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How to Make Shumai at Home 燒賣

Shumai is a staple of Chinese dim sum restaurants. Learn how to make this iconic dumpling on Hunger Pangs, the Chinese cooking series from America's Test Kitchen.
By Published Apr. 1, 2022

Shumai is my all-time favorite dumpling.

It's the shrimp-and-pork dumpling that's a staple of every every dim sum restaurant across the world.

All my life, shumai has always been something I ate outside the home. It felt too intimidating to make.

Until now.

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The best part about making shumai at home is you can make a few dozen at once, steam as many as you'd like, and freeze the rest.

And with this recipe, it's as faithful as any you'd find at a Chinatown dim sum parlor.

Watch the episode of Hunger Pangs below for step-by-step instructions.

Shumai 燒賣

  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 1 pound boneless country-style pork ribs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • ½ pound shrimp, peeled, tails removed and halved lengthwise (see note)
  • ¼ cup water chestnuts, chopped
  • 4 dried shiitake mushroom caps (about 3/4 ounce), soaked in hot water 30 minutes, squeezed dry, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice cooking wine), or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 package 3 1/2 inch diameter dumpling wrappers (ideally yellow, Hong Kong-style)
  • 2 tablespoons tobiko (optional)


Before You Begin

Do not trim the excess fat from the ribs; it contributes flavor and moistness. Use any size shrimp except popcorn shrimp; there’s no need to halve shrimp smaller than 26 to 30 per pound before processing. Shumai may be frozen for up to three months; cook them straight from the freezer for an extra 5 minutes or so.

Instructions

  1. Combine soy sauce and gelatin in small bowl. Set aside to allow gelatin to bloom, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, place half of pork in food processor and pulse until coarsely ground into approximate 1/8-inch pieces, about ten 1-second pulses; transfer to large bowl. Add shrimp and remaining pork to food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped into approximate ¼-inch pieces, about five 1-second pulses. Transfer to bowl with more finely ground pork. Stir in soy sauce mixture, water chestnuts, mushrooms, cornstarch, cilantro, sesame oil, wine, vinegar, sugar, ginger, salt, and pepper.
  3. Working with 6 dumpling wrappers at a time, brush edges of each round lightly with water. Place heaping tablespoon of filling into center of each round. Form dumpling (watch video for demonstration), crimping wrapper around sides of filling and leaving top exposed. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with damp kitchen towel, and repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
  4. Cut piece of parchment slightly smaller than diameter of steamer basket and place in basket. Poke about 20 small holes in parchment and lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray. Place batches of dumplings on parchment liner, making sure they are not touching. Set steamer over simmering water and cook, covered, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Top center of each dumpling with pinch of tobiko, if using. Serve immediately with chili oil.