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Bamboo steamer basket of siu mai

Siu Mai

  • Author: She's Almost Always Hungry
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 30 1x


These pork and shrimp filled steamed dumplings are a dim sum favorite. This recipe is adapted from Nina Simonds’ Classic Chinese Cuisine, 1982


Units Scale

1/4 pound raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/2 cup sliced water chestnuts

4 dried Chinese black mushrooms (optional)

1 pound ground pork

30 wonton wrappers*

1 teaspoon carrot, finely grated, for garnish (optional)

Siu mai seasonings

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice wine

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon scallions, minced

1 tablespoon cilantro, minced (optional)

2 teaspoons ginger, minced

1 egg white

2 tablespoons cornstarch


Prepare the wok and steamer baskets

Line the bottom of the steamer baskets with waxed paper or parchment paper punched with holes.** Lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.

Fill a wok or pot big enough to hold the steamer baskets with about 2 cups of water. The water should not touch the bottom of the baskets.

To make the filling

Rinse the shrimp lightly then place in a clean dishtowel and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Mince the shrimp to a coarse paste.

Rinse the water chestnuts to remove the tinny flavor. Chop finely.

Soak the dried mushrooms in hot water (enough to cover) for 5 minutes to rehydrate. Carefully remove from the hot water and squeeze out as much excess liquid as possible. Chop coarsely.

Place the shrimp, water chestnuts, mushrooms, ground pork, and siu mai seasonings in a bowl and stir vigorously to combine. You can use your hand like a paddle to mix and blend the ingredients together. The mixture should be pasty, not crumbly.***

To form the siu mai

Form an “O” with your forefinger and thumb and place a wonton wrapper over the “O”.

Place a tablespoon of filling on the wrapper and push down into the hole. Squeeze lightly to form a “waist” (about a third of the way from the top). Lightly flatten the bottom of the siu mai to create a flat base. If needed, use a butter knife to smear more filling to be level with the edge of the wonton wrapper.

Top each siu mai with a tiny bit of carrot (optional).

To steam siu mai

Bring the water in the wok to a boil.

Arrange the siu mai in the lined steamer baskets so they aren’t touching, about ½” apart.

Stack the steamer trays in the wok. Steam the siu mai for about 15 minutes, switching the steamer trays halfway through.

Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.


*Traditionally made with round wrappers but square wrappers will also work (don’t bother with snipping off the corners).

**You may be able to find paper liners cut to size with holes pre-punched in Asian markets.

***Unlike a meatball or meatloaf you don’t need to worry about overworking the filling. You want to breakdown the fat in the pork. This method, along with the cornstarch, helps the filling bind together.

You can easily double the recipe. Freeze uncooked siu mai immediately if you aren’t eating right away. Don’t put them in the refrigerator (the wrappers will absorb moisture from the filling and get mushy).

You can freeze the filling on its own for use at a later time too.

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Category: Dumplings
  • Cuisine: Chinese


  • Calories: 54.63
  • Sugar: 0.19 g.
  • Sodium: 125.16 mg.
  • Fat: 3.49 g.
  • Saturated Fat: 1.22 g.
  • Carbohydrates: 0.79 g.
  • Fiber: 0.08 g.
  • Protein: 4.60 g.
  • Cholesterol: 19.06 g.

Keywords: pork, shrimp