One of my favorite things to grab for lunch is dim-sum, specifically shrimp shumai! I love watching the giant pillows of steam released into the air, each time a lid is removed from one of the containers on the crowded dim-sum carts. I think dim-sum is one of those things that a lot of people find intimidating to make at home, but really it’s easy, especially if you start with the basics! Today we have a super simple, yet super flavorful shrimp shumai recipe for you all today. It only takes about 30 minutes to put together and up to 10 minutes to cook.
What are Shrimp Shumai?
Shrimp shumai (also pronounced siu mai or shao mai) are a popular Cantonese steamed dumpling often served at Chinese, dim-sum restaurants.
How to make Shrimp Shumai
- In a food processor pulse together garlic, ginger and lemongrass.
- Add half of the shrimp and the remaining filling ingredients and pulse together until a paste forms. – This will help to keep the shumai together.
- Add remaining chopped shrimp to the paste mixture and fold together. This will give the shumai filling some nice texture.
- Place 1/2 tablespoon sized amount of filling onto center of each wonton wrapper and form, using dabs of water to fold edges down.
- Fill a steamer with water and top basket with a single layer of lettuce leaves.
- Arrange shumai onto lettuce leaves, about an inch apart.
- Cover, place over heat and steam for 8 to 10minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve with a simple dipping sauce.
How do you form Shumai?
Have ready a stack of your wonton wrappers, your shrimp mixture, a spoon, a towel in case you need to wipe your fingers off, and a small bowl of water.
- With your non-dominate hand, form a circle with your fingers. Place the wonton wrapper over the hole you have made with you hand.
- Gently press the wonton wrapper into your hand to create a cavity for the shrimp mixture to sit in.
- The cavity should be deep enough to hold about half a tablespoon of the shrimp mixture inside. The edges of the wonton wrapper that lay on top of your hand will be folded down later. Be sure to not make your cavity too deep, that will just leave your edges messy.
- Using a spoon, place the shrimp mixture in the cavity. We like to use a gently scraping method when we do this. You can use the spoon to gently pack the mixture down and create a clean top.
- Gently wet your fingers in your bowl of water. Stick the edges of the wonton wrapper that are resting on top of your hand down to the sides on the shrimp shumai. You may need to re-dip your fingers. The water works as an adhesive between the layers of wonton.
- Place a scallion slice on the top of each shrimp shumai.
When you are steaming shrimp shumai, you always line the basket with lettuce leaves (or steamer linrs) to prevent the shu mai from sticking to the basket. You also want to ensure that the shumai are not touching each other because they will stick together. I love my Jia Ceramic Steamer. It’s thoughtfully designed and so beautiful. For this entire recipe, you will have to cook them in batches. They are best served right away, but if you prefer to serve them all at once you can place them onto a plate and cover to keep the steam in until you are ready to serve. I love using a bowl upside down on a plate to cover them.
To make ahead and freeze, fill and form shrimp shumai as directed. Place uncooked shrimp shumai onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart and place in freezer until fully frozen. Once fully frozen, transfer shumai to a resealable bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months.
How do you cook Frozen Shrimp Shumai?
When ready to use, steam frozen (do not thaw) as directed, but add an additional 8 to 10 minutes to the cook time.
What can you eat with Shrimp Shumai?
While these little bites are delicious on their own, you can also serve them with other dim sum dishes like our pork potstickers, which are just as delicious and also freeze really well. You can also serve these alongside our garlic noodles and our Lightly Roasted green beans for a complete meal!
I love making a double batch of this recipe and freezing most of them so that I can easily pop them out of the freezer and have a little snack whenever I get a craving! Enjoy! xx, Jenny
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- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
- ½ inch piece lemongrass, chopped
- ½ pound shrimp, peeled, cleaned and deveined
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- ½ teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ teaspoon white pepper
- 24 square wonton wrappers
- Place garlic, ginger and lemongrass in a food processor and pulse 6 to 8 times or until finely ground and well combined. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Dice shrimp and place half into the food processor with the remaining ingredients. Process until a smooth paste just comes together. Pour filling into a mixing bowl and fold in remaining shrimp.
- Place ½ tablespoon of the mixture into the center of a wonton wrapper and wet the edges with a small amount of water.
- Assemble: Bring all the sides into the center and press any excess wrapper down onto the sides to gently seal (the tops should still be exposed with the shrimp mixture). Flatten the top and place onto a baking sheet. Top each shumai with a piece of sliced green onion. Repeat until all the filling and wrappers have been used.
- Fill base a pot with 2 inches of water. Top with steamer and line steamer with a layer of lettuce leaves and arrange shumai on top, 1 inch apart (this will be done in batches). Cover steamer with lid and place over medium-high heat. Steam shumai for 8 to 10 minutes or until shrimp has just cooked through.
- Serve shu-mai hot with ponzu sauce or a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil for dipping.
- *Makes 24
- To make ahead and freeze: Fill and form shrimp shumai as directed. Place uncooked shrimp shumai onto a parchment lined baking sheet, about 1/2 inch apart and place in freezer until fully frozen. Once fully frozen, transfer shumai to a resealable bag and store in freezer for up to 3 months. When ready to heat from frozen, follow instructions as directed and steam shumai from frozen, but add an additional 5 to 6 minutes of steaming.
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I want to have a whole meal with these as the star. What would be some easy good sides to fix up along with them?
Eating these right now! Made them very early in the afternoon and let them chill in the fridge till dinner time, which was so easy! Very flavorful! I didn’t have any lemongrass so I used a couple runs of lime zest instead. I like these better than the ones we get for take-out and who knew the were so easy?! Thank you for the recipe, will enjoy these again soon.
Hi, I’m sure this is a dumb question…are the shrimp supposed to be cooked at the beginning of the recipe? Looks awesome, thank you!
the only thing i don’t have is a steamer…can a crockpot be used as a steamer? if not, what kind of steamer should i invest in?
I think I’m making these tonight! Looks so incredible! I don’t have lemon grass…. I might have to skip it… Thanks for sharing this recipe! :)
I could eat a million of these. I’ve never tried making them myself though, can’t wait to give it a shot! By the way, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award! Here’s my post: http://3hungrymonkeys.wordpress.com/2012/07/17/i-won-something-woot/
What striking photos! I love these little shu mai’s. I can’t wait to make some on my own!
Natalie (NJ in L.A.)
I live for these. Beautiful photography as always ladies!
I just made these, and they were absolutely delicious. :) Thank you, Jenny!
Brian @ A Thought For Food
One of my earliest (and favorite) memories from my childhood was making shrimp shu mai with my parents. This totally brought me back.
Jenny @ BAKE
I am a complete Dim Sum addict! I am going to have to try this recipe!
This is my kind of food – dainty and full of flavor. I could eat heaps of those.
LOVE dim sum. thanks for sharing this!! would love to see some more dim sum recipes in the future!
Love shrimp dumplings and yours look delicious!
heather @ chiknpastry
adorable! I love making anything with little wonton wrappers, but these look extra-easy. I usually fold mine which clearly takes too long when you can just wrap them around like this and leave them open – way cuter, and easier ;).
also, freezing them and whipping them out at any moment = perfection.
Love any kind of dumplings but shrimp Shu- mai is kind of my fav. Never tried making it at home as I find it so tough to give that shape! But I gotta give it a try.
Party recipes = love! Party recipes that can be made ahead AND frozen = absolute swoon. Not to mention this one creates more practice time with my food processor.
Cupcake and Talk
I am going to try this dish. I know I am going to love it. Thank you for the recipe.
Oh yum! Love dim sum and the experience of eating them in such restaurants as you’ve described…steaming carts criss-crossing among a big room of round tables :)
Looks so good. Dim sum is one of my favorite things to eat!
Completely embarrassing, but I have NEVER had dim-sum. Luckily, I live in Chicago. Care to share your favorite dim-sum restaurant?
dervla @The Curator
mmmmm yummmmy. I’ve never made these but will now give it a shot! Thanks for the recipe.
I’ve just realized that I’m not sure if I’ve ever had dim sum. . do potstickers count? These looks gorgeous, but I’m not a fan of shrimp. Would ground chicken work? Seriously going to try this out. . so glad I found your website! Thank you! Thank you!
probably you can also put pork or even chicken meat or even egg to taste..
yum! one of my favorite asian treats.
Heather | Farmgirl Gourmet
YUM! I am totally all over these little purses of goodness. Love this recipe ladies!! Beautiful photos too (of course).
Teri Lyn Fisher
Heather! Purses of goodness! Love it! You have a way with words!