Thursday, September 4, 2008



Traditionally, shumai are prepared with either pork or shrimp. They are these adorable little dumplings and can either be fried or steamed. I've played around a bit trying to make a vegan version, and my faithful taste tester says the shumai pretty good. I like them, too. Below is a recipe, and I've included instructions on frying and steaming them.

From Food pics

(they look like little soldiers of delicious, don't they?)

From Food pics


gyoza wrappers (these are cool because they can be frozen)
1 block soft tofu - drained
1 handful fresh spinach - chopped
4 green onions - chopped
1/2 cup white onion - chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
pepper, to taste
1 tsp shredded ginger root
1 tsp miso paste

1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients (except gyoza wrappers). I use my hands, and mix them as much as possible.

2. Take a gyoza wrapper. If they were frozen, they are easier to peel apart if they are thawed a few minutes. Put the wrapper on a flat surface and wet the edges. Put a spoonful of the tofu mixture in the center of the wrapper.

3. Wrapping is a lot easier than it looks. Just pull up 2 sides and seal them together with water. Then pull up the two other sides and seal them, so it sort of makes a square (or at least has four corners. Try to push the open parts in so they are closed, and seal with water. If there are parts of the wrapper that stick up, press them so they are flat. The finished shumai looks sort of like a rose.

Now you need to decide if you want to fry it or steam them. I think they are excellent both ways and how i cook it depends on the audience. If I'm going to a party, I'll fry them, but if its for me and ej i usually steam them, or do half and half. It also depends on if i feel like I deserve fried food.


I heat 2 inches of vegetable or canol oil in an elecric wok, but a skillet works fine. Put the shumai in the hot oil, cooking for ~10-15 minutes. They should be brown on all sides. You may have to turn a couple of times while cooking.


I use a wire colander and a pot of water. Not sure if its the best way, but it seems to work ok. So I boil some water in a pot and put the wire colander in it. Make sure the water itself isnt touching the bottom of the colander. Put the shumai in the colander (i can only do 3-4 at a time - make sure they aren't touching each other). Cover the shumai with a tightly fitting lid. Steam for about 20 minutes, turning halfway through. Its hard to tell when they are done, but the top part should be soft and not tough.

I like to serve the shumai with soy sauce mixed with honey or agave nectar (if vegan).



Rachel said...

I can't wait to make these!
I have a pretty large, flat-bottomed, steamer set-up. Presumably, I can steam a lot more than 4 at a time, I just have to make sure none of them are touching each other, right?

Melissa said...

Sure! Put as many as you can, but if they are touching, they stick together and its pretty hard to get them to unstick. (trust me).