Monday, August 25, 2014

T&T Cooked Pork and Shrimp Dumplings

My mom had her eye on this T&T product line for a while, but being the frugal person that she is, she waited until it was on sale at Superstore this week and chose the "Cooked Pork & Shrimp Dumplings" to sample. These are basically siu mai. As usual it looks great in ad copy, but how good is it?

For a mere eight dumplings, it is quite over-packaged on the inside, with a plastic tray that looks like an ice cube tray for freezers. Each of the eight dumplings sits in its own cubicle, which separates them and prevents them from clumping if you choose to microwave them -- one of the recommended preparation methods.

My mom went with steaming. They came out extremely firm, almost rubbery -- basically similar to very firm fish balls. If we had read the label more carefully, we might have expected this -- it's COOKED Pork. This also explains why the meat is clay-grey in colour.

If you had ordered siu mai at dim sum, you could expect a much more tender product, and preferably with visible chunks of shrimp. There are the occasional shrimp bits here as well, but instead of ground pork, the processing turned the pork into a paste, hence the extremely rubbery-firm texture after cooking.

Taste wise, there is some shrimp flavour, so if you can block out the rubbery-ness, it's not too bad. However, you would do better getting shrimp balls to start with.

Overall, I would say that if you can handle a shorter "best before" date, look at the deli section for fresher versions in shrink wrap as you are more likely to get actual ground pork instead of paste. You probably couldn't microwave those and expect a good result, however, so be prepared for steaming, or possibly even deep frying if you are into that. Deep frying requires a bit of care to make sure the meat is cooked through, but it can preserve the tenderness of the meat, at least on the inside.

If you do want this frozen product, look carefully for the best before date or ask someone before purchasing. Once my mom got it home, we looked carefully for it, but the closest we could find was a partial stamp of "L014...".

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