Undoubtedly, siu mai cannot be made without siu mai wrapper. The prices of these siu mai wrappers range from 10 to 20 HKD, depending on the point of purchase. Wrapper resemble the tradition of Chinese food culture. There are two main factories in China. One is in Dungguan and another is in Guangdong. Weat Flour are transported from Guangdong (46.67%), Jiangsu (33.34%) and Shandong (20%) for siu mai wrapper manufacturing. While it is believed that siu mai wrappers are all imported from mainland China, there are, nevertheless, local factories that insist in producing fresh siu mai wrappers daily which are both wholesalers to big restaurants and also retailer to the neighborhood. Tim Kee, which is located near Shek Tong Tsui, is one of the factories that locally manufacture noodles and various sorts of food wrappers in Hong Kong. Food path of siu mai wrapper will be discussed further in the following.
The whole production process is not very difficult. First, producer mixed some wheat flour with a bit of salt and gradually added water to the mixture. Second, the mixture is kneaded until the resulting dough is smooth. Third, it is put to rest for some time. Next, the dough is flattened and placed through a machine where the dough is made even thinner and flatter. This process is repeated several times and then the dough is hand-stamped with a circular cutter to produce circular siu mai wrappers. Then, the finished siu mai wrappers are packaged into plastic bags manually and placed in plastic baskets ready for distribution.
Upon arrival, a portion of siu mai wrappers is delivered to the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals. These siu mai wrappers are transported in large cargos and are loaded directly onto the trucks ready to pick up. They are then delivered to various places, for instance, a large proportion of the wrappers are immediately sent to Chinese restaurants for production of siu mai. The remaining proportion is sent to places like factories of ingredient wholesalers and individual retailers in wet markets and even smaller portion of wrappers is delivered to factories producing frozen wrappers. There is a local firm called Tung Yuen Ho Co. Ltd in Tai Kok Tsui provides most of the imported wrappers to local grocery stores.
It is inevitable that waste is produced during the distribution of siu mai wrapper as well as after consumption. For instance, a great deal of exhaust gas is produced during the transportation process which is considered as a related form of waste to siu mai wrappers. Besides a more direct waste is produced before consumption, siu mai wrappers that are not up to standard or of low quality would be dumped right away inside the factories before exporting to Hong Kong. Moreover, expired or unused wrappers will gradually be disposed to the landfills by the restaurants.
Chan Tsz Yan
Nogueira Tang, Micaela
Yuen Hin Heng