An excellent way of judging how good a dim sum restaurant is to try their har gow. You know… those translucent prawn (shrimp) dumplings that everyone is so fond of. If you’ve even been to yum cha, there’s no doubt that you’ve tried them. The quality of the har gow, is a pivotal point on whether the other dim sum items are going to be good or not. It takes many many years for a dim sum chef to master these dumplings, and if those are good, the other items are going to be excellent!
Although I’ve tried making them once:
I found the skin a little fiddly to play with, so I decided to use an easier skin to work with.
This recipe for prawn dumplings are pretty darn good, they are light, flavorsome (flavorful) and go well as a steamed dumpling or in noodle soup.
- 160 g (⅓ lb) prawns (shrimp), raw, shelled, de-veined, roughly chopped
- 2-3 spring onions (green onions), finely sliced
- 25 g (1 oz) bamboo shoots, finely chopped
- 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
- 2 water chestnuts, finely diced (optional)
- ¼ t ginger, finely chopped
- ¼ t sugar
- 1 t light soy sauce
- ¼ t sesame oil
- ¼ t corn flour* (cornstarch) or unmodified potato starch
- Black pepper, a pinch
- 24 round dumpling skins
* Corn flour (UK) is completely different to corn flour (US). If not in the UK, please use corn starch and NOT corn flour.
1. In a medium sized bowl, mix everything together thoroughly, stirring in one direction.
2. Divide the mixture amongst 24 dumpling skins using about 1-2 t of filing per skin, then form into the dumpling shape of your choosing, using water to seal the edges.
3. Either cook immediately by placing them into boiling water for 2-3 minutes or freeze^. Enjoy!
^ To freeze, place the dumplings onto tray and freeze until each dumpling is frozen solid. Transfer them into a container and store in the freezer until needed. To cook from frozen, simply throw them into a pan of boiling water and cook for 3-4 minutes.