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My oh my, it’s Shiu Mai

Shui Mai

Shui Mai

In my dream world, I would have my very own personal dim sum chef who would serve me a tasty assortment of dim sum every day at 11 am.  I would, however, require that har gow and shiu mai be served every single time. Darn it,  this probably isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but a girl can dream. In the meanwhile, trips to Seattle’s International District appease my hunger for dim sum and I recently made a batch of shui mai that didn’t turn out that bad at all.

I used my newest cookbook, The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook, by Patricia Tanumihardja to make them. It was fun to see that the recipe was very similar to the shiu mai recipe found in my Flavors of China cookbook assembled by the Chinese Parents Service Organization of Seattle, 1975. I’m giving you both recipes.

My  shui mai don’t look as good as they would if my personal chef made them, but they tasted just fine, as the Wilson children’s bellies can plumply attest.

Shui Mai (Pork and Shrimp Cups)

adapted from The Asian Grandmothers Cookbook by Patricia Tanumihardja


  • 1 pound finely ground pork
  • 8 oz. shrimp, shelled, deveined and finely chopped
  • 6 medium shitake mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup (about 5 canned pieces) water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (about 4 stalks) green onions, finely chopped, both white and green parts
  • 1 T. cornstarch
  • 1 t. sesame oil
  • 1 t. soy sauce
  • 1 t. Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 t. sugar
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 t. ground white pepper
  • 12 oz. package dumpling skins (round wonton type of wrapper)

Cooking Directions:

  1. Combine all of the ingredients, except dumpling skins, in a large bowl. Mix well.
  2. Cover the dumpling skins with a damp cloth so they do not dry out.
  3. Make a circle with your left thumb and index finger (right if you are left handed). Place a dumpling skin over the circle and scoop 1 tablesppon filling into it. Let the filling drop halfway through the hole and gently squeeze your hand to shape it into a cup, leaving the top open. Put the dumpling on the work surface and gather the edges of the skin around the filling, pleating the edges to form petals. The top should remain open. Makes about 36.
  4. Place in steamer and steam for about 15 minutes until pork is no longer pink.
  5. Yum!

Siu Mai (Steamed Pork Dumplings)

adapted from The Flavors of China by the Chinese Parents Service Organization of Seattle 1975 (recipe by Nancy Jang)


  • 1 pound finely ground pork
  • 1/2 pound fresh shrimp, shelled, deveined and finely chopped
  • 4 chinese mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/2 t. sesame oil
  • 1/2 pound dumpling skins

Cooking Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients for filling together. Spoon heaping tablespoon in center of skin. Gather the sides of wrapper around filling and and squeeze center to form a pouch.
  2. Place in steamer and steam 30 minutes. Makes 36 dumplings.

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