Easy Shumai Dumpling Recipe: From Prep to Plate, Plus Storage Tips

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Written By Hot Thai Restaurant

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We’ve all had those moments when we crave something savory, steamed, and absolutely delightful. That’s where shumai dumplings come in, a classic dish that’s not only a staple in dim sum but also a beloved favorite around the world. Originating from China, these little bundles of joy have made their way into hearts and kitchens globally, with each region adding its own unique twist.

Today, we’re excited to share our take on the shumai dumpling recipe. It’s a simple yet delicious journey through flavors and textures, combining succulent meat with delicate wrappers, all steamed to perfection. Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a curious newbie in the kitchen, we promise this recipe will bring a touch of warmth and tradition to your table. Let’s dive into the world of shumai together, shall we?

Necessary Equipment

To bring this sumptuous shumai dumpling recipe to life, having the right equipment at your fingertips is essential. It ensures a smooth and enjoyable cooking experience, allowing us to focus on the flavors and techniques that make these dumplings truly special.

Gathering Your Tools

Before we dive into the magical world of shaping and steaming our shumai dumplings, let’s make sure we have all the necessary tools on hand:

  • Steamer Basket: Essential for cooking the dumplings to perfection. A bamboo steamer is traditional, but any steamer that fits your pot will do.
  • Mixing Bowl: We’ll need a good-size mixing bowl to combine the filling ingredients thoroughly.
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons: Accuracy is key when measuring out ingredients to ensure the balance of flavors is just right.
  • Dumpling Wrappers: While not equipment, having these ready is crucial. You can find them at most Asian grocery stores or make your own if you’re feeling adventurous.
  • Small Spoon or Scoop: For portioning the filling into the wrappers, ensuring each dumpling is uniformly filled.
  • Parchment Paper: Cut into small squares, it prevents the dumplings from sticking to the steamer.
  • Rolling Pin: If you decide to make your own wrappers, a rolling pin is necessary to roll out the dough thinly.
  • Kitchen Scale: Optional, but highly recommended for those who prefer weighing their ingredients for precision.

Gathering these tools not only prepares us for the cooking journey ahead but also brings us one step closer to enjoying these delicious bites of joy. Now, with everything in place, we’re ready to embark on the culinary adventure of making shumai dumplings.

Ingredients List

Gathering the right ingredients is essential for making the perfect shumai dumplings. Below, you’ll find everything needed to create these delightful bites that are sure to impress.

For the Dumpling Wrappers

  • 1 package of store-bought dumpling wrappers (about 30 wrappers)
  • A small bowl of water for sealing the dumplings
  • 1/2 pound ground pork, lean
  • 1/4 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shiitake mushrooms (fresh or rehydrated from dried)
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Salt, to taste

This blend of ingredients promises a flavorful filling encased in a delicate wrapper, striking the perfect balance between savory pork, succulent shrimp, and aromatic seasonings.

Preparing the Filling

Creating the perfect shumai dumpling filling is an essential step that combines all the flavors we’ve talked about. Let’s dive into how to prepare this key component of our delicious dumplings.

Mixing the Ingredients

First, take a large mixing bowl and add ½ pound of ground pork, ensuring it’s at room temperature to blend easily. Add ¼ pound of finely chopped shrimp to the pork. This combination of meats provides a succulent base for our dumplings. Next, incorporate 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and ½ teaspoon of sesame oil for that unmistakable Asian flavor profile. To this, add ½ cup of finely chopped shiitake mushrooms, which have been soaked in warm water to soften them up. This not only adds a meaty texture but also imbues the mix with an earthy depth.

Sprinkle in ¼ cup of finely chopped green onions and 1 tablespoon of grated ginger for a sharp, fresh kick. Also, include 2 cloves of minced garlic to introduce a warmth that permeates the filling. Once all the ingredients are in the bowl, it’s time to get our hands dirty—literally. Use your hands to mix everything together thoroughly. This ensures that every ingredient melds together beautifully, creating a cohesive and flavorful filling. Keep mixing until the mixture feels sticky and well combined. This is the sign that our filling is ready to be wrapped in the delicate dumpling skins.

Seasoning Adjustments

Taste testing at this stage is crucial. Take a small amount of the filling, shape it into a ball, and cook it in a skillet over medium heat. This will give you a clear idea of the flavor balance. Based on your taste test, you might decide to add a bit more soy sauce for saltiness or a dash more sesame oil for richness. Remember, the goal is to achieve a well-rounded flavor that sings of umami, with a slight hint of freshness from the green onions and ginger, balanced by the subtle warmth of garlic.

The beauty of shumai dumplings lies in the harmony of its filling. So, take your time to adjust the seasonings to your liking. Once you’re satisfied with the taste, our filling is ready to be nestled into its dumpling wrappers. The anticipation of tasting these handcrafted dumplings makes this meticulous preparation worth every minute.

Shaping the Dumplings

After crafting a harmonious blend of flavors with our filling, the next exciting step in our shumai dumpling adventure is shaping these delightful parcels. This phase brings our dumplings from mere ingredients to nearly finished gems, ready for steaming.

Preparing the Wrappers

Before we get to the fun part, let’s ensure our wrappers are ready for action. If you’re using store-bought dumpling wrappers, it’s as simple as removing them from the package and keeping them under a slightly damp cloth to prevent drying out. For those who’ve taken the brave step of making their own wrappers, make sure they’re rolled out to about a 3-inch diameter for optimal filling and folding. Either way, the perfect wrapper is pliable and just the right thickness to hold our delectable filling without tearing.

Filling the Dumplings

For the heart of our dumpling: the filling. Place a wrapper on the palm of your hand and spoon about a tablespoon of the filling into the center. There’s no need to overfill; we’re aiming for dumplings that are generous but will still close comfortably. Remember, it’s not just about the amount; it’s also how you place the filling. A centered, neatly piled mound ensures the dumplings will sit pretty and uniform, making them cook evenly.

Pleating Techniques

Here’s where you can really put a personal touch on your shumai. Traditional shumai dumplings are not fully enclosed, but let’s ensure they’re secure. Start by gently folding the wrapper around the filling, leaving the top open. To create pleats, pinch the wrapper between your fingers, making small folds around the circumference of the dumpling top. Slightly squeezing the sides while pressing down on the filling helps it to settle in snugly, ensuring a properly sealed yet open-topped dumpling.

Pleating does more than just seal the filling; it adds an aesthetic flare that turns each dumpling into a work of art. Whether you’re aiming for functionality or fancy, mastering a few simple pleating techniques will make your shumai stand out in both taste and presentation.

Cooking the Shumai

After we’ve artfully prepared and shaped our shumai dumplings, it’s crucial to cook them correctly to ensure they’re deliciously tender and juicy. Cooking the shumai properly brings out the flavors of the filling and provides a delightful texture to the wrappers.

Steaming the Dumplings

To steam the dumplings, we’ll need a steamer basket or a bamboo steamer, which are perfect for keeping the shumai moist while allowing them to cook through evenly. Before we begin, fill a pot or wok with about 2 inches of water, ensuring that the water level is below the steamer’s base. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.

Next, line the steamer’s base with cabbage leaves or parchment paper. This prevents the dumplings from sticking and adds a subtle flavor. Carefully place the shumai in the steamer, leaving some space between each one to allow steam to circulate.

Cover the steamer with its lid and steam the dumplings for about 15 to 20 minutes. The exact time may vary depending on the size of your shumai and the intensity of the steam. You’ll know they’re done when the wrappers become translucent and the filling is firm to the touch.

Once cooked, carefully remove the shumai from the steamer, being cautious of the hot steam. Serve the shumai immediately, accompanied by soy sauce or your favorite dipping sauce for an extra burst of flavor.

Alternative Cooking Methods

While steaming is the traditional method to cook shumai, there are alternative ways to prepare them if you’re looking to experiment or if a steamer isn’t available.


For a crispy bottom, lightly oil a non-stick pan and place it over medium heat. Arrange the shumai in the pan, leaving some space between each one. Add a small amount of water to the pan, just enough to cover the bottom, and cover with a lid. Allow the shumai to cook until the water evaporates and the bottoms are golden brown, which should take about 8 to 10 minutes.


Boiling is another simple method. Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Gently lower the shumai into the water, being cautious not to overcrowd the pot. Boil for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until they float to the surface and the filling is cooked through. Use a slotted spoon to remove them from the water and drain.

These alternative cooking methods offer a fantastic way to enjoy shumai with different textures, from the crispy pan-fried bottoms to the tender, boiled variety. No matter how you choose to cook them, these shumai dumplings are sure to be a hit.

Serving Suggestions

After mastering the art of making tender and flavorful shumai dumplings, the final touch involves pairing them with the perfect accompaniments. Here are our top suggestions to elevate your shumai experience.

Accompanying Dips and Sauces

The right dip can transform your shumai dumplings from delicious to divine. Here’s what we recommend:

  • Soy Sauce: A classic choice, simple yet effective in enhancing the umami flavors of the shumai. For an added kick, mix in a small amount of chili oil.
  • Vinegar Sauce: A mix of rice vinegar, a touch of sugar, and finely chopped ginger. This sauce adds a refreshing acidity that balances the richness of the shumai.
  • Spicy Mustard: A small dab of this potent sauce goes a long way. It’s perfect for those who enjoy a burst of heat with every bite.

Mix and match these sauces on the side for guests to choose according to their taste.


A little garnish not only makes your shumai more visually appealing but can also add a pop of flavor. Here are a few garnishes we love:

  • Green Onions: Finely chopped green onions sprinkled over the top add a slight crunch and freshness, contrasting nicely with the soft texture of the dumplings.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toasted sesame seeds can be scattered atop the shumai before serving, adding a nutty flavor and a decorative touch.
  • Cilantro Leaves: For those who love herbs, a few cilantro leaves offer a burst of freshness and a vibrant color contrast.

Make-Ahead Tips

Shumai dumplings are perfect for preparing ahead of time, offering convenience without sacrificing flavor. Here’s how you can prep them in advance.

Freezing Uncooked Shumai

Freezing uncooked shumai is a game-changer for meal prep. Firstly, arrange the dumplings on a baking sheet ensuring they’re not touching, and place them in the freezer for about 1-2 hours, or until they’re solid. Once they’ve hardened, transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag or an airtight container. They can be stored this way for up to two months without a loss in quality. When you’re ready to cook, there’s no need to thaw; simply steam the frozen dumplings for an extra couple of minutes compared to the regular cooking time. This method not only saves time but also preserves the fresh taste and texture of the shumai.

Storing Leftovers

If you find yourself with leftover cooked shumai, they’re very easy to store. Allow the dumplings to cool to room temperature before transferring them to an airtight container. They can be refrigerated like this for up to three days. To reheat, you can either steam them again for about 5 minutes or for a quicker option, microwave them covered with a wet paper towel for 1-2 minutes. This will help retain moisture ensuring the shumai remains juicy and flavorful, just like they were when freshly made. Remember, reheating more than once can deteriorate their quality, so it’s best to only reheat what you will consume.


We’ve journeyed through the art of making shumai dumplings, from their rich Chinese heritage to the variety of ways they can be prepared and enjoyed. We’ve shared our best tips for keeping them fresh, whether you’re making them ahead of time or saving leftovers. Now it’s your turn to bring this culinary delight into your kitchen. Experiment with fillings, try different cooking methods, and don’t forget those dips and garnishes that elevate the flavors. Here’s to creating memorable meals that bring a taste of the world right to your table. Happy cooking!

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