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Shrimp and Mushroom Shu Mai

Shu mai (also spelled shui mei, siu mai, etc.) is a traditional Chinese dumpling and with Chinese New Year around the corner we decided it was the perfect time to experiment. I recently bought Cooking Light’s Way to Cook and so far, everything I’ve made from this cookbook has been great. Plus it has really helpful “how to’s” about equipment, food preparation, and great background on ingredients including nutrition.

Making shu mai is easy but definitely time consuming. We prepared the filling ahead of time and then made the shu mai right before our company arrived. It took a while to get the hang of filling the wraps. We found it was easiest to have a bowl of water handy, dip a finger in the water, wet the outside of the wrap while in our palms, fill it, and then crimp the edges together. While the shu mai was tasty we felt like perhaps it should have been cooked a little longer as it was hard to pick up the shu mai without part of the wrap breaking. The next batch we left to steam a little longer and it was much easier to handle.

While it was fun to experiment for Chinese New Year I think on Feb 14 we’ll go out for dim sum to celebrate!

julie - shu mai2

Shrimp & Mushroom Shu Mai
- Adapted from Cooking Light’s Way to Cook -

Cooking spray
3 1/2 cups thinly sliced cremini mushrooms (about 6 ounces)
1 3/4 cups thinly sliced shitake mushrooms (about 4 ounces)
1 cup thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon dry sherry
2 1/2 teaspoons minced peeled ginger
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
4 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
24 gyoza skins (round wonton wrappers found at local markets)
6 peeled and deveined medium shrimp, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
4 large napa cabbage leaves
1 tablespoon sambal oelek (ground fresh chile paste) or Sriracha (hot chile sauce)

1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Add mushrooms to pan and saute for 8 minutes or until liquid evaporates. Spoon mushrooms into a food processor. Add onions and the next five ingredients. Process 10 seconds or until finely chopped.

2. Working with 1 gyoza skin at a time (cover remaining skins with damp towel to prevent from drying), spoon 1 tablespoon shrimp mixture into center of each skin. Moisten edges of skin with water. Gather up and crimp edges of skin around filling. Lightly squeeze skin to adhere to filling, leaving top of dumpling open. Place one shrimp piece on top of filling, pressing gently. Place dumpling on baking sheet; cover loosely with a damp towel to prevent from drying. Repeat procedure with remaining skins, filling and shrimp pieces.

3.  Line each tier of a two-tiered bamboo steamer with 2 cabbage leaves (you can also use parchment paper).  Arrange dumplings 1 inch apart over cabbage in each steamer basket. Stack tiers, and cover with steamer lid.

4.  Add water to skillet to a depth of 1 inch and bring to a boil. Place steamer in pan and steam dumplings 15 minutes or until done. Remove dumplings from steam and spoon 1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek onto each dumpling. You can reuse the cabbage to steam more dumplings. Enjoy!

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