In this recipe I am sharing a pescatarian friendly Hong Kong style snack: fish Shumai, an open dumpling filled with fish meat and half wrapped in skin made of wheat flour. It is considered the most popular street food in Hong Kong. Yet it is almost impossible to find anywhere overseas. Since it is effortless to make (but you need an electric blender to help), I feel it is an unavoidable responsibility of mine, as a big fan of the fish Shumai as well as a past Hong Kong resident, to make a recipe for my Italian readers.

la ricetta passo passo come preparare lo shumai di pesce hong kong


After a hard-working day, I arrived at the central pier to catch the ferry home. I used to live in Discovery Bay, an out-laying island 15 km away from the Hong Kong Island, which took 30 minutes ferry ride. Two skewers of the Hong Kong style fish Shiumai were often my aperitif while waiting to board.

The fish Shumai were kept hot in steamer sold in a tiny food stand, which was managed by a skinny Hong Kong man, who was usually too busy to smile back to the customers. You ordered with him, paid and went to the other side of the stand to wait for the food. The owner worked like a robot: emotionless but hardly mistook an order.

The first time I had decided to try his Shumai was because I was too starving and just wanted something quick to ease up my hunger. Maybe it was because of the hunger, or the fish Shumai were good, I did enjoy it a lot. I was almost sure not to be a repeat customer because I was not a fan to that cold vendor. But my desire for the fish Shumai convinced me to give him another chance. Gradually eating these fish Shumai while waiting at the pier had become an addiction. They seemed to taste better when eating standing up while waiting to go home.


To replicate this nostalgic flavor at home, I did some research specifically on choosing the fish for the filling. It seemed not any fish meat would work for making Shumai. The fish meat should be able to give a compact and glutinous texture after mashed. For this reason, sole and leuciscus are mostly used to make fish Shumai.

Taking the advice from the experienced Shumai makers, I am using the sole fish in this recipe.

Besides the fish meat, two starches are needed to make the filling: tapioca starch to give a bouncy texture to the filling; and corn starch, which adds a little resistance to the filling and makes it shapable.

gli ingredienti per lo shumai di pesce alla hong kong
Gli ingredienti per lo shumai di pesce


You can check my previous pork Shumai recipe for preparation of the wrap from scratch. But to make it a recipe effortless, I am using a shortcut: the frozen Wonton skin! You can find them in the frozen section of Asian grocery store. They come in square shape with 9cm side length, 30-35 pieces each pack. Perfect size for Shumai!

Sfoglia di wonton


Recipe by Sasha WangCourse: FIRST COURSE, SNACKCuisine: Hong KongDifficulty: Low







In this recipe I am sharing a pescatarian friendly Hong Kong style snack: fish Shumai, an open dumpling filled with fish meat and half wrapped in skin made of wheat flour. It is considered the most popular street food in Hong Kong.


  • The filling
  • Sole fish fillet: 150g

  • Water: 40ml

  • Sesame oil: 4 tsp

  • Sale: 0.5 cucchiaino

  • White pepper (grounded): 1 tsp

  • Dashi powder: 1.5 tsp

  • Sugar: 1 tsp

  • Tapioca starch: 30g

  • Corn starch: 10g

  • The wrap
  • Wonton skin: 10 pieces

  • Dipping sauce
  • Brown sugar (or sugar): 1 tbsp

  • Light soy sauce: 3 tbsp

  • Utensils:
  • Electric blender

  • Small saucepan

  • Steamer

  • Pastry ring with diameter of 9cm (optional)


  • The filling
  • Cut the fish fillet in big pieces and put them in the blender. Add in 20ml water and blend until the fish meat is well mashed.
  • Add in the sesame oil, salt, white pepper, Dashi powder and the sugar into the blender. Blend for 30-40 seconds until everything is combined. The minced fish should have a compact and sticky consistency. It should be able to hang on the back of a spoon without falling immediately.Il filetto tritato deve essere compatto e appiccicoso. Dovrebbe stare sul retro di un cucchiaio senza cadere immediatamente.
  • Transfer the minced fish into a bowl. Add in tapioca and corn starches and the rest of the water. Mix everything evenly.come preparare il ripieno di shumai di pesce
  • Cover the filling with a plastic wrap and rest it in the fridge for 30 minutes. In the meanwhile, prepare the dipping sauce.
  • The dipping sauce
  • Put the brown sugar and light soy sauce in the small saucepan,
  • Simmer them while stir continually to let the sugar melt into the sauce.
  • Once the sauce boils, turn off the fire and leave it to cool.
  • Assemble the fish shumai
  • Optional: cut the wonton skin with the pastry ring to give it round shape. 
  • Hold your fist in a C shape, like the hand of a Lego character. Put a piece of wrap on top of the C then 1/2 tbsp of the filling at the center of the wrap.
  • Press down the filling gently into the C hole using a spoon. In the meanwhile, roll the Shumai in the hole of the C and pinch the top slightly to get the shape of a Shumai. (note).Come chiudere lo shumai di pesce
  • Lay the Shumai in the steamer with a piece of parchment paper at the bottom. Cook them on steam for 10 minutes.
  • Serve them hot together with the dipping ricetta passo passo come preparare lo shumai di pesce hong kong



  • Check out the recipe of Cantonese Shumai for details of how to close the Shumai.
Shumai di pesce è un raviolo aperto con ripieno di pesce avvolto da una sfoglia di farina di grano. È considerato lo street food più conosciuto ad Hong Kong.

When you prepare this dish, don't forget to SHARE IT on your social media using hashtag #cinaintavola and TAG ME @cinaintavola. FOLLOW ME on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube to stay in touch!



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