Har Gau (Shrimp Dumplings)

  • images/har_gau_shrimp_dumpling.jpg

Makes 30 dumplings

You can't buy wrappers to make har gau, but the wrapper dough is easy to make from wheat starch. When these savory dumplings are steamed, the wrappers become shiny and opaque.


  • 1 cup wheat starch
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup boiling water


  • 3/4 pound medium raw shrimp
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped bamboo shoots
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper

  • 1-1/2 tablespoons cooking oil or solid vegetable shortening
  • Soy sauce and chili oil


  1. To make wrappers, combine wheat starch, cornstarch, and salt in a bowl. Add boiling water, stirring with chopsticks or a fork, until dough is evenly moistened. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.
  2. To prepare filling, shell, devein, and coarsely chop shrimp. Place in a bowl with remaining filling ingredients; mix well.
  3. On a lightly floured board, knead dough until smooth. Add cooking oil, a teaspoon at a time, kneading to blend after each addition until dough glistens and feels satiny. Divide dough in half. Roll each half into a 15-inch long cylinder. Cut each cylinder crosswise into 1-inch pieces; shape each piece into a ball. Cover dough to prevent drying.
  4. To shape each dumpling, roll a portion of dough into a 3- to 3-1/2-inch circle. With your fingers, press edges of dough to make slightly thinner. Place a rounded teaspoon of filling in center of dough; fold dough over filling to form a semicircle. Pinch edges together to seal. Cover with a damp cloth while shaping remaining dumplings.
  5. Prepare a wok for steaming*. Line the bottom of a steamer with a small damp cloth. Arrange dumplings on cloth without crowding. Cover and steam until dumplings are translucent, 18 to 20 minutes.
  6. Serve dumplings hot or cold with soy sauce and chili oil for dipping.

*To prepare a wok for steaming, pour water into wok to a depth of 2 inches. Place a bamboo steamer, cake rack, or criss-crossed chopsticks over the water (not in). Cover with wok lid and bring water to a boil (bamboo steamers come with their own lids). Place food in a heatproof dish that fits in steamer or wok. Cover and maintain heat to keep water boiling.