When in China, eat Chinese food – or in my case, cook your own Chinese food! During my recent visit to Shanghai, I took in a cooking class in The Portman Ritz-Carlton’s kitchen. On the menu: siu-mai and chicken and shrimp dumplings.

Preparing dumplings

Adorned in my personalized chef’s jacket and apron, I took to the kitchen and started the fine art of dumpling making. No stranger to getting my hands dirty for a meal, we dug right into the chicken and shrimp mixture, adding flour, oil, salt, pepper, garlic and a dash of spice. The real test of my chef strength came when it was time to mold the dumplings. Who knew there was an art to forming dough?

First, cup your hands as if you’re holding a golf ball. Place the dough in the middle of your palm and scoop and generous portion of the chicken-shrimp filling into the dough. Squeeze the dough so the ends stand up forming a pocket, and the filling flows from the top of the pocket. Level off the filling, and pinch the edges of the ‘pocket’ until it’s firm around the top. Place the dumpling in a bamboo steaming basket and continue on…

When it’s time to steam, cover the basket and place it into a water steamer for 5 minutes.

Here’s the recipe:

1/2 lb chicken thigh (deboned and skinless)
8 medium shrimp (peeled, deveined, and diced into small pieces)
2 black fungus (chopped into thin threads)
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped scallion (white part only)
1/8 teaspoon sesame oil
3 dashes white pepper
1/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon powder
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 tablespoon egg white
A pinch of salt
Round wonton skin


Chop chicken but make sure that it’s corsely ground. Mix the chicken with other ingredients and seasonings and set aside in the fridge for 20 minutes.

Place about a tablespoon of filling on each wrapper, gather up the sides and leave the center open. Steam in a bamboo steamer for about 5-10 minutes. Serve hot.


Chicken Shu Mai dumplings

Categories: Food & Wine

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