No trip to get dimsum is ever complete without ordering this 2-3 bite wonder (or 1, if you are Tim) made of a generous pork and shrimp filling, and thinnest of wrappers. In fact, ha gao, siu mai, were probably among the first Cantonese words I learned as a child, as they were always found in the same cart.  The Cantonese ladies would roam the dining room with the carts, and we would ask “Ha gao, siu mai?” and they’d either shake their head or reach over and lift the lids of the steamers up, one by one, until they found them for us. When I found out that siu mai was also Mr. ABC Chef’s favorite dimsum, I was happy but also sad- sad because that meant there would be more competition to snag any “extra” siu mai from the standard orders of 4 in each basket.

I never really thought to make it myself, but after getting dimsm in Long Island with Mr. ABC Chef’s family, I was motivated that only 4 siu mai came in each order (~$3) but if I made it, I could get many more!

(Oh yea, in case it wasn’t clear from the previous paragraph, just take note that this recipe is for Cantonese style Shao Mai, and not the Shanghainese type that has mostly sticky rice filling)siu mai dim sum

Siu Mai

Shao Mai


Makes approximately 2 dozen siu mai

Inspired by- this lady:


12 oz ground pork

2 tsp soy sauce

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp rice wine

1/4 tsp white pepper

1 tsp cornstarch

7-8 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined

1/8 tsp white pepper

1 tsp salt

1 1/2 tsp cornstarch

2 large dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in room temperature water until pliable

24-30 round Cantonese-style dumpling wrappers

1/8 cup minced carrots


For the filling:

1) Mix the pork, soy sauce, sugar, rice wine, white pepper, and cornstarch together. Cut each shrimp into three sections, then in a separate bowl from the pork, mix the shrimp, white pepper, salt, and cornstarch together.

2) Finely dice the re-hydrated mushrooms.

3) Mix marinated pork, shrimp, and mushrooms together. Using a pair of chopsticks bunched up in one hand, stir the filling together in one direction, until the fat of the pork starts to get streaky and help everything to congeal together. Alternatively, use a clean hand to pick the filling up and slap it (carefully) against the side of a bowl several times to accomplish the same thing.

4) Cover the filling, and refrigerate for 1 hour or overnight.

To wrap:

1) Make a loose fist with your non-dominant hand, and rest a wrapper on top.  Plop a small spoonful of filling in the middle, and use a blunt utensil to push the filling into the cavity of your fish to make a “U” shape. Gently pump your fist to help adhere the filling to the wrapper, while using the utensil to press down on the filling so it is snugly in the wrapper.

To cook:

1) Steam (preferably on a bamboo steamer, which should be oiled first!) for 7-10 minutes, or until the wrappers turn translucent, and the filling looks cooked.

siumai dim sum


-For best results, “grind” your own pork. I bought pork shoulder, used a heavy Chinese cleaver to cut thin slices, then hacked away. The texture and ‘mouth feel’ of the pork is far superior this way, in my opinion.

-You can also use fresh shiitake mushrooms