If you’re a dim sum fan, you’ve got to try these Chinese Shrimp Dumplings, Har Gow!
What is Har Gow?
These dumplings are traditional Cantonese-style shrimp dumplings. Har Gow has a transparent dough and is filled with a smooth shrimp paste.
The Dough Mixture
The unique element of Har Gow dumplings is the translucent dough. It is very simple to make, using a combination of wheat starch, tapioca starch, and boiling water. You want to use an equal ratio of the two flours and then slightly a bit more boiling water.
Once you’ve kneaded the dough for a few minutes, a soft and elastic dough should form. If you haven’t made your filling yet, you can set your dough aside covered in cling film for 5 minutes while you make your filling. Otherwise, you can start using your dough straight away.
Create a hole in the centre of the ball of dough and form it into a donut. Break the loop and place the dough down onto a floured surface. Cut the dough into 1 inch pieces. You should be able to create between 8-10 pieces. Roll out the wrappers into thin circles.
The Shrimp Filling
The filling for this dumpling should be full of flavour. You really want to use fresh raw prawns for this dish, however, if you only have access to cooked ones, you can use these too. Traditionally, you can add water chestnuts and/or bamboo shoots for a bit of crunch. For this recipe, we will be using water chestnuts to add a bit of bite.
For the extra flavour, add ginger, sesame oil, oyster sauce, sugar, pepper, and salt. The combination of all the ingredients creates a wonderful dumpling filling. To ensure all the ingredients are well combined, add a teaspoon of cornstarch to form a silky paste. This will keep the filling moist and flavourful throughout the duration of cooking.
Wrapping Har Gow
Place a spoonful of the filling into the centre of a wrapper and using both hands pleat the far side of the wrapper into the centre. Then, pleat the otherside of the wrapper into the centre. Fold the flap up towards the pleats and seal the dumpling. See the video for a full tutorial on my Instagram.
Cooking & Serving Har Gow
Simply place the dumplings into a bamboo or metal steamer and cook for 6 minutes. The dumpling wrappers should become translucent and you should be able to see the pink shrimp filling. There’s no need to eat this with a dipping sauce because the filling is so moist, but feel free to conjure up a sauce if you’d like!
About My Dumpling World Tour Series
I've set myself a challenge to go around the world in 80 dumplings. Why? Because so many countries share a love for dumplings and every country’s dumplings have their own unique twist. From Vareneki in Ukraine to Banh Bot Loc in Vietnam, dumplings are a way for us to celebrate various cultures and culinary differences from all parts of the globe.
Not all my dumpling recipes are up on my website, yet! So, if you’d like to check them out, head on over to my Instagram for the video tutorial and full recipe!
Har Gow (Cantonese Dumplings)
- 50g Wheat starch (or cornstarch)
- 50g Tapioca starch
- 1 tbsp Oil
- 70ml Boiling water
- 8 Prawns (ideally raw, but can be cooked), finely chopped
- 1 tbsp Ginger, minced
- 30g Water chestnuts, finely chopped
- ½ tbsp Sesame oil
- ½ tbsp Oyster sauce
- 1 tsp Sugar
- ½ tsp Pepper
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp Cornstarch
- In a bowl, combine all of the dough ingredients. Add more boiling water if the dough is too dry. Knead the dough for 5 minutes to form an elastic dough, and then set aside covered in cling film.
- Pour the filling ingredients into a separate bowl and combine thoroughly to form a paste.
- Get your dough and roll it into a sausage shape. Cut the dough into one inch pieces (you should make around 8-10). Roll out the wrappers into thin circles.
- Place a spoonful of the filling into the centre of the wrapper. Pleat the wrapper 4 times inwards on both sides and then bring the flap up to meet the pleats, and seal (see video on Instagram). Repeat this process.
- Place the dumplings into a steamer and cook for 6 minutes.
- Serve up and enjoy!