Shumai

Now that you have a lovely Asian Inspired Table, you need some food for it.  I have been working on Asian inspired recipes and I have three new ones for you.  Today, my take on a Chinese shumai, a steamed dumpling open at the top instead of completely encased in the wrapper.  I thought this was a good time to show a new recipe for Chinese New Year coming up on the 16th.  The shumai in Japan are made only from shrimp, while the Chinese use pork or different types of seafood.   The Chinese chop the filling, while the Japanese form is ground to a paste.  These are really easy to make, and this recipe is a good size for two.  It will take a bit of effort, but truly, it only takes about 15 minutes to make the shumai, and then another 20-25 to steam them.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I found that chopping the ingredients made a little meatball out of the filling, which was fine except that the wrapper fell off as it was served.  These little bowls were perfect to serve, a great thrift store find last summer.  Set on gold square plates, they have an Oriental vibe.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I went with the Japanese method of making a paste, and the addition of an egg solved the meatball problem. I have made these a half dozen times trying to get the recipe just right. These plates are melamine, another thrift store score perfect for outdoor meals on the verandah. The shumai are between the broccoli and the chopsticks.  This time I took a few extra wrappers and made some mushroom won-tons to go with the shumai.  The sauces in the divided dish are teriyaki, soy, and horseradish as I didn’t have any wasabi.  I used an ice cream scoop to serve the rice so it has the same shape as what you get in a restaurant.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using a 3-inch round biscuit cutter, cut your won-ton wrappers into rounds. One note here, I tried several different brands of oyster sauce, and this one was by far the best – Ka-me Oyster Sauce. Don’t be afraid of this, it doesn’t taste anything like oysters. It is a richly umami flavor more like a very thick beefy sauce, with a bit of a salty taste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place about 4 ounces of ground pork and an egg in a food processor or blender, and process until you have a paste.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Add the other ingredients and pulse a few times.  I then transferred the mixture to a bowl just for ease of working with it.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Place a small amount of filling on a won-ton wrapper, moisten the edges with water, and begin pinching pleats into the sides.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

I put five pleats in each one.  It sounds really labor intensive, but it really didn’t take that long.  Once you get the hang of it, it goes pretty fast – just spoon, pinch, place.  Place the shumai on a piece of parchment paper in a bamboo steamer.  You can also use lettuce leaves. Whichever you choose will keep the food from sticking to the bamboo.  I add a few frozen potstickers to the steamer to add another element to the meal.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Steam the shumai about 20-25 minutes total, until the temperature inside reaches 170º-180º.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

After about 10-12 minutes, add your vegetables in the second bamboo basket and place on top of the shumai basket.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Cover and continue steaming about 7-8 more minutes until done.  I found this two level bamboo steamer at the thrift store too, LOL!!  Hint, use a deep pan for boiling the water, it goes quickly and you don’t want it to dry out before the food is done.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Meanwhile, cook the rice as it also takes about 20 minutes.  I like to use Jasmine rice or sticky sushi rice.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Another tasty addition for the meal is mini-egg rolls found in the frozen section of the grocery store.  These bake in the oven while the shumai steam.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

Using two frozen items plus the fresh steamed veggies, rice and shumai makes a lovely complex meal that looks like it took way more time than it actually did.  From the beginning of set up to end of cooking time was only 45 minutes.  On this occasion, I used my Oriental soup spoons to hold two sauces, one is soy the other is teriyaki.  These spoons really give an Asian feel to the plate, and they are only 99 cents at World Market (no affiliation, just a happy customer).

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

If you don’t have a bamboo steamer, a regular veggie steamer will do just as well.

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

The last batch I made were topped with the green onion rather than incorporating them into the paste. I liked this way the best.  The recipe makes about 15-16 shumai, enough for two with a few left over.  If you left off the potstickers you probably wouldn’t have any left over.

Shumai at From My Carolina Home

Shumai

15-16 won-ton wrappers
4 ounces ground pork
1 egg
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon grated carrot
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
2-3 chopped green onions
Optional – 1/2 teaspoon five-spice powder or 1 teaspoon sirracha sauce

Using a round biscuit cutter, cut the won-ton wrappers into rounds and set aside under a moist paper towel to keep them from drying out. Place ground pork and egg in a food processor or blender, process until smooth. Add oyster sauce, carrot, onion powder and mix well. Add optional ingredients if you like. Spoon small teaspoon of filling into middle of won-ton round, moisten the edge with water and pinch five pleats into the edge creating a little bowl shape. Place in steamer basket. Repeat for all wrappers using all the filling. Top with chopped green onion. Steam for 20-25 minutes until temperature reaches 170-180 degrees. Serve with rice and steamed vegetables.

Download a pdf – Shumai

Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

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Asian Inspired Meals at From My Carolina Home

10 thoughts on “Shumai

  1. Brings me back to my college days! One of my room mates was Chinese and loved to cook. She always brought ingredients with her and after picking up our schedules (remember those days?) we would fold a semester’s worth of wontons and put them in my little chest freezer. 😄 you are so right, once you get going, folding these things into whatever is really pretty quick. Did you try freezing these? I bet you could do a large batch if you have the space available. This would make a nice change, and be quick and easy dinner.

  2. sharon schipper

    Fun, Carole! we eat the Japanese gyoza, the only dumplings we saw, however we never went to bigger restaurants, mostly street vendors and small cafes. , I’ve never had shrimp, only sausage, but we truly never asked what the meat was, nor did the menus explain in English… I didn’t see them shumai style, but never asked.

    at home we use the wonton wrappers, I just use good pork sausage and green onion with a little dashi, I haven’t tried with egg, we just guesstimated first time we made them and they tasted right to us that way. Using a teaspoon add just enough to be plump. Pinch them closed, we make half square triangles! I hadn’t thought of rounding them, hee hee… We like them steamed and then put in a hot skillet with a bit of peanut oil, just enough to crisp them a little without frying. Last time I used the air fryer I bought for my son, and put them in without steaming. Fried dumplings are more chinese. They crisped up nicely, but we decided next time we’d add a tiny bit of oil, they were just a bit dry in an air fryer.

    Kathy, I’ve seen chinese dumplings in the freezer section at the market, just have never tried them. I should think if we froze these the preferred way would be vacuum sealing them tightly? Even if I made a batch big enough to freeze some I’m sure we’d eat them all at once, I only do Japanese when both my daughters are over, we do an assembly line! But cooking dumplings is like southern fried squash, they get eaten as made, hardly make it to the table. I like that about Japanese restaurants: no matter what we ordered in Japan, they’d bring the items as they were completed, no waiting for the entire order, so each item was hot as we received it. In ones with an open kitchen, half the enjoyment was watching the art of the preparation. I admit, ours is not so artistic!

  3. These look delish and I just may have to make them soon. Hubby will probably turn his nose up at first but like everything else new I fix he’ll probably like it. 🙂 If you say Japanese food to him he automatically thinks raw fish.

  4. Paula

    I hope to make an oriental-themed quilt soon and I love the peachy floral fabric shown with the quilt and batting. Thanks for sharing.

  5. sheilaoxley

    I saved the recipe! But I’d have to at least double it…I have a 14 yr old who is constantly having a growth spurt it seems!!!! That’s a great idea adding the pot stickers and egg rolls…now I’m hungry for oriental food!!!!

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