Shumai is a popular side dish in Japan! It is not a common table dish but it is common for bento boxes! Because Shumai is loved by so many people in Japan, there are frozen Shumai that you can just heat up. But you can make them by yourself easily and quickly!
Have you had Shumai in Japan? Shumai is Steamed Pork Dumplings and I think so many people have had it in Chinatown! In Japan, Shumai is a popular bento side dish. My mom used to put a few of them in my bento box and I ate it last because I like them too much!
You can get frozen Shumai so easily in Japan but here in the states, they are difficult to find. So I am going to share a classic Shumai recipe today!
What is Shumai
Shumai(焼売) is a Chinese dish made by steaming minced meat mixed with onions and seasonings, wrapped in a dumpling skin. It is widely eaten in China, and each region has its own unique shumai.
Shumai is steamed to cook. However, the name contains the Chinese character 焼 which means grilling. The origin of this name is, in ancient China, bad wheat was burned in order to prevent infection, and it seems that the shape of the burned wheat is similar to that of the shape of Shumai. It has developed into siomai(焼麦), then now Shumai(焼売).
In Japan, Shumai made with pork is popular, but in China, there are also Shumai made with seafood such as shrimp and abalone. The standard is pork dumplings’ topped with shrimp on top.
Q&A What are the difference between Gyoza, Shumai, and Wanton wrappers?
Gyoza wrapper is the only one round in shape and its diameter is 2.7 inches(7 cm). It is a little thicker 0.03 inches (0.8mm) to 0.059 inches (1.5mm) so that it doesn’t break when cooking. And the ingredients of the wrappers are a mixture of cake flour and bread flour.
Shumai wrapper is 3 inches (8 cm) * 3 inches (8 cm) or 3.7 inches (9.5 cm) * 3.7 inches (9.5 cm) square. It is 0.01 inches (0.5 mm) thick so that it can be steamed softly and the ingredients cook nicely inside of the wrappers. The ingredients are the same as the gyoza wrappers.
Wonton wrapper is similar to shumai wrappers in size, 3 inches (8 cm) * 3 inches (8 cm) or 3.7 inches (9.5 cm) * 3.7 inches (9.5 cm), but thicker than shumai wrappers at 0.02 inches (0.6 mm) thick. The ingredients are all-purpose flour and lye water. Using lye water makes wonton wrappers so soft and thin but slightly elastic so they don’t break.
Q&A Can I use Gyoza wrappers for Shumai?
No. the gyoza wrappers are thick so you can’t get the same texture for shumai. And the gyoza wrappers’ shape is square whereas shumai wrapper is circle.
Q&A Can I use Wonton wrappers for Shumai?
If you find shumai wrappers at a local store, it is the best option but if you can’t find shumai wrappers, then wonton wrappers are a fine substitute.
Shumai wrappers and wonton wrappers’ thickness are almost the same so it is similar texture in the end. I use wonton wrappers for shumai because I can’t find shumai wrappers at my local grocery store.
Q&A How to wrap the Shumai with wrappers?
So I tried some different ways to wrap Shumai and the most efficient way is below.
Ingredients for making Shumai
- large onion
- Cornstarch or potato starch
- ground pork
- wonton wrappers
- soy sauce
- sesame oil
- torigara soup base
How to make Shumai
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- steamer HERE to buy
- 1/3 large onion about 75-90g
- 2 Tablespoon Cornstarch or potato starch
- 300 g ground pork
- 10 paper wonton wrappers
- 10 peas
- 1 Tablespoon sake
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon torigara soup base HERE to buy. This is a secret to taste better!
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger I use ginger paste
1 : If you use FRYING PAN
- 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup water
2: If you use STEAMER
- 1 cup water
- Mince the onion into small pieces.
- In a medium bowl, add ground pork, sake, sugar, soy sauce, sesame oil, torigara soup base, Cornstarch and ginger. Mix everything well until the meat gets sticky.
- Then add the onion to this bowl. Mix everything well.
- Divide the mixture into 10 portions and make them round using your hands. Put the rounded filling portions on a flat plate.
- Take your wonton wrappers and brush water on one side. Then, place the wet side of the wrapper on one of the filling portions. Push the wrapper sides down and in to cover the sides of the filling and shape your shumai.
- After making all the Shumai, add a pea on top of each.
1 : If you are using a FRYING PAN
- In a large pan, turn the heat to medium and add vegetable oil and spread it on the entire surface.
- Then add the Shumai and water. Heat on high until the water boils.
- After boiling, cover with a lid and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, open the lid and check if the water is completely gone. (If it is not, cook until the water is gone.)
2: If you use a STEAMER
- Add parchment paper to the steamer and add all the Shumai (if they fit).
- Use a large pan (pot or pan that you can put the steamer on top of) and add water. Bring it to a boil.
- After boiling, turn the heat to medium-low and put the steamer on top of the pan.
- Cook for 20 minutes with a lid.
- This is a great side dish or for your bento box!
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