Vietnamese Style Shu Mai

By • April 6, 2011 • 40 Comments

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Author Notes: I love to come up new ideas for dumplings. There are so many variations you can explore by just changing the stuffing, or even the wrapper. By simply changing the wrapper base from wheat flour to rice flour changes the whole experience, and of course the stuffing can be anything you imagine. Dumplings can be Chinese, Japanese, or even American, European or African. There is no end to the combinations.

This time, however, after some experimenting, I decided to combine a Vietnamese twist on a traditional pork shu mai filling with a unique hybrid flour/rice wrapper to make a Vietnamese style shu mai.

I actually started by comparing three different versions of a suitable wrapper using only ingredients that are easily found in U.S. supermarkets. The first was a traditional Chinese style, using only all-purpose flour. The second was a mixture of rice flour and potato starch that gave the papers a slightly more Vietnamese flavor. They were really tasty right after I cooked the dumplings but because of the starch, they hardened quickly when they cooled. Finally, I settled on a mixture of all-purpose flour and rice flour together. The papers have an interesting texture from the rice flour but they hold up well on the table, or even the next day.

I have step-by-step photos on how to form the shu mai dumplings on my website (http://www.cuisinivity.com/recipe/archive/appetizer/viet_shumai.php) if you want an illustration of the written instructions below. - yuko
yuko

Food52 Review: As we put together yuko's beautiful little dumplings, we were struck by how satisfying it was to replicate a dish we'd eaten scores of times in restaurants, but never gotten around to making at home. Oh, the sense of accomplishment we felt tucking the gorgeous nuggets of filling into the delicate, homemade dumpling wrappers, and then gingerly gathering the edges together! The steamed shu mai, filled with a fragrant, lemongrass-spiked mix of shrimp and pork, are tender and light, and the tangy, hot dipping sauce is a great counterbalance. We were able to coax 18 dumpling skins from the dough, so you may want to double the recipe in order to use up all the filling. - A&MThe Editors

Makes 24

for Shu Mai

  • 1/3 cup minus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 5 teaspoons rice flour
  • 1 ounce boiling water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/2 pound ground pork (not lean)
  • 1/4 pound cleaned uncooked shrimp ..... cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon grated garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1/4 small onion ..... chopped
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro ..... finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2 teaspoons lemongrass ..... finely chopped (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons potato starch (or corn starch)
  • fresh red chile ..... thinly sliced
  • cilantro leaves

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 gallic clove ..... minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh red chile pepper ..... minced
  1. Start with the wrapper. In a bowl, combine flour and rice flour. Add boiling water and oil then mix quickly with a fork. Use your hands to form the dough into a ball and knead it until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for 30 minutes.
  2. While the dough is resting, mix all the stuffing ingredients in a bowl. Use your hands to blend the mixture until the meat becomes sticky.
  3. Divide the meat mixture into 24 even pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. Set aside on a baking sheet.
  4. Roll the dough on a floured surface into a long log and cut into 24 pieces. Keep the pieces under plastic wrap or a kitchen towel.
  5. Take one piece of dough and roll it into a 3-inch circle. Put the wrapper on your thumb and index finger and put one of the small balls of meat on top. Slowly push down the shu mai into the hole between your thumb and index finger to wrap the wrapper around the meat ball. Push the edges of the wrapper inward in small folds covering the top edges of the meat. Some meat at the top should remain exposed. Put the shu-mai on a floured plate or tray and cover with plastic wrap. Continue this process for the rest of the dumplings.
  6. Before steaming, tap some water around the folded edges of the wrapper with your fingertips to help keep them from drying out. (If the wrapper is still moist already, skip it.) Steam the dumplings in a steamer on high heat for 6-7 minutes. Take one piece out of the steamer at the 5-minutes mark to confirm the meat is cooked through.
  7. When they are cooked, garnish the top with fresh red chile and cilantro leaves.
  8. Mix all ingredients for the dipping sauce and serve on the side with the shu mai. Other condiments such as sweet chili sauce or soy sauce are good to serve with them as well.
Jump to Comments (40)

Tags: Asian, dumplings, Vietnamese

Comments (40) Questions (1)

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14 days ago Connie

I made these last night and they were delicious! I did not double the dough but wish I had. Luckily, I had some gyoza wrappers left over in my freezer that I used up. I served them as an appetizer before lemongrass pork banh mi. What a great dinner!

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almost 3 years ago Brenzo

Made these for supper tonight! Turned out great!!
I doubled the dough as A&M suggested, and I'm sure glad I did. I also had to add extra water to try and get the elastic quality to the dough. It must be a learned skill to get the wrappers so thin. I am excited to try again.
The flavors were awesome, and it was the recipe that finally forced me to buy a bamboo steamer!
Thanks so much!!

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over 3 years ago magicorobertopolini

Which is the best way to freeze these? Just the filling or with the dough?

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over 3 years ago yuko

I always freeze them with the wrapper. When you steam them, take out from the freezer and put them in the steamer without defrosting. You can freeze just the filling and make the fresh dough again.

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over 3 years ago Jasmine

I loved these! I didn't have the time to make my own dough (next time) but the filling is fantastic. I made a batch this weekend and, just like another commenter, meant to freeze a bunch, and instead ate them all! I'll have to make a double batch soon to freeze. Such a flavorful filling, really loved it.

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over 3 years ago yuko

I am glad to hear that you tried and it worked out well for you. I always make tons and freeze them too. FYI, you don't have to defrost them when you cook. Just steam a little longer!

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over 3 years ago fitsxarts

these were fabulous! the filling is sublime and so fresh-tasting. my husband and i made a whole batching thinking we'd freeze half and we ate almost the whole thing! delish.

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over 3 years ago yuko

I am so glad to hear that you tried the recipe and worked out great for you.

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over 3 years ago lorigoldsby

congrats yuko! love your wrapper recipe--this will definitely elevate our asian inspired dishes.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thank you lorigoldsby.

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over 3 years ago thatgirl

These look terrific. I'm having a friend for dinner and I think this might make a fun meal and evening activity. Anyone have any good suggestions for what to pair with this, as I fear I can't serve shumai alone.

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over 3 years ago yuko

How about green papaya salad or cucumber salad or Vietnamese Fresh Spring Roll which you can serve with same dipping sauce? Serve with rice (if you cook rice with some lemon grass, that makes even better!) with some fresh herbs and sriracha on top?

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over 3 years ago thatgirl

A papaya or cucumber salad would be great. I couldn't figure out how filling this would be, but an Asian-inspired salad sounds just right. Thanks!

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over 3 years ago CalcuttaChow

Yuko, this is so gorgeous. I wanted to ask if there is a vegetarian version of these. My husband doesn't eat meat and while I think there is really no substitute for shrimp and pork in shumai, let me know if you have any ideas.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thank you CalcuttaChow! I can suggest to use a "firm" tofu. You put the tofu on the plate and warp with kitchen towel. Then put some heavy item like a fry pan. Wait for 30 minutes or more to get rid of water. Use your hand and mix with rest of the ingredients in the recipe. Don't forget to add starch. It will be very light and fluffy shu mai. I hope this helps.

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over 3 years ago TiggyBee

What a beautiful recipe. Congrats to you!

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks TiggyBee!

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over 3 years ago fiveandspice

Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

Congrats! These look so delicious! Perfect flavors, and I just love having this recipe for wrappers.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks fiveandspice. Vietnamese flavor combo is absolutely my favorite!

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over 3 years ago edamame2003

i love that you made a banh mi-style wrapper! brilliant flavors--congrats on being a finalist! i will definitely try these for my son's next batch of lunch dumplings.

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over 3 years ago yuko

I am a sucker for banh mi or Vietnamese food in general. So when I thought combining my favorite shu mai and Vietnamese flavor, I know it would work. I hope you would like them.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I love, love, love shu mai. Like Amanda and Merrill, though, I never thought of them as something I would, or even could, make. Your instructions are so precise and clear that I might just try. Thank you.

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over 3 years ago yuko

I know, Me too. I love love love shu mail and it is actually quite easy to make. Once you start making your own shu mai, there is no go back.

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over 3 years ago boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Thank you for the encouragement.

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over 3 years ago cheese1227

My husband will love these.

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over 3 years ago yuko

My husband loved it too!

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over 3 years ago healthierkitchen

Congrats Yuko! Beautiful!

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks healthierkitchen.

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over 3 years ago Bevi

These look and sound great!

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks Bevi!!

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

Congratulations, yuko! So glad to see these are a finalist - looking forward to making them.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks ginerroot : ) It is really fun to make shu mai so give it a try.

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over 3 years ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Fantastic! So glad you've given us a recipe for the dough! Congrats on being a finalist!

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thank you so much. This is so exciting! I got something to celebrate.

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over 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Congratulations! These sound really delicious, and I love that you make the dough from scratch.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thank you! I am a dough lover : )

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over 3 years ago Midge

Sounds delicious!

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thanks Midge. I hope you will try sometime.

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over 3 years ago gingerroot

I love these! What a great idea...I bet they are delicious.

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over 3 years ago yuko

Thank you ginerroot!. Vietnamese flavors are one of my favorite. I think it works really well. Please try and let me know what you think!