Shumai originated from Chinese-style dumplings, but changed to match Japanese taste just like Gyoza. Shumai are steamed pork fillings stuffed in Shumai wrappers. They are eaten alone or dipped in vinegar soy sauce with mustard. In the US, you can find Chinese shumai at Dim Sum in Chinese restaurants for breakfast/lunch. They can be wonderful in your lunch box and also as a tasty main dish for dinner.
Japanese Shumai are usually made from ground pork and chopped brown onion with a green pea on top of each. This signature look is created by a Japanese frozen food company in the 1960’s (Shumai is big in frozen food industry in Japan), and ever since people think of Shumai as having this look. Green peas don’t contribute much flavor to Shumai, but you might want to add them just because that looks like Japanese Shumai (Anime fans may have seen pictures of Shumai somewhere on TV or videos).
Shumai wrappers may be hard to find outside Japan. We could not find Japanese Shumai skins at Japanese markets close to where we live. But, that’s OK. You can substitute with Wonton wrappers which can be easily found at local supermarkets. Ingredients for Gyoza, Wonton, and Shumai wrappers are mostly the same but the shapes are different, round for Gyoza and square for Wonton and Shumai. Wonton and Shumai skins may be a little thinner. Wonton wrappers are bigger than shumai so that you could cut down a little if you prefer. We used as is and made jumbo Shumai. Yum!
Our shumai have enough seasoning so you could eat without sauce. However, if you like, dip with soy sauce or vinegar soy sauce (like Ponzu Sauce) with Japanese yellow mustard. If you like Gyoza, you’ll like Shumai too. Try it!
- 2/3 lb (300g) ground pork
- 1/2 brown onion
- 3 dried Shiitake mushroom
- 1/2 tsp ginger root, grated
- 3 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1/2 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp Sake
- 1 Tbsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12-15 Shumai (or Wonton) wrappers
- 12-15 green peas
- 2-3 leaves of lettuce or nappa cabbage
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp rice vinegar
- Japanese yellow mustard
- Chop brown onion finely. Re-hydrate dried Shiitake mushrooms in water, squeeze water out, and chop finely.
- In a large bowl, add pork, onion, Shiitake mushrooms, cornstarch and all the seasonings. Mix very well until combined.
- Wrap the meat mixture with the Shumai skins (watch video) and shape into little cylinders. Top with a green pea on each dumpling.
- Lay lettuce flat in the inside of a steamer. Place Shumai on the lettuce, and cook in a steamer for 10 minutes at medium heat.
- Mix soy sauce and vinegar. Serve with sauce and mustard.