Shumai are an integral part of the Cantonese specialty meal of dim sum. Typically served from mid-morning through the afternoon, these steamed snacks are brought straight to the table in bamboo steamers. An extra bonus: these small packages are also thought to contain luck. Whilte there are as many versions as provinces in China (and in the Qing dynasty, the fillings varied by season), this recipe is filled with shrimp, cilantro and shitake mushrooms. Serve the delicious treats in these Chinese soup spoons with a cold brew for the perfect canapé or appetizer for any dinner party. 食飯 !
Shrimp and Shitake Shumai
½ cup/ 120 ml soy sauce
1 tbl rice wine
1 tbl sesame oil, plus more for cooking
½ tbl fresh ginger, minced
½ lb/ 250 g shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup shitake mushrooms, chopped
4 tbl cilantro leaves, finely chopped
4 tbl spring onions, chopped, white part only
20 round dumpling skins
juice of ½ lime
splash of white wine
- Sear the shitake mushrooms in sesame oil in a small saute pan for about 3-4 min on medium-high heat. Deglaze with white wine and season with salt and pepper.
- Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil and 1 tbl of the minced ginger in a small bowl.
- Blend half the shrimp, half the mushrooms, half the cilantro, ½ tbl of the ginger and all the scallions in food processor to form a paste. Add 2 tbl of the soy sauce mixture and transfer to a bowl.
- Roughly chop the rest of the shrimp and mushrooms together and add to the paste with the rest of the cilantro. Stir to combine. Meanwhile, add the lime juice to the rest of the soy sauce mixture to create a dipping sauce.
- Separate the dumpling wrappers and using a fingertip, wet the edges of each with a bit of water. Spoon 1 tsp of the shrimp mixture into the middle of the wrapper and gently gather the edges around the mixture, pleating the edges. A bit should be left exposed.
- In a large pot, bring about an inch of water to a boil, and rig a steamer on top (I used a metal colander). Turn the heat down to a simmer. Gently place the dumplings in a single layer at the bottom of the steamer (or colander) and cover. Cook until the wrapper becomes tender – about 5-6 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the dipping sauce.