One of the most popular Cantonese dim sum dishes, shrimp & pork shumai is delicate, tasty and very easy to make in your own kitchen. A tutorial video is included.
What are your must-have-dishes when visiting a Cantonese dim sum restaurant? My list always includes a portion of Shumai (Shaomai/烧卖), pretty little parcels bursting with delicious filling and freshly steamed in mini bamboo baskets. Today’s recipe Shrimp & Pork Shumai shows you how to make them in your own kitchen.
Make a moist, tasty filling
Pork and shrimp are classic ingredients for Cantonese style shumai. I suggest you choose minced pork with a higher content of fat which makes the filling more tender and moist. The addition of water or stock to the filling also helps to avoid a dry texture.
Shrimp need to be peeled and deveined first. Then cut each one in half. Leave out some tail parts for garnishing the shumai when assembling. Mince the rest then mix with pork and other seasoning.
The wrappers for Cantonese style shrimp & pork shumai are made of unleavened, thin piece of dough that contains lye water (an alkaline solution that gives the pastry a yellow colour and springy texture).
Ready-to-use shumai wrappers are available in general Asian/Chinese stores. If they come in frozen form, simply defrost in fridge overnight before using. Ready-to-use, square wonton wrappers can be a substitute. Simply trim four corners to get a round shape.
Assemble and garnish
Unlike regular Chinese dumplings which are closed parcels, shumai are not fully sealed. Use the wrapper to cover the filling from the side but leave the top part open. My tutorial video in the recipe card below demonstrates how to assemble them with ease.
I like using pieces of shrimp and peas to decorate my shumai. They make the finished dish more visually appealing. Crab roe or finely chopped carrot can be substitutes for garnishing.
How to steam shumai
It’s super easy to cook these shrimp & pork shumai:
- Place shumai in a steamer basket.
- Bring water to a full boil in the steamer pot then put the basket in (with the lid on) then turn the heat to medium.
- Cook for around 6 minutes.
To avoid the shumai sticking to the basket, you may try one of the following three methods: use slices of carrot as lining under each shumai; use parchment paper; coat the steamer with a little oil.
Freshly assembled shumai can be frozen for later use (in sealed plastic bags/containers). You don’t need to defrost them when cooking. Just increase the steaming time to 8 minutes or so.
Your homemade shrimp & pork shumai will taste best when they are served warm. For dipping sauce ideas, please refer to my previous post: Six dumpling sauces. Or simply dip them into homemade chilli oil. The ones shown in my photographs here were served with a simple ginger & vinegar sauce.
Shrimp & pork shumai (鲜虾猪肉烧卖)
- 200 g raw shrimp, peeled and deveined, 7oz
- 200 g minced pork, 7oz
- 40 g rehydrated shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped, 1.4oz (from 10g/0.35oz dried ones)
- 1 stalk scallions, finely chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 pinch white pepper
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water/stock
- 20 ready-to-use Shumai wrappers, See note 1
- Peas, optional
- 20 slice carrot, see note 2
Mix the filling
- Cut each shrimp in half. Set aside 20 of the tail parts for later use. Mince the rest then put into a mixing bowl.
- Add pork, shiitake mushrooms, scallions, salt, white pepper and soy sauce. Pour in water/stock gradually while swirling toward the same direction until no more liquid can be seen.
Assemble the shumai
- Place a scoop of mixture in the middle of a shumai wrapper. Stick the wrapper around the filling leaving the top part open (Please refer to the video below).
- Put a piece of shrimp tail on top then garnish with peas if you wish.
Cook the shumai
- Scatter carrot slices in the steamer basket, then place Shumai on top.
- Bring the water to a full boil, then place the basket in. Cook with lid on over medium heat for around 6 minutes.
Hope you find my shrimp & pork shumai recipe helpful. If you’d like to dive deeper into the world of Chinese dumplings, check out my Ultimate Dumpling Guide.