How to make shumai / watch and cook

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Japanese Shumai (Steamed Pork Dumpling) is typically made with ground pork & minced onion, enclosed in a wonton wrapper and topped with green pea. Originally from China, Shumai has become popular in Yokohama, Japan, since 1928!


Yokohama Chinatown (横浜中華街, Yokohama Chūkagai) is Japan’s largest Chinatown located in my hometown Yokohama. Its main attraction is the wide array of tantalizing Chinese cuisine offered by many restaurants và food stalls.

One of the most reputable restaurants is Kiyoken (崎陽軒) that serves Chinese food since the early 1900s. Their Shumai (steamed pork dumplings) has been a popular and signature Yokohama souvenir for decades.

Japanese-Style Pork Shumai

Shumai (シュウマイ) in japan is typically made with only ground pork, finely chopped onion, and flavored with a few simple Japanese seasonings. Whereas the original Chinese Shaomai or Siumai (燒賣) commonly include both ground pork and chopped shrimp, và sometimes shiitake mushrooms.

The easiest thing to tell Japanese Shumai apart is the dainty green peas that crown the xuất hiện steamed dumplings, giving them the characteristic look.

You may associate Shumai with Chinese dim sum or diner food, but back home in Japan, these steamed dumplings are a regular home-cooked dish just lượt thích gyoza. Since Japanese-Chinese style dining can be expensive, most Japanese people make Shumai either from scratch or straight from the frozen premade bag.


How to lớn Make Pork Shumai at Home

Making Shumai at home is very similar to making gyoza or wontons. Each involves the technique of filling and folding, except for the cooking method. To lớn cook Shumai, you will need khổng lồ steam them.

Here are the 3 easy steps lớn make Shumai:

Make the filling – mix the ground meat with chopped onion.Add the filling to lớn the wonton wrappers – First few may be tricky, but once you get a hang of it, it’s pretty easy!Steam – Cooking time is just 8-10 minutes. Really fast, and you can enjoy the dumplings right away!

Japanese Shumai (Steamed Pork Dumpling) is typically made with ground pork and minced onion, enclosed in a wonton wrapper và topped with green pea.

What Are Shumai Wrappers?

Japanese supermarkets sell “shumai wrappers” specifically made for Shumai. They come in thin, small square sheets, which are different from round gyoza wrappers.


You can definitely use wonton wrappers if you couldn’t find ‘shumai wrappers’. Depending on the brand, some wrappers are larger than the others. So, choose the smaller square ones for shumai wrapping.

5 Tips on Filling & Wrapping

1. Set potato starch/cornstarch with onion.


Potato starch (or cornstarch) plays an important role to absorb the excess moisture that the onion may release.

2. Knead until sticky and pale.


It’s very important to lớn use your hand (you can wear a plastic glove) to lớn knead the meat mixture until they are sticky & pasty, and pale in color. This will ensure that the inside juices cannot escape and all the delicious flavor is kept within the meat.

3. Use a 1-Tablespoon measuring spoon.

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By using the measuring spoon, it ensures the same amount of fillings for all your Shumai. This way, we vì not need lớn worry about if some of the Shumai is cooked through và some are not. The dumplings will also have a uniform consistency. Once you are familiar with the amount of the mixture you scoop, you can use a butter knife or dumpling spatula.

4. Use a butter knife or the back of a teaspoon.


Use a non-sharp butter knife (if you have any) or the back of a teaspoon to stuff and press the filling into the wrappers. My friend in japan gifted me a dumpling spatula (餃子ヘラ) and it’s been my kitchen treasure.

5. Press, rotate, and press…


It’s important khổng lồ press the meat down into the wrapper lớn avoid trapping the air. Make sure lớn route 45 degrees each time you press down, so the meat mixture will go into the wrapper evenly.


See the photo above. You create a hole with your thumb and pointing figure so that the wrapper will go down into the hole as you press down the meat mixture. Your ring finger & pinky should be at the bottom of the Shumai khổng lồ create a flat base.


How to Steam Shumai

I use a bamboo basket khổng lồ steam the Shumai as it is the traditional way of cooking the dumplings. Here are a few key tips on steaming the dumplings:

Place a parchment paper (make a few air vent holes with a tip of knife or chopstick) or cabbage leaves on the bottom of the steamer basket to lớn prevent the Shumai from sticking.When you place the Shumai inside the basket, make sure they are not touching each other.Use a large pot or steamer pot và fill it with 1-2 cups of water. The water should not touch the bottom of the bamboo basket.Bring the water to lớn a boil over high heat. When it’s boiling, place the bamboo basket onto the wok & steam for 8-10minutes until the meat is cooked through.


You can buy a bamboo steamer basket from Amazon or Asian grocery stores. I purchased my large bamboo steamer at an Asian grocery store and a small one from Japan.

No Steamer? Create a Makeshift Steamer!

No worries if you don’t steam food enough to purchase a steamer or a bamboo steamer basket. You can definitely make it work with a large pot, aluminum foil, & plate!

Make three tennis-size balls with aluminum foil và place them on the bottom of your cast iron pot.
Add 1-2 inches of water và place a ceramic plate on vị trí cao nhất of the tinfoil balls. You can grease or put parchment paper before you place Shumai on top.
If your lid is flat, cover it with a large kitchen towel so condensation won’t drop on the food và make it watery.

Make-Ahead và Freeze

The great thing about making Shumai at trang chủ is you can freeze them before or after steaming. That means, you can cook a big batch và enjoy them anytime you like. Right before serving, simply steam the frozen shumai without thawing.

What to vì chưng with Leftover Wonton Wrappers

When I make shumai at home, I always make cheese wrap with the leftover wrappers. Both pan-fried and deep-fried cheese wraps are really easy to lớn make, and your leftover skins won’t go to waste!



These juicy, tender Pork Shumai make the best thing khổng lồ enjoy for a weeknight meal. We usually serve it with Japanese karashi hot mustard, then dip it in soy sauce or a simple sauce made with soy sauce, vinegar, và chili oil. But I bởi enjoy eating them without any sauce since the filling alone is so flavorful.

Shumai may seem challenging khổng lồ make at first glance, but you’d surprised how easy it is to lớn replicate these all-star dumplings at home. They taste just as good as the ones served at fancy restaurants, but certainly much better than the frozen Shumai you get from the stores.

I love making Shumai with my children for a relaxing weekend brunch. The dumplings are so fresh & juicy that you want khổng lồ eat them right off the bamboo basket!


Japanese Ingredient Substitution: If you want khổng lồ look for substitutes for Japanese condiments và ingredients, click here.

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