How to Make Shrimp Dumplings

How to Make Shrimp Dumplings

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Makes: 24 | Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Adapted From: The Food of China: A Journey for Food Lovers

Shrimp dumplings (aka har gow) are usually filled with chopped or whole shrimp and pieces of water chestnut or bamboo shoot to add a bit of crunch, before being steamed in a translucent wrapper. Shrimp dumplings are a must-have dim sum staple and the best restaurants proudly highlight the quality of the seafood included in their dumplings.

Shrimp dumplings are one of the “Guangdong Big Three,” along with siu mai and steamed pork buns, a true staple of the original Cantonese dim sum tradition. Learning to make perfect shrimp dumplings is an important part of a professional chef’s dim sum apprenticeship.

The filling for shrimp dumplings is fairly straightforward, so the mark of true artistry is found primarily in how precisely the thin, delicate wrappers are folded. Each shrimp dumpling should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper.

Can you share any expert tips from your experience making shrimp dumplings? Want to ask a question before you try making it yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Shrimp Dumplings

Makes: 24 | Prep Time: 1 Hour | Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Adapted From: The Food of China: A Journey for Food Lovers


1 pound 2 ounces shrimp
1 1/2 ounces pork or bacon fat
1 1/2 ounces bamboo shoots, finely chopped
1 green onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 1/3 cups wheat starch
3 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons oil


1. To make the filling, first peel and devein the shrimp and cut half of them into 1/2 inch chunks. Finely mince the remaining prawns and then combine all the shrimp in a large bowl. Add the remaining filling ingredients, mix and drain any excess liquid.

2. To make the dough, first combine the wheat starch, cornstarch and oil in a bowl. Add 1 cup of boiling water and mix until well combined. Add extra wheat starch if the dough remains sticky.

3. Roll the dough into a long cylinder, divide into 24 pieces and cover with a warm, damp cloth. Roll the dough into 4 inch rounds, working one piece at a time, between two pieces of oiled plastic wrap.

4. Fill each dough wrapper as you make it with a heaping teaspoon of the shrimp filling mixture. Spread a little water at the edges of the wrapper, folding the wrapper to make a half moon shape. Use your thumb and forefinger to seal the wrapper and gather the edges together in a closed crescent shape.

5. Cover the shrimp dumplings as you make them to prevent them from drying out.

6. Steam the shrimp dumplings in a bamboo steamer for 6-8 minutes, or until the wrappers are translucent. Serve with soy sauce or chili sauce for dipping.

Learn more about Shrimp Dumplings from these Experts

Watch Asian Cooking Made Easy make Shrimp Dumplings (VIDEO)
Thirsty for Tea shares a Shrimp Dumplings recipe, along with beautiful photographs
The New York Times reviews the Shrimp Dumplings, among others, at Dumpling Galaxy in Queens, NY

HT: Photo by Little Swallow.

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