Siu Mai (or Shu Mai) – Tastes Just Like Dim Sum! (Video)

5 from 9 votes
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Siu Mai (or Shu Mai) is a classic “Dim Sum” dumpling that is widely popular in Chinese cuisine – and it’s oftentimes the first thing I grab off the Dim Sum carts! I have so many memories of eating Siu Mai (or Shu Mai) when my family would go to Dim Sum every weekend. The classic juicy pork and shrimp filling is encased within a wonton wrapper – and my version tastes JUST like any Dim Sum restaurant’s recipe!

Siu Mai dumplings steamed in a steamer basket

Watch the Siu Mai Recipe Video Below!

Siu Mai (Shu Mai) Ingredients

Siu Mai are basically steamed Chinese dumplings – they’re plump, juicy, and full of flavor! They’ve been my go-to at Dim Sum for my entire life (alongside golden brown Fried Shrimp Balls , a heaping plate of Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce, crispy, delicious Soy Sauce Pan Fried Noodles and some kind of Fried Rice) so I had to perfect the recipe so you can make them at home!

Here is what you’ll need for the recipe:

  • 1 pound shrimp peeled and deveined – The shrimp will be minced, so you can use any size you prefer. Just make sure it is RAW!
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 pound ground pork – I like to use 80% lean / 20% fat; I think this is the perfect ratio and tastes just like the restaurants!
    • You can substitute with ground chicken!
  • 1 tablespoon sugar 
  • ½ tablespoon white pepper – this is one of my favorite spices and a Chinese pantry staple! White Pepper has an earthier flavor, with more heat than black pepper. I highly recommend purchasing some if you cook a lot of Asian dishes at home.
    • If you don’t have this, you can substitute with ground black pepper.
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon MSG – by now, you know I love to use MSG in moderation. You can also leave this out if you prefer.
    • If your chicken bouillon powder has MSG in it, omit this!
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce – use light soy sauce (not low sodium) or all purpose soy sauce; do not use dark soy sauce, as the flavor is too intense for this recipe!
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • ½ cup shiitake mushroom – I use dehydrated shiitake mushrooms, which I rehydrate at home. I purchase these from my local Asian grocery, such as 99 Ranch.
  • 1 package yellow Hong Kong style wonton wrappers – I purchase these from my local Asian grocery, such as 99 Ranch.
  • Minced carrot – this is an optional garnish! At restaurants, you will oftentimes see Siu Mai (Shu Mai) served with orange fish roe on top. Fish roe is pretty expensive to use at home, especially for a garnish – so I suggest using minced carrot to get the same colorful effect! You can leave this off if you prefer.
Siu Mai dumplings steamed in a bamboo steamer

Recipe Instructions: Siu Mai

1. Prepare and Mince the Shrimp

Season shrimp with baking soda and salt and let marinate for 10 minutes. The baking soda with alter the pH level of the shrimp and give them a snappier, more crisp texture. Don’t worry – the shrimp won’t taste like baking soda! But if you’re concerned rinse them and pat dry after marinating. Mince the shrimp into fine pieces.

Shrimp on a cutting board being minced by a cleaver.

2. Mix the Siu Mai Filling

In a bowl, mix ground pork with the minced shrimp and add the kosher salt, sugar, white pepper, MSG optional, chicken bouillon powder, light soy sauce, and shiitake mushrooms and cornstarch. Stir in one direction until combined and streaks appear on the bowl. Slam the mixture down 5-10 times to create a bouncy texture.

Siu Mai filling being mixed in a bowl by hand.

3. Wrap the Siu Mai

Use a flat wooden spoon or spatula and take about 2 tablespoons of filling and place in the center of the wonton wrapper. Using your thumb and index finger, hold it in place while pressing down the filling into the base of the wrapper using the wooden spoon while squeezing with your hand to form the Siu Mai. Top the Siu Mai with a few pieces of minced carrot.

PRO TIP

How to Wrap the Siu Mai (Shu Mai)

Wrapping (making) the Siu Mai (Shu Mai) seems a lot harder than it looks! It only takes a little bit of practice before you will get the hang of it. The best part is, even if they look a little wonky, they are going to TASTE great!

  1. Form your first finger and thumb into a O shape – this is the “hole” that you will stuff the filling into.
  2. Place the wonton wrapper on top of the O.
  3. Stuff the filling into the wonton wrapper – as you push down, the wrapper and the filling will get pushed into the O (similar to a muffin tin, when you place the cupcake wrapper and filling into each hole).
  4. Level the filling so it is flat on the top.
  5. Undo the O shape of your fingers and gently fold down the excess wrapper around the Siu Mai (Shu Mai). The end product should look like a short, fat cylinder shape.

4. Steam the Siu Mai Dumplings

Steam for 10 minutes in a bamboo steamer and top and enjoy! I love serving this with sriracha and spicy chinese mustard, or with my homemade chili oil!

Siu Mai dumplings in a bamboo steamer.

Pro TipS

Expert Tips for Making Siu Mai

  1. Choose High-Quality Ingredients: Use fresh and high-quality ground pork, preferably with a good balance of lean meat and some fat for flavor and moisture.
  2. Mix Ingredients Thoroughly and Da Xian: Combine the ground pork, shrimp, seasonings, and aromatics well, using your hands. Stir the mixture until you see streaks on the bowl. Pick up the filling and slam it down against the bowl a few times to create extra springiness.
  3. Use Wonton Wrappers: Siu Mai wrappers are typically made from wonton wrappers, which are readily available in most grocery stores. You can also make your own if you prefer.
  4. Keep the Wrappers Moist: Cover the wrappers with a damp cloth while working to prevent them from drying out, as they can become brittle and hard to work with when dry.
  5. Use a Steamer: Steam Siu Mai in a bamboo or metal steamer lined with parchment paper or cabbage leaves to prevent sticking.
  6. Maintain Space During Steaming: Ensure there’s some space between each Siu Mai in the steamer to prevent them from sticking together as they expand during cooking.
  7. Steam Carefully: Steam the Siu Mai over boiling water for about 8-10 minutes or until the filling is cooked through and the wrappers become translucent.

Frequently Asked Questions!

Where did Siu Mai (Shu Mai) come from?

Siu Mai is believed to have originated in China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and has evolved over the centuries. It was initially considered a snack for the wealthy and was served in the imperial courts of various Chinese dynasties. The name “Siu Mai” (燒賣) is Cantonese, but variations of this dumpling are found throughout China under different names. In Mandarin, it’s called “Shao Mai” (烧卖). Each region in China has its own take on Siu Mai, with variations in fillings and wrappers.

Can I substitute the pork?

Traditionally, Siu Mai is made with a combination of pork and shrimp. If you do not eat pork, you can substitute the ground pork for ground chicken.

What is the orange stuff on top?

The minced carrot is an optional garnish! At restaurants, you will oftentimes see Siu Mai (Shu Mai) served with orange fish roe on top. Fish roe is pretty expensive to use at home, especially for a garnish – so I suggest using minced carrot to get the same colorful effect! You can leave this off if you prefer.

What else should I serve with Siu Mai (Shu Mai)?

Dim Sum is traditionally many small dishes eaten together, similar to Spanish Tapas. I would serve Siu Mai (Shu Mai) with perfectly fried Fried Shrimp Balls , Gai Lan with Oyster Sauce (my go-to vegetable dish at Dim Sum) and some kind of Fried Rice!

If you are in the mood for more dumplings, I would make my Pork and Chive Dumplings! Can’t eat pork? Try my Shrimp and Chive Dumplings instead! Don’t forget my Dumpling Dipping Sauce AKA the best dipping sauce ever – and impress your guests (or yourself) by adding the Crispiest Dumpling Skirt!

Storage Tips

Refridgerate unsteamed Siu Mai (Shu Mai) in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, lay the Siu Mai (Shu Mai) flat in a ziplock freezer bag and steam from frozen, about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165°.

If you tried this Siu Mai (Shu Mai) or any other recipe on my website, please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how it went in the comments below!

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5 from 9 votes

Siu Mai (or Shu Mai) – Just Like Dim Sum!

Servings: 30 Siu Mai Dumplings
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 15 minutes
Siu Mai dumplings steamed in a steamer basket.
Siu Mai is a classic Dim Sum dumpling that is widely popular in Chinese cuisine! I have so many memories of ordering this off of the dim sum push carts when my family would go to dim sum. After many iterations, I've finally landed on a version that can stand up to any dim sum restaurant!

Ingredients 

Shrimp Marinade

Pork and Seasonings

  • 1 pound ground pork, 80% lean / 20% fat
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, 13g
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon white pepper, 5g
  • 1 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
  • ¼ teaspoon MSG (optional), omit if chicken bouillon includes msg
  • 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 30ml
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, 16g
  • ½ cup shiitake mushroom, minced
  • 1 package yellow hong kong style wonton wrappers
  • Minced carrot, optional garnish

Instructions 

  • Season shrimp with baking soda and salt and let marinate for 10 minutes. Mince the shrimp into fine pieces.
  • In a bowl, mix ground pork with the minced shrimp and add the kosher salt, sugar, white pepper, MSG optional, chicken bouillon powder, light soy sauce, and shiitake mushrooms and cornstarch. Stir in one direction until combined and streaks appear on the bowl. Slam the mixture down 5-10 times to create a bouncy texture.
  • Use a flat wooden spoon or spatula and take about 2 tablespoons of filling and place in the center of the wonton wrapper. Using your thumb and index finger, hold it in place while pressing down the filling into the base of the wrapper using the wooden spoon while squeezing with your hand to form the siu mai. Top the siu mai with a few pieces of minced carrot.
  • Steam for 10 minutes in a bamboo steamer and top and enjoy! I love serving this with sriracha and spicy chinese mustard, or with my homemade chili oil!

Notes

Storage Tips
Refridgerate unsteamed shu mai in a plastic ziplock bag in the fridge for up to 3 days. To freeze, lay the shu mai flat in a ziplock freezer bag and steam from frozen, about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 165°.

Nutrition

Calories: 59kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 6gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.3gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0.001gCholesterol: 35mgSodium: 283mgPotassium: 98mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 13mgIron: 0.3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Chinese
Tried this recipe?Mention @cj.eats_ or tag #cjeatsrecipes!

About CJ

I’m a third generation Chinese-American home cook who has always loved cooking & eating! Welcome to my food blog, where you can find trusted, tested, easy & approachable recipes for the everyday home cook that taste delicious! I am so glad you're here!

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Recipe Rating




10 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    Second time I’m making this…but for a crowd, 4x the recipe…can I put the shrimp and/or the mushroom in the food processor instead?

    1. You can use a food processor but I recommend chopping the ingredients by hand. There is a chance the filling may turn out a bit gummy if using a food processor and the filling is overworked (stick to short pulses if using one). I hope that helps!

  2. 5 stars
    Just finished cooking this recipe now and WOW. This is pretty damn close to some of the Yum Cha places we eat at.

    Since we’re metric here, the only difference I did was used 500g of pork and prawns instead of 1 pound. Still tasted delicious.

    The one thing I definitely need practise on is the wrapping, my pieces looked terrible and they were MASSIVE, I did the two table spoons per wrapper but they ended up so big, it’s probably double the size of what I’m used to.

    Nevertheless, they were amazing. Sauce wise, I just used the ever faithful, soy sauce with fresh chillis!

    Thank you for the recipe, I’ll definitely be doing these again!

  3. 5 stars
    I never thought I’d be able to make at-home dim sum taste like the “real thing” but thanks to CJ Eats… here it is!!! Holy YUM.

  4. 5 stars
    Made this today, SOOO DELICIOUS!!! I couldn’t stop eating them! It does have that bouncy texture just like at dim sum restaurants. I used black pepper instead of white, it was a little too spicy. Next time, I’ll use a bit less pepper.