the appetizer:

This Steamed Dumplings (Shao-Mai) recipe is from the Culinary Institute of America's The Professional Chef cookbook.


Steamed Dumplings  

Steamed Dumplings

Makes 10 servings

  • 8 oz/227 g ground pork, very cold
  • 2 tsp/3 g minced ginger
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp/10 mL oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp/5 mL light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp/5 mL sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp/18 g cornstarch
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 fl oz/15 mL Shaoxing rice wine
  • 1 tsp/5 g salt
  • pinch ground black pepper
  • 4oz/113 g shrimp (16-20 count), peeled,
          deveined, chopped into 1/4-in/6-mm pieces
  • 1 oz/14 g water chestnut brunoise*
  • 2/3 oz/19 g carrot brunoise*
  • 1 tbsp/3 g chopped cilantro
  • 20 shao-mai wrappers
  • 10 fl oz/300 mL Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce (see below)

1. Place the pork, ginger, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, oil, cornstarch, egg, wine, salt, and pepper into a chilled food processor bowl. Pulse the mixture until well combined. The mixture will begin to pull together into one mass. Transfer to a chilled mixing bowl.

2. Add the shrimp, water chestnuts, carrots, and cilantro. Mix until incorporated and chill the mixture until it is very cold.

3. Using a tablespoon, place a mound of the filling mixture in the center of each wrapper. Gather the outer edges of the wrapper to form a cylinder, so the filling is exposed at the top. Wrap your pointer finger and thumb around the center "waist." Dip your thumb from the opposite hand in water (to prevent sticking) and use it to compact the filling in the dumpling. Gently tap the entire dumpling on the table to insure that it stays upright in the steamer.

4. Bring water in a steamer to a vigorous boil. Oil steamer with sesame oil or line it with leaves or parchment paper to prevent the dumplings from sticking.

5. Arrange the dumplings in the steamer. Cover and steam for approximately 5 minutes, or until cooked through and firm.

6. Turn off the heat and let the dumplings rest for a few minutes before removing. Serve immediately with the sauce

For smaller, passed hors d'oeuvre, use 1 tsp/5 mL filling per dumpling.

*Brunoise: Dice cut of 1/8-in/3-mm cubes. For a brunoise cut, items are first cut in julienne, then cut crosswise. For a fine brunoise, 1/16-in/1.50-mm cube, cut items first in fine julienne.


Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

Makes 32 fl oz/960 mL

  • 5 oz/142 g minced ginger
  • 8 fl oz/240 mL light soy sauce
  • 16 fl oz/480 mL rice vinegar
  • 8 fl oz/240 mL water
  • 2 fl oz/60 mL sesame oil
  • 4 oz/113 g sugar

1. Whisk together all the ingredients until the sugar is dissolved.

2. The sauce is ready to serve now, or it may be refrigerated for later use.

Buy the Book  

The Professional Chef
Eighth Edition

From the Culinary Institute of America
$70.00; 1213 pages
650 color photographs
ISBN: 0-7645-5734-3
Recipe reprinted by permission.


The Professional Chef


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This page created December 2006

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