Shumai dumplings are probably the cornerstone of Dim Sum. Dim sum is the equivalent to brunch in the US but only a million times better but in particular, Chinese shumai dumplings. Dim sum by definition is small snacks that are either steamed or fried (pan fried or deep fried) and usually.

Typical Dim Sum

Typical dim sum dishes can range from fried taro balls to steam rice rolls; BBQ steam buns to bbq spare ribs; sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf to sticky rice with Chinese sausage; and of course the two most popular snacks pan-fried dumplings and steamed shumai.

I have really fond memories of going to eat dim sum on very special occasions and when I brought dates home, it became a tradition of sorts. There were times that I may have brought girls home just so my mom would take us out to go out to dim sum, I’m not ashamed.

No matter what the occasion, there are always four staple dishes that we got.

  • Pan-fried dumplings
  • Sticky rice and Chinese sausage
  • Steamed rice rolls
  • Shumai dumplings
fresh dumplings

Chinese shumai dumplings is probably the easiest dim sum to find in the sea of food carts that room around the dining room during dim sum. It may seem like a mad house of tables; zig zagging food carts; dozens of covered edible delights; and the unavoidable instance of always seeing the same three carts with the items that you don’t want but rest assured, if all else fails, just ask for what you want and it will come.

pan fried dumplings

Tradition vs Modern

Traditionally, shumai is always steamed but there are many, many varieties of it. Mostly you’ll find the Cantonese style shumai which is ground pork, shrimp, and shitake mushrooms and topped with roe or a small piece of carrot.

Here is my twist on shumai where instead of steaming it, I shallow fry them in a pan that has round wells. The best part of this recipe is that this is the same filling that I use for dumplings as well, you’re welcome! Enough chit chat, let’s get on with the recipe!