Cantonese Shumai (Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai)

By: takestwoeggsPosted: 13/04/2023 Updated: 30/11/2023
Prep 45 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Total 1 hour
Cantonese shumai dumplings are a classic dim sum favorite! Made with juicy pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms and a thin golden dumpling wrapper this shumai recipe is better than the ones at a dim sum restaurant.
Cantonese Shumai (Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai)

Cantonese shumai dumplings (燒賣) are a classic dim sum favorite! Made with juicy pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms and a thin golden dumpling wrapper this shumai recipe is better than the ones at a dim sum restaurant.

A bamboo steamer filled with cantonese shumai.

Cantonese shumai (or siu mai, shao mai (燒賣) is one of the most popular and well-known dim sum dishes. Although there are many different regional variations, the Cantonese siu mai is made with juicy ground pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms and wrapped in a thin bright yellow dumpling wrapper.

I am so excited to share this siu mai recipe with you! Pork and shrimp shumai are my absolute FAVORITE dumplings of all time. Every month I always crave a dim sum visit and I have to place a minimum of at least 2 orders of siu mai. This siu mai recipe is tender, juicy, and packed with delicious savory flavors which make it impossible to resist.

Dim sum is by far the best brunch meal there is. You get a ton of variety of dishes to choose from. Each with its own unique flavor profiles that are all so incredibly good. If you are looking to make more dim sum favorites at home, check out my Chinese turnip cake, steamed custard bun, and baked char siu bao!

Looking down at a plate of cantonese shumai.
A bamboo steamer on a table filled with pork and shrimp shumai.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy to make. Don’t let these intricate siu mai dumplings fool you, this siu mai recipe is incredibly easy to make!
  • Juicy, tender, and flavorful. This shu mai is made with pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms plus an umami sauce blend to create the most harmonious savory bite.
  • Can make ahead and freeze! The best part about these siu mai dumplings is that you can easily make it ahead or double the recipe and freeze them for later!
A pair of chopsticks holding up a cantonese shumai with pork and shrimp.

Kitchen Equipment

You will only need a few items of kitchen equipment to make this pork and shrimp siu mai recipe.

  • Mixing Bowls: you will need mixing bowls to soak the shiitake mushrooms and mix the filling.
  • Parchment steamer liner: precut parchment steamer liners are my favorite things to use when I steam dumplings! They are already precut to fit and they prevent the siu mai wrappers from sticking to the steamer.
  • Steamer: you can either use a bamboo steamer or a stainless steel steamer for this siu mai recipe.

Ingredients

All of the ingredients for this pork and shrimp shumai recipe can be found at your local Chinese grocery store.

  • Dried shiitake mushrooms: dried shiitake mushrooms have a richer flavor profile and retain a lot less moisture which is ideal for preventing a watery filling.
  • Shrimp: you can either chop the shrimp into larger chunks and grind them in a food processor as a paste depending on how chunky you like your shrimp.
  • Ground Pork: use ground pork that has a high-fat content of at least 20% for the juiciest filling.
  • Cornstarch: cornstarch creates a coating around the meat to seal in the juices and protects the pork from drying out.
  • Ginger and Green Onions: minced ginger and green onions are the main aromatics for the pork and shrimp dumpling filling.
  • Sugar: a hint of sugar balances out all the salty flavors.
  • Chicken Bouillon: chicken bouillon adds a savory element to the filling.
  • Salt and White Pepper: salt and white pepper used to season the filling
  • Light Soy Sauce: light soy sauce uplifts the flavors of the meat.
  • Shaoxing Wine: Shaoxing wine is a type of Chinese rice wine that adds a vinegary, and caramel-like flavor to the filling.
  • Oyster Sauce: oyster sauce brings a rich umami, savory, tangy flavor to the pork and shrimp shumai filling.
  • Sesame Oil: a touch of sesame oil adds a hint of nutty umami flavor to the filling.
  • Carrots: finely minced carrots to garnish the shumai dumpling.
  • Shumai wrappers: you want to use thin, round, and yellow dumpling wrappers for shumai. The wrappers I used were about 3 1/4 inches in diameter.
All the ingredients to make cantonese shumai organized and labeled in bowls.

Substitutions and Additions

Ultimately, you are the driver of your own siu mai dumplings. That means you get to personalize and customize it based on your preferences! I’ve listed some suggestions below.

  • Roe: if you’d like a fancier Cantonese siu mai experience, you can use roe as a garnish instead of chopped carrots.
  • Pea: instead of minced carrots, you can alternatively garnish your pork siu mai with a pea.
  • Ground chicken: instead of pork you can use ground chicken for a chicken shumai dumpling.
  • Water chestnuts: if you’d like more texture and a bit of a crunch add chopped water chestnuts to the filling.
  • Shiitake mushrooms: you can alternatively eliminate the shiitake mushrooms for a pure pork and shrimp shumai filling.

📝 How to Make Shumai

Here are the step-by-step instructions on how to make this Cantonese shumai recipe. I recommend reading through the instructions once through before you begin.

Prep

  1. Prepare the shiitake mushroom. In a medium mixing bowl, soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the shiitake mushrooms and mince them into fine bits.
Dried shiitake mushrooms being rehydrated in a glass bowl of hot water.
  1. Prepare the shrimp. Finely chop the shrimp into small pieces. If you prefer to have larger shrimp chunks then cut 3-4 shrimps into larger chunks.

Filling

  1. Tenderize the pork. In a large mixing bowl, add the ground pork and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined and the meat is a paste-like consistency. this will tenderize the pork.
Mixing together ground pork and cornstarch in a bowl to tenderize the meat.
  1. Combine the filling. Add the shrimp, grated ginger, and green onions. Stir to combine. Then add the sugar, chicken bouillon, salt, white pepper, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, water, and sesame oil. Mix until fully incorporated.
Mixing together pork and shrimp filling for a cantonese shumai.

Assemble

  1. Assemble shu mai. Lay a round wrapper in your palm. Add 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the dumpling wrapper and gently flatten the filling so it evenly covers almost to the edge of the wrapper. Then form an “O” with your forefinger and thumb. Using a butter knife or spoon press the wrapper down into the “O” hole of your hand. Gently push the filling into the dumpling wrapper and add more filling so that it reaches the top of the dumpling. Place the dumpling on your work surface and gently push down to flatten the base so it stands upright. Repeat until all the filling is used.
  1. Top with diced carrots. Top the center of the dumpling with a pinch of finely diced carrots.

Steam

  1. Prepare steamer. Line a steamer with parchment paper and heat about 3 inches of water into the pot or wok that will sit underneath the steamer over medium-high heat until boiling.
A lined metal steamer with stuffed shumai ready to be steamed..
  1. Steam. Place the siu mai on the parchment-lined steamer about 1 inch apart from each other. Cover with the lid and steam for 7-8 minutes or until it reaches 165ºF (75°C).

Tips for the Best Shu mai

  • Use round, thin, pre-made wonton wrappers. For the most authentic Cantonese shumai, use Hong Kong-style dumpling wrappers that are thin round wrappers that are tinted yellow. You can find them in the refrigerated or freezer section at Chinese markets or other Asian markets like HMart.
  • Spread the filling to the edges before pushing the wrapper down through the “o” cylinder of your hand. This will ensure that the Cantonese shumai dumpling is filled to the brim and makes it a lot easier to top it off with more filling for a perfectly stuffed dumpling.
  • Line your steamer! It is important that you line your steamer either with parchment paper or cheesecloth so the shumai wrapper will not stick to the steamer.
  • Do not let the siu mai dumplings touch each other in the steamer. Make sure that the dumplings sit about 1 inch apart from each other to prevent them from sticking when steamed.
  • You can cook multiple racks of shumai at a time. If you have a steamer basket that can be layered, you can steam all the dumplings at the same time. However, the top layer may need an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook.

Storage Instructions

Refrigerate: You can store any leftover shu mai in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

To reheat: reheat in the steamer or cover in the microwave until warm.

Freeze: Alternatively, you can freeze the raw shumai dumplings on a parchment-lined baking tray 1-inch from each other until they are frozen and then you can put them in an airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To reheat: steam the frozen dumplings directly from the freezer for 10-11 minutes or until cooked. You do not need to defrost them!

Frequently Asked Q’s & A’s

What is shumai made of?

Cantonese shumai is normally made of ground pork, chopped shrimp, Chinese black mushrooms, green onions, and ginger with seasonings of Shaoxing wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chicken stock.

What is the difference between shumai, siu mai, and shao mai?

Siu mai is the most well-known variety that is from Guangdong and Guangxi. Siu mai is known as a pork and mushroom dumpling that sometimes contains black mushrooms. Shumai is the English spelling of siu mai.

Shaomai is a regional variety that is found in Mongolia. Shaomai usually consists of mutton mixed with scallion and ginger.

Shumai is a Japanese version that uses pork and minced onions and is normally topped with a green pea.

What do you eat with shumai?

Typically Cantonese shumai is served along with other dim sum dishes such as Chinese turnip cake, Chinese broccoli, har gaw, steamed pork buns, etc. It is eaten with a soy sauce dipping sauce that sometimes contains chili oil.

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A bamboo steamer filled with cantonese shumai.

Cantonese Shumai (Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai)

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Cantonese shumai dumplings are a classic dim sum favorite! Made with juicy pork, shrimp, and shiitake mushrooms and a thin golden dumpling wrapper this shumai recipe is better than the ones at a dim sum restaurant.
Servings: 25 shumai
Print Recipe

Ingredients

Garnish

  • Carrot finely minced

Instructions

Prep

  • Prepare the shiitake mushroom. In a medium mixing bowl, soak the shiitake mushrooms in boiling hot water for 30 minutes. Squeeze as much water out of the shiitake mushrooms and mince them into fine bits.
  • Prepare the shrimp. Finely chop the shrimp into small pieces. If you prefer to have larger shrimp chunks then cut 3-4 shrimps into larger chunks.

Filling

  • Tenderize the pork. In a large mixing bowl, add the ground pork and cornstarch. Mix until fully combined and the meat is a paste-like consistency. this will tenderize the pork.
  • Combine the filling. Add the shrimp, grated ginger, and green onions. Stir to combine. Then add the sugar, chicken bouillon, salt, white pepper, light soy sauce, Shaoxing wine, oyster sauce, water, and sesame oil. Mix until fully incorporated.

Assemble

  • Assemble shumai. Lay a round wrapper in your palm. Add 1 tablespoon of filling into the center of the dumpling wrapper and gently flatten the filling so it evenly covers almost to the edge of the wrapper. Then form an “O” with your forefinger and thumb. Using a butter knife or spoon press the wrapper down into the “O” hole of your hand. Gently push the filling into the dumpling wrapper and add more filling so that it reaches the top of the dumpling. Place the dumpling on your work surface and gently push down to flatten the base so it stands upright. Repeat until all the filling is used.
  • Top with diced carrots. Top the center of the dumpling with a pinch of finely diced carrots.
  • To Freeze (optional). Place a parchment-lined tray of uncooked shumai covered with plastic wrap into the freezer. Once they freeze, transfer them to a freezer bag or container. To cook, place the frozen shumai on a bamboo steamer lined with parchment. Cook the frozen shumai for 10-11 minutes or until it reaches 165ºF (75°C). Do not defrost before steaming.

Steam

  • Prepare steamer. Line a steamer with parchment paper and heat about 3 inches of water into the pot or wok that will sit underneath the steamer over medium-high heat until boiling.
  • Steam. Place the siu mai on the parchment-lined steamer about 1-inch apart from each other. Cover with the lid and steam for 7-8 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165ºF (75°C).
  • Enjoy! Remove from the steamer, and enjoy!

Notes

  • Use round, thin, pre-made wonton wrappers. For the most authentic Cantonese shumai, use Hong Kong-style dumpling wrappers that are thin round wrappers that are tinted yellow. You can find them in the refrigerated or freezer section at Chinese markets or other Asian markets like HMart.
  • Spread the filling to the edges before pushing the wrapper down through the “o” cylinder of your hand. This will ensure that the Cantonese shumai dumpling is filled to the brim and makes it a lot easier to top it off with more filling for a perfectly stuffed dumpling.
  • Line your steamer! It is important that you line your steamer either with parchment paper or cheesecloth so the shumai wrapper will not stick to the steamer.
  • Do not let the siu mai dumplings touch each other in the steamer. Make sure that the dumplings sit about 1 inch apart from each other to prevent them from sticking when steamed.
  • You can cook multiple racks of shumai at a time. If you have a steamer basket that can be layered, you can steam all the dumplings at the same time. However, the top layer may need an additional 30 seconds to 1 minute to cook.
  • Storage Instructions: Refrigerate: You can store any leftover shu mai in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat: reheat in the steamer or covered in the microwave until warm.
  • Freeze: Alternatively, you can freeze the raw shumai dumplings on a parchment-lined baking tray 1 inch from each other until they are frozen and then you can put them in an airtight container or bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat: steam the frozen dumplings directly from the freezer for 10-11 minutes or until cooked. You do not need to defrost them!

Nutrition:

Calories: 54kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 92mg | Potassium: 69mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.3g | Vitamin A: 6IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 9mg | Iron: 0.2mg

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