A Snack on the Silk Road
During the Song Dynasty (960 to 1279), shumai, a type of Chinese dumpling, was a common offering in teahouses along the Silk Road. It was part of the multi-course meal that became known as dim sum.3 A concept similar to Spanish tapas, Chinese dim sum is a meal featuring small portions of diverse foods. If you’re a fan of dim sum or Chinese dumplings, add this recipe to your collection.
Shrimp and Snap Pea Shumai4
9 ounces medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and divided into two halves
1/3 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup sugar snap peas, thinly sliced
18 round gyōza skins
Napa (Chinese) cabbage or romaine lettuce leaves
Place first half of the shrimp in a mini food processor; pulse five times or until chopped. Add onions, ginger, oil, and salt; pulse two to three times or until almost ground. Spoon the mixture into a medium bowl. Finely chop remaining shrimp. Stir chopped shrimp and peas into ground shrimp mixture.
Work with one gyōza skin at a time (cover remaining skins to prevent drying out). Place the skin on a work surface, starchy side up. Moisten edge of skin with water. Spoon about 2-4 teaspoons shrimp mixture into center of each skin. Gather up and pleat edge of skin around filling, pressing to seal pleats; lightly squeeze skin to adhere to filling, leaving top of dumpling open. Place on a baking sheet lined with plastic wrap coated with cooking spray. Cover with a damp towel or paper towels to prevent drying. Repeat procedure with remaining gyōza skins and filling.
Arrange nine dumplings, one inch apart, over cabbage or lettuce leaves in a steamer. Place steamer over a pot filled with water, cover the pot, and bring the water to a boil. Steam the dumplings for about 8 minutes or until done. Discard the leaves.