Shumai, also called Shāo Mài in Chinese, is a type of traditional Chinese dumpling. The recipes of Shumai vary among regions. The most famous variety outside of China is the Cantonese version, which is an open dumpling with the pork and shrimp filling. It is one of the best sellers as a dim sum snack.
DIM SUN SNACK AND STREET FOOD
Besides being an internationally well-known dim sum dish, the Shumai is also a popular street food. While living in Hong Kong, I remembered that Shumai could be found almost anywhere. No matter if it was a food stand in the crowded night market, or a convenient store inside the MTR (Hong Kong metropolitan) station, Shumai was always ready for whoever needed a quick bite. A portion of Shumai and a bottle of Cantonese herb tea (Leung Cha) from 7-11 was my set menu when I was on the go.
HOW TO MAKE SHUMAI WRAP AT HOME
The wrap of Shumai was made of wheat flour, water and egg. Same recipe used to make wraps for the Cantonese wonton. Speaking of this, I realised that these are also the ingredients to make the fresh Italian pasta all’uovo! So, could it be a perfect shortcut to use the fresh lasagna sfoglia to make Shumai? Sounds really encouraging! I would like to give it a try next time!
After the dough is ready, roll it into thin sfoglia following the same instructions in the homemade noodles.
THE FILLING OF SHUMAI
Pork and shrimp are the leading roles in the filling of Shumai. Another important ingredient is the shiitake mushrooms, which add a strong umami flavor. Many recipes use diced carrots as garnishment on top. I am using the goji berries, which bring great nutrition and add an extra sweetness to the dish.
CANTONESE SHUMAI: OPEN DUMPLING WITH PORK AND SHRIMP FILLING (广式烧卖)Course: First course, Dim SunCuisine: Cantonese, CineseDifficulty: High
- The Filling
Minced pork: 300g
Corn starch: 1 tbsp
Grated ginger: 2g
Shiitake mushroom (dried): 5-6
Sugar: 1/3 tbsp
White pepper: 2-3g
Water: 5-6 tbsp
Soy sauce: 4 tbsp
Oyster sauce: 1 tbsp
Sesame oil: 1 tbsp
- The Dough
All purpose flour: 150g
Egg: 1 (around 50g)
Water: 20-25g (the total weight of the egg and water should be around 75g)
Corn starch (for dusting): as much as needed
A long rolling pin
A pastry ring with diameter of 9cm
- The Filling
- Cut the shrimps into big pieces. Mix them well with the corn starch.
- Soak the shiitake mushrooms in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and cut them into small pieces.
- Mix the ingredients: minced pork, ginger, shiitake mushroom, salt, sugar and white pepper.
- Add water little by little into the meat. Keep stirring towards the same direction until the liquid is well absorbed by the meat.
- Add in shrimps, soy sauce and oyster sauce into the meat. Mix them well.
- Add the sesame oil at the end and mix well.
- Keep the filling in the fridge for 2 hours to let it become more solid. In the meanwhile, prepare the wrap.
- The Dough
- Put the flour into a big bowl, then gradually adding the egg and water while mix it with the flour. Rub the flour between your fingers to make sure the water is evenly absorbed by the flour.
- Once all the water are absorbed, start to mix the flour until you get a solid dough.
- Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- (After 15 minutes) continue to knead the dough until the surface turns smooth. Cover it back with the plastic wrap and rest it for 60 minutes.
- Lightly dust the surface of your platform and knead the dough. Using the rolling pin to first extend the dough from center towards edges. In the meanwhile try to give the dough a rectangular shape.
- Once the dough has been rolled into bigger size paste, scroll it from one end towards the other using the rolling pin. Dust the dough every time it becomes sticky. Check out the recipe “Homemade noodles” for more details on how to roll the wrap.
- The rolled pasta should be thin enough to be transparent.
- Cut out the Shumai wrap using the pastry ring. You should be able to get 15-17 wraps. The left-over pieces could be cooked as fresh pasta.
- How to close and cook the Shumai
- Half hold your fist to form a C shape. Put a wrap on top of the C and place around 30g of filling at the center (nota).
- Press down the filling into the hole formed by the C with the help of a spoon/ knife.
- At the same time, turn and gently squeeze the Shumai to form the open dumpling shape.
- The filling should be slightly higher than the wrap.
- Put the Shumai inside the steamer with a piece of parchment paper at the bottom.
- Soak the goji in water for 15 minutes. Squeeze out the water and put 1-2 on top of each Shumai for garnishing.
- Steam the Shumai for 10 minutes and serve when they are hot.
- Il peso standard di uno Shumai secondo i maestri Dim Sum Cantonesi è parti a 1oz (poco più di 28g).