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Shumai and Hargrow are the two most popular Dim Sum in the UK

Shumai is a type of traditional Chineses dumpling, originating from Huhhot.  In Cantonese cuisine, it’s usually served as a dim sum snack.  In addition to accompanying the Chinese diaspora, a variation of Shumai also appears in Japan and various Asian countries.

Shumai and Hargrow are the two most ordered and most popular Dim Sum in the world.  The King and Queen of the Dim Sum world.  The Dragon and the Phoenix.

Pleated look for wrapping. Shumai can be spelt sir man, shaomai.

Delicious open-top pork and prawn dumplings which look a little like nuggets of gold when emerging from the steamer.  Shumai are easy to wrap and the filling is flavoursome so I would recommend forgoing dipping sauces.  The filling should retain a bright fresh crunch out of the steamer.

Filed with Chinesse black mushrooms, prawns, green onion and water chestnuts, the colour and texture combination is complimented by ground pork and flavourful seasonings making a beautiful dumpling that will impress your guests and please your family.

You don’t have to go out or spend lots of money to enjoy Shumai as they are one of the easiest dim sum to make at home.  You can serve tieguanyin and pu’erh from your blue and white porcelain Chinese teapot with hot trays of baked pastries and high towers of bamboo steamers all stacked full of dim sum. A treasured scene of Yum Cha (drink tea) in your own home, a time honoured cantonese version of morning tea.

The wrapper should fold naturally into pleats, although its best to do this manually.


Serves 4-6


120g minced pork (20% fat if available)

20g Prawn (minced)

2 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)

1/2 tsp Baking powder (careful)

1/2 tsp Salt

1/2 tsp Sugar

1 small pinch White pepper

1 tsp Sunflower/Vegetable oil

Beautiful Dim Sum house London.


  1. Lightly beat the egg with the salt.  Add 1/4 cup water.
  2. Add flour to bowl.  Make a well in the middle and add the egg and water mixture and mix.
  3. Add as much of the remaining  water as necessary to form a dough.  Add more water gradually if the dough is too dry).
  4. Knead until it forms a smooth dough (about 5 mins).
  5. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.  Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface.  Roll out until very thin, and cut into 3 1/2- inch circles.

Making the Sui Mai Paste

  1. Combine all of the filling ingredients and mix well.
  2. Form a circle with thumb and forefinger.  Place Sui Mai skin on top of your circle, add filling into the centre, wet all around the edges with water and push down.  As you push down, the sides of the pastry gather up and it makes a cup shape.  Rotate and squeeze to compact the mixture down.
  3. Steam for 8 minutes if 1 tier, 10 mins for 2 tiers, 12 mins for 3 tiers.

Cantonese tradition of Yum Cha!

Additional Notes

Steaming: the timings above are for cooking times for 1 tier of Dim Sum.  Turn on your steamer until water is boiling.  Then add the Dim Sum to steam and start timing. Always check inside one to ensure it’s fully cooked before eating. For several tiers of food, add extra time (approx 3 mins extra for each tier).

Preparing for Eating Later On

If you’d like to make Dim Sum and eat it later in the day, put them in a deep metal baking pan making sure to add a thin layer of oil to the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t stick.  Place all the Dim Sum inside, and cover with a damp cloth (Make sure cloth only touches the edge of the pan and not the Dim Sum).


If you’d like to freeze Dim Sum, again make sure to oil the bottom of the pan/tray first, then add the Dim Sum, then freeze.  Once frozen (approx 45 mins) you can gather up all the dim sum, put it in a bag and back in the freezer to save space.

Tea is at the heart of Dim Sum. Serve Bo-lei, Jasmine, Wulong, Soi-mei, Tie-guan-yin, Long Jeng.

Cooking From Frozen

When cooking from frozen, roughly double the cooking time.  So give it at least 13-15 mins.  If cooking in several stacked layers always check one from the top layer to see if its cooked

Your equipment will vary so the timings are for a guide only.  The cardinal rule of cooking applies – cook till is cooked.  Always check before serving.  Once you have the timings worked out for your particular steamer, then you can use those timings for future cooking.