Enjoy a Japanese take on a Chinese favourite with these easy-to-make shumai chinese style dumplings. Known as 'siu mai' in Chinese, shumai are similar to the gyoza dumplings more commonly associated with Japanese cuisine, except that shumai are a different shape and normally have a pork and prawn filling. Enjoy while hot, or freeze and reheat as a snack or as part of a bento lunch.
To make the filling we will need to mix all the ingredients together so put them all aside for a moment except for the shiitake which you will need to soak in water for 5-10 minutes. Then grab a large bowl and prepare to get your hands messy.
Begin by mixing up the pork, ginger, shiitake with the soy sauce, mirin and sesame oil so that you have a nice paste. Then chop up the onion and prawns into very small pieces and mix in well with the paste to get your filling. The filling should be thick enough to stick together so add more starch if necessary.
Take a shumai wrapper and while holding it with one hand, spoon in half a tablespoon of the filling and wrap up the filling with the wrapper leaving the top open. The final shape should be a short cylinder with a flat bottom so that it can stand upright.
Once you have made as many shumai as you need you can cook them in a bamboo steamer for 10-15 minutes until they are cooked. If you don’t have a designated steamer, you can lightly oil a frying pan, place the shumai in the pan and fill with water up to about half the height of the shumai. Cook on a high heat with a lid for 10 minutes then enjoy this tasty traditional dish.
- This recipe will require using a bamboo steamer. Pick one up here at Japan Centre.
- Shumai can be eaten plain after cooking or you can use a sauce or dip to get a little extra flavour. Mustard works well with shumai, as does a mix of soy sauce and vinegar.
- As long as the ingredients stick together, you can use just about anything as a filling for shumai. Try a mix of tofu and shiitake mushrooms for a tasty vegetarian option.
- The shumai wrappers are delicate and can dry out quickly so keep them covered or leave in the packet until you are ready to use each individual wrapper.