Pork & Prawn, Mushroom & Bamboo Shoot Siu Mai

Dame Ching He Huang

  • Makes 10 dumplings. Serves 2–4. 20 mins + 30 mins. Chilling 10–12 mins
  • 2.5cm (1in) piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 1 large spring onion, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 225g (8oz) can bamboo shoots, drained and diced
  • 5 dried Chinese mushrooms, rehydrated in warm water for 20 minutes
  • 220g (7 ¾ oz) tiger prawns, shelled (100g/3 ½ oz shelled weight), deveined and finely chopped
  • 150g (5 ½ oz) pork loin, roughly diced into 0.5cm ( ¼ in) pieces
  • 1 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Shaohsing rice wine or dry sherry
  • 2 tsp cornflour
  • small pinch of ground white pepper
  • small pinch of sea salt
  • 16 wonton egg wrappers or pastry sheets (available in Chinese supermarkets)
  • 1 carrot, trimmed and cut into 0.5cm ( ¼ in) slices (10 slices)
  • chilli oil, to serve (optional)
  • For the vinegar soy dressing
  • 2 tbsp low-sodium light soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp clear rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh coriander stems
  • 1 tsp deseeded and finely chopped chillies


Pork and prawn in an open-wrapped wonton is famously recognized as ‘siu mai’, and is usually served in a bamboo basket. They are very healthy as they are steamed. Dim sum is a real Chinese tradition that developed around the period of the Silk Road and originated from the Canton province (Guangdong) in China. The first time I tried dim sum was in Hong Kong with my family when I was about 13, so whenever I make this recipe, it takes me back to then.

Mix all the ingredients except the wonton wrappers and carrot slices well in a bowl using your hands. Chill uncovered in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

Remove the mix from the refrigerator and pour off any excess water. (Tip: using a pair of chopsticks, mix the mixture in a clockwise direction until sticky to help improve the texture and bind all the flavours together. You can also use your hands.)

It’s time to fill. 

Place 2 teaspoons of the filling in the centre of a wonton wrapper. Then gather the sides of the wonton wrapper and mould around the filling in a ball shape but leaving the centre unwrapped. Fold down any excess and using scissors cut away any excess wonton wrapper at the top: the siu mai should have a flat bottom, be open at the top, nipped at the waist, and filled to the top of the wrapper.

Place baking paper on a steamer rack, then line with the carrot slices. Place the siu mai dumplings on top, then place this rack in a wok half-filled with water. Place the wok lid on top, bring the water to a boil and steam over a medium–high heat for about 10–12 minutes until cooked through.

Meanwhile, mix the vinegar soy dressing ingredients.

When the dumplings are ready, serve with the vinegar soy dressing and chilli oil, if using. The dumplings can be frozen raw before cooking or after cooking, to freeze, place in an airtight freezer-proof container and freeze. To cook, steam or boil from raw/ cooked frozen add to noodle soups or broths and cook through.

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