc., Chicago. Iriworldwide.com.
- The Number of Americans Going Gluten-Free Has Tripled Since 2009, Forbes, January 17, 2017. https://www.forbes.com/sites/niallmccarthy/2017/01/17/the-number-of-americans-going-gluten-free-has-tripled-since-2009-infographic/#454ea5ea32f2.
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