Ha Gow-Chinese Shrimp Dumpings-(My good attempt..)

11 Feb

So, this past weekend I went to eat dimsum with my boyfriend at a popular Chinese restaurant, Maxim’s, on Greenville in Richardson.  It’s always been really solid.  But even though the food was delicious, I couldn’t help but think to myself, We should totally just make our own dimsum.  Granted,  I probably couldn’t pull off the Red Chicken Feet or pickled jellyfish, but the dumplings like ha gow and shu mai, surely, they can’t be that difficult….could they?

My thoughts stayed with me when I was at home the other day and was rummaging through my cupboards when I saw that I had a bag of flour specifically for ha gow!  How fortuitous, indeed!  So why not try…

I pretty much used the recipe on the back of the flour packet as well as taking some tips from the America’s Test Kitchen International Cookbook , from one of my favorite food blogs, Rasa Malaysia, and some youtube videos.

First, gather all of your ingredients from the filling and the wrapper dough.

For filling: (You can adjust this according to your own taste.  Some people like to use bamboo shoots and pork fat, but I didn’t have those on hand.  You can also use ground pork if you don’t like shrimp.)

  • 1 lb of  shrimp (shelled, deveined, cleaned, and patted dry)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp of finely grated ginger
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 tbsp chopped scallion
  • 3 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp of cooking wine
  • 2 tsp of sugar
  • ½ tsp of salt
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 4 tsp tapioca starch, potato starch, or corn starch
  • sprinkle of black pepper

I placed all of the ingredients into my food processor and got a fine chop to mix all of the flavors.  If it’s too wet, add more tapioca starch.

For the wrapper: Empty the flour packet into a metal bowl.  Add 1 cup of boiling water and 1 tbsp of oil.  Mix vigorously until it forms a white dough.

Cover with a wet towel and let sit for about 15 minutes.

After fifteen minutes, it’s time to roll out the dough and make your dumplings.  Spread cornstarch or flour out onto a clean surface.  Be sure to have your rolling pin.

Take your dough and split it into four balls.   Work with one dough ball at a time.  Place the remaining three back into the covered bowl.

Now here’s where things got tricky for me.  Whenever I tried rolling out the dough thin like at the dimsum places, the dough cracked.  So I added a bit of oil each time I rolled out the dough to make sure it stayed sticky.  But I still felt like the wrappers were thicker than desired.  I opted to not put a pic of the end result because they were not so pretty.  I’m embarrassed!  But they did taste good, so that’s all that matters!

So I rolled the dough out, cut out circles and placed about a tbsp of filling in each and pinched it together to make a dumpling.  Steam them for about 20 minutes.  When the wrappers are shiny and transparent, they are done!

So it was a good first try, but I think it’ll take a few more rounds to perfect the art of ha gow.  Looks like it wasn’t as easy as I thought!  But I hope this inspired you to try it out for yourself!  Good luck!



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