A Step-by-Step Guide To Making Shumai

by Ella

Siu Mai, also known as Shumai or Shaomai, is a popular Chinese dim sum dish. Dim sum refers to a variety of bite-sized dishes traditionally served in small steamer baskets or on small plates and enjoyed with tea. Siu Mai is a type of dumpling that originated in the Guangdong province of China but is now commonly found in various Chinese communities and restaurants worldwide.

Whether served in bustling dim sum restaurants or prepared at home for a delightful family meal, Shumai offers a delightful culinary experience that tantalizes the taste buds. In this article, we will take you through the step-by-step process of making Shumai from scratch, exploring the ingredients, filling preparation, and wrapping techniques that ensure your homemade Shumai are nothing short of spectacular.


How to make Shumai (Siu Mai dim sum)

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes


  • 1 Bamboo Steamer Basket
  • 1 Food Processor


  • 300 grams ground pork collar steak cut is always a good one
  • 300 grams ground prawns  Tiger prawns
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce My recommendation Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar  Brown sugar gives an intensive Flavor
  • 1 tsp salt sea salt or table salt
  • 20 pieces wonton skins  Choose a package that has a darker color
  • 2 chili pepers
  • 1 minced onion


Step1: Take a food processor and grind the prawns add the ground pork and the rest of the ingredients, to mix everything well
Step2: Take the wonton skins and place between your thumb and the forefinger, add the filing in the middle and carefully push up the rest of the skin and push with a teaspoon the filling. Flat the base so the dim sum can sit straight on the steamer.
Step3: Take a pan filled it with water and place your bamboo steamer on the top and basket with a leaf of Chinese cabbage o baking paper with holes so you can put on top your dim sums.
Step4: Put the dim sum in the bamboo steamer basket, cover and steam for about 12 min
Step5: Served with soy sauce.

Which sauce I can use to serve a Shumai (Siu Mai dim sum)?

Shumai (Siu Mai) dim sum is traditionally served with a flavorful dipping sauce that complements the delicate flavors of the dumplings. Here are some popular sauces you can use to serve with Shumai:


1. Soy Sauce: A classic and simple choice, soy sauce is a staple dipping sauce for many dim sum dishes, including Shumai. You can use regular soy sauce or low-sodium soy sauce, depending on your preference for saltiness.


2. Ponzu Sauce: Ponzu sauce is a Japanese citrus-based sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, mirin (sweet rice wine), and citrus juice (usually from yuzu or lemon). It adds a tangy and refreshing flavor to the Shumai.


3. Chili Sauce: For those who enjoy a spicy kick, a chili sauce or chili oil can be a fantastic accompaniment to Shumai. You can use a store-bought chili sauce or make your own by mixing chili paste with soy sauce and a dash of vinegar.

4. Sweet and Sour Sauce: A sweet and sour sauce made with a combination of sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, and sometimes ketchup or tomato paste can provide a balance of sweet and tangy flavors to the Shumai.

5. Sesame Soy Sauce: Combine soy sauce with a splash of sesame oil for a nutty and aromatic twist. You can also add a sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds for extra texture.

6. Hoisin Sauce: Hoisin sauce is a rich and slightly sweet Chinese sauce made from soybean paste, garlic, chilies, and various spices. It pairs well with Shumai and adds depth of flavor.

7. Peanut Sauce: A peanut sauce made with peanut butter, soy sauce, garlic, and a touch of sweetness can add a creamy and savory element to the Shumai.

8. Black Vinegar Sauce: Black vinegar is a Chinese rice vinegar with a milder and slightly sweet taste. Mix it with a bit of soy sauce and a touch of sugar for a simple yet delicious dipping sauce.

9. Ginger Scallion Sauce: Finely chopped ginger and scallions mixed with soy sauce and a drizzle of sesame oil create a fresh and aromatic dipping sauce that pairs wonderfully with Shumai.

10. Chinese Mustard: Chinese mustard is a potent condiment that adds a sharp and pungent flavor to Shumai. Mix it with water to achieve the desired level of spiciness.

Can I change the filling?

Yes, you can! You can substitute the filling as you wish if you want to substitute the pork for chicken, or if you just want to left out the prawns, you can do it. You can also add shiitake mushrooms, garlic, green onions. You can also use the wonton wrappers and fill them, with prawns and garlic and fried them. Remember, with this base recipe, you can experiment and add whatever you want.

1. Classic Pork and Shrimp: The traditional filling consists of a combination of ground pork and finely chopped raw shrimp. This classic combination provides a moist and flavorful filling that appeals to many dim sum enthusiasts.

2. Pork and Scallop: For a more luxurious twist, substitute the shrimp with chopped scallops. The scallops add a delicate sweetness and a tender texture to the filling.

3. Pork and Chicken: A mixture of ground pork and minced chicken creates a slightly lighter and leaner filling while retaining a savory taste.

4. Pork and Mushroom: Combining ground pork with a variety of finely chopped mushrooms, such as shiitake or oyster mushrooms, adds earthy flavors and a delightful texture.

5. Chicken and Shrimp: For a delightful seafood and poultry fusion, blend ground chicken with chopped shrimp to create a well-balanced filling with a mix of flavors.

6. Chicken and Shiitake Mushroom: The pairing of ground chicken and shiitake mushrooms offers an umami-rich filling with a meaty and satisfying taste.

7. Vegetarian/Vegan Filling: To cater to vegetarian or vegan preferences, replace the meat and seafood with plant-based ingredients such as tofu, edamame, mushrooms, and water chestnuts. Add aromatic seasonings like garlic, ginger, and soy sauce for a burst of flavors.

8. Shrimp and Chive: For a filling with a refreshing taste, blend chopped shrimp with fresh chives, creating a delightful contrast of flavors and textures.

9. Lamb and Cumin: For those seeking unique and bold flavors, consider a filling with ground lamb seasoned with cumin and other spices. This filling is reminiscent of traditional Northern Chinese cuisine.

10. Lobster and Scallop: For an indulgent and luxurious filling, combine lobster meat with chopped scallops. This exquisite filling elevates Siu Mai to a gourmet delight.

Can you freeze a Shumai (Siu Mai dim sum)?

Yes, you can freeze Shumai (Siu Mai dim sum) to extend their shelf life and enjoy them at a later time. Freezing Shumai is a convenient way to have them on hand for quick and easy meals or snacks.

Important Tips:

Avoid refreezing previously frozen Shumai, as this can affect their quality and safety.

Do not leave cooked Shumai at room temperature for an extended period as it can lead to bacterial growth and foodborne illness.

When reheating frozen Shumai, make sure they reach an internal temperature of at least 165°F (74°C) to ensure they are thoroughly heated.

What is the classic Chinese dim sum besides siu mai?

Chinese dim sum offers a delightful array of bite-sized dishes, each with its unique flavors and textures. Besides Siu Mai (Shumai), which we have already discussed, here are some classic Chinese dim sum dishes that you can find in traditional dim sum restaurants:

1. Har Gow (Shrimp Dumplings): Har Gow is one of the most popular dim sum items, known for its translucent and delicate dumpling wrapper filled with succulent shrimp and bamboo shoots. These dumplings are steamed to perfection, highlighting the natural sweetness of the shrimp.

2. Char Siu Bao (Barbecue Pork Buns): Char Siu Bao features soft, fluffy steamed buns filled with savory and slightly sweet barbecued pork. The buns come in two variations: steamed white buns (white buns) or baked golden buns (golden buns).

3. Lo Mai Gai (Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaves): Lo Mai Gai is a flavorful dim sum dish consisting of sticky rice steamed with marinated chicken, Chinese sausage, and sometimes mushrooms, all wrapped in fragrant lotus leaves.

4. Cheong Fun (Rice Noodle Rolls): Cheong Fun consists of delicate rice noodle rolls filled with ingredients like shrimp, barbecue pork, or beef, and drizzled with a savory soy-based sauce.

5. Turnip Cake (Lo Bak Go): Turnip cake is made from shredded daikon radish and rice flour, seasoned with dried shrimp, Chinese sausage, and mushrooms. The cake is steamed and then pan-fried to create a crispy exterior.

6. Xiaolongbao (Soup Dumplings): Xiaolongbao are delicate dumplings filled with meat (often pork) and a flavorful broth. When steamed, the broth turns into a delicious soup inside the dumpling, making them a delightful treat.

7. Bean Curd Rolls: These rolls are made from bean curd sheets wrapped around a filling of mushrooms, bamboo shoots, and sometimes pork or shrimp, then steamed and served with a savory sauce.


Mastering the art of making Shumai (Siu Mai Dim Sum) brings a delightful culinary journey to your kitchen. The delicate wrappers embracing the savory filling, along with the intricate pleats, create a visual and gustatory treat that captures the essence of traditional Chinese dim sum. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can craft your own delectable Shumai, perfect for sharing with family and friends over a delightful dim sum meal. So, immerse yourself in the world of dim sum and experience the joy of making and savoring this timeless Chinese delicacy. Happy Shumai-making!



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