◎ Ground pork (or you can use ground chicken only ☆ or combine in the ratio you like)
◎ Onion (or the white part of a Japanese leek)
1/2 (or 1 stalk)
◎ Tofu (not drained)
◎ Oyster sauce
※ 1 to 2 teaspoon(s)
◎ Salt and pepper
a small amount
Japanese mustard or ra-yu
Finely chop the onion.
Cut the shumai wrappers in half to end up with rectangles. Julienne the wrappers finely, cutting them on the short side of the rectangles about 2-3 mm thick.
Put the ◎ ingredients in a bowl and mix well with your hands until the mixture is sticky.
Line a frying pan with a piece of kitchen parchment paper that's been cut to be a bit bigger than the bottom of the pan. Rip up some lettuce leaves and put them on top of the paper.
Form the Step 3 mixture into shumai-sized portions, and line them up on top of the lettuce from Step 4. You don't have to roll them into balls; if they're sort of ball-shaped that's fine.
Sprinkle the Step 2 julienned wrappers on top of the meat balls.
Pour the boiling water on the outside of the kitchen parchment paper (to go on the bottom of the pan) using a cup or something. Cover the pan with a lid, tucking all the paper under it so it's not sticking outside the pan, and start heating it.
When the water comes to a boil, turn the heat down to medium-low and steam for 4 to 5 minutes. When the water has boiled off, take the lid off. If the wrapper dough has turned translucent, the shumai are done!
Tilt the frying pan with one hand, pick up the kitchen parchment paper with the other, and slice the shumai, paper and all, onto a plate.
If you weren't able to steam all the shumai, steam the remaining ones following Steps 4 through 9. Using a 26 cm frying pan, it takes 2-3 batches to cook up 40 to 50 shumai.
Serve with the lettuce and your favorite condiments. I served with black pepper, Japanese mustard and soy sauce.
The more ground pork you add to the filling (see photo), the more assertively flavored and hearty the shumai will be. If you only use ground chicken they'll be lighter and easier to eat.
I know there are lots of steps, but if you're fast, you can make these in 15 minutes. They're really easy to make.
Key point 1: Cut the shumai wrappers as thinly as possible to make the shumai look pretty when done.
Key point 2: If you add some tofu to the filling, the shumai will be fluffy and healthier. They'll also be less likely to become hard when cold.
Key point 3: There's no need to have a steamer ready. You don't need to wait for the water to boil either. It's such a time-saver!
Key point 4: If you line a frying pan with kitchen parchment paper and pour boiling water under the paper, it functions like a steamer.
Key point 5: In addtion, by just moving the paper you can transfer the shumai easily to a plate, ready to serve! Add the delicious steaming liquid to the plate too.
Key point 6: The lettuce lined underneath the shumai retains the delicious meat juices! The lettuce absorbs the delicious flavor and nutrition of the meat too.
Key point 7: Since no oil is used, not only is this quite healthy, the frying pan barely gets messy, so cleanup is a breeze.
Story Behind this Recipe
Some time ago, I was so busy taking care of my children, plus I had to cook for my large family. I was trying to make as many shumai dumplings as possible as fast and easily as possible, and tried making these quickly in just 15 minutes, using ingredients I had on hand. They looked luxurious, and the taste exceed my expectations and got rave reviews. Since we can all enjoy them together, they've become a family favorite.
If you're using ground pork, I think it's a good idea to use a generous amount of oyster sauce. When cooking the shumai, if any of the kitchen parchment paper is sticking out from under the lid it may catch fire, so watch out for that. I recommend serving this to many guests or at parties too.