This shumai recipe combines pork and shrimp with a blend of spices for a delicious dumpling filling. Perfect for any dim sum breakfast table, too!
Shumai is a type of Chinese dumpling, with a traditional filling of pork and shrimp.
Unlike most dumplings that are completely sealed (like these Homemade Chinese Dumplings (Jiaozi 饺子)), the top of the dumplings are left open, and the dough is formed into a basket shape.
The shumai is then steamed in a bamboo steamer basket and topped with vegetables or served with a dipping sauce.
INGREDIENT NOTES AND SUBSTITUTIONS
Note: This is just a partial list of ingredients. For the full ingredient list, see the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Ground pork - You’ll want to use plain ground pork for this shumai recipe. Pork sausage comes pre-seasoned and will alter the flavor of the dumplings.
- Shrimp - Make sure to peel and devein the shrimp first if needed. Cut off the tail, peel off the shell, and use a paring knife to make a thin slice along the back. Lift the dark vein with the tip of the knife, then remove it with your fingers.
- Chinese Five Spice - If you can’t find this at the store, it’s easy to make your own at home. It keeps for about 6 months in the pantry, so you can use it in other dishes.
- Ginger and lemongrass - You can easily substitute freshly grated with paste instead. These can be found in tubes in the produce section of the grocery store. Lemongrass is not traditionally used in Chinese cooking, so feel free to omit altogether.
- Wonton wrappers - I like to use these wrappers to get the decorative looking points at the tops of the dumpling. However, these are traditionally made with thin, round dumpling wrappers so feel free to use those instead.
How to make pork and shrimp shumai
This shumai recipe may look difficult to make, but it’s really quite simple. Just mix up the filling, form the dumplings, and steam!
Make the filling
- Combine the liquids, aromatics, spices, and sugar in a food processor.
- Next, add in the ground pork and half of the shrimp. Blend into a smooth paste.
- Transfer to a large bowl and fold in the rest of the shrimp, water chestnuts, and green onion.
Form the dumplings
- Place one wonton wrapper on the counter and add a scoop of filling to the center.
- Then, dip your finger in water and run it along the edges of the wrapper.
- Form the dumpling with your hands by gently squeezing the wrapper together to seal the sides.
- Tap the bottom on the counter or with your palm to flatten it so it can stand on its own.
- Repeat until all of the dumplings are made, then place them in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
Steam and serve
- Add water to the wok and line the bottom of a bamboo steamer with parchment paper.
- Place the steamer over the wok and bring the water to a boil.
- Next, place the shumai in the steamer, leaving enough space so they aren’t touching each other.
- Cover and steam for about 8-10 minutes. While the shumai is cooking, mix together the dipping sauce.
- Once they are done, serve immediately with the sauce.
- Storage - Transfer any leftover dumplings to an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
- Reheating - Place in the bamboo steamer for a few minutes until warmed through. Or, steam in the microwave by placing the dumplings on a plate and covering tightly with plastic wrap.
- Scooping the filling - I like to use a small ice cream scoop for the filling because it’s easier and less messy. Plus, it guarantees that all of the shumai are the same size.
- Make ahead - The dumplings need to be cooked fresh, otherwise the filling will make the wrappers soggy. You can, however, make the filling up to a day ahead of time. Just keep it covered in the refrigerator, then set it out on the counter just before using.
- Freezing - Once formed, place the uncooked shumai on a baking sheet and freeze until firm. Then, store in an airtight container with parchment between each layer. Use within a month and steam straight from the freezer, increasing the cooking time to about 15 minutes.
These are delicious and filling on their own, or pair them with one of the following:
Shrimp and Pork Shumai
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb medium shrimp divided
- 5 green onions (See Note 2)
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp sherry wine
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger (or paste)
- 1 tbsp freshly grated lemongrass (or paste, See Note 1)
- 4 garlic cloves minced
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Chinese 5 Spice powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp white pepper
- 1 cup water chestnuts chopped
- 1 package wonton wrappers
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp ground chili paste
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- Trim green onions. Cut and separate white part from green. Finely chop the green part and set aside. Rough chop white ends.
- Transfer the ground pork, half of the shrimp, white part of green onions, soy sauce, sherry, sesame oil, ginger, lemongrass, garlic, sugar, Chinese 5 Spice powder, salt and white pepper to a food processor and pulse several times until ground and well combined. Using a spatula scrape down sides of bowl and pulse again until a smooth paste forms.
- Scoop the mixture into a medium bowl, and using a spatula, fold in remaining chopped shrimp, water chestnuts and chopped green onion tops.
- Place a 2 tablespoon scoop of the mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper and wet the edges with your finger with water. With your hands gather the sides of the wrapper up and around the filling, letting the wrapper pleat, squeezing the wrapper gently to seal and tap the dumpling to flatten the bottom so that it can sit upright. Repeat until all the filling is used. This should make about 30 dumplings.
- Place these on tray sprinkled with cornstarch to help them from sticking. Refrigerate uncovered for 30 minutes to firm up and make sure the wet wrapper pleats seal well and keep their shape (optional, see Note 2).
- Fill your wok with 2 cups water. Set a bamboo steamer over wok lined with a circular cut piece of parchment paper or coat with cooking spray/oil. Bring water to a boil and place your Shumai in bamboo steamer about a half an inch apart. Cover with lid and steam until filling is cooked through, about 8-10 minutes. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.
- While not a traditional Chinese ingredient and found more in Thai cooking, I find the flavor a delicious addition. Feel free to omit if you prefer. Most markets now sell lemongrass paste in tubes in the vegetable section.
- I have made these and steamed directly, although the wrapper didn't hold as tightly, it did work fine.
*The information shown below is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice.