Har Gow: Chinese Shrimp Dumplings

Har Gow
Charles Haynes/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0
  • 75 mins
  • Prep: 60 mins,
  • Cook: 15 mins
  • Yield: 40 dumplings (10 servings)
Ratings (37)

When at your favorite Chinese restaurant, whether listed on the menu or featured on the dim sum cart, har gow ("xia jiao") are often the most popular dumpling ordered. Translucent wrappers hold in a shrimp and vegetable mixture seasoned with rice wine and sesame oil, making for a delicate and light-tasting dim sum. Luckily, it is not too difficult to make your own at home. The most challenging part of making har gow is handling the dough, which is very sticky and can break apart easily—a good tip is coating your work area and equipment with vegetable oil.

What You'll Need

  • For the Dough:
  • 3/4 cup wheat starch
  • 2 tablespoons tapioca starch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • For the Filling:
  • 6 ounces shrimp (rinsed, tails removed, chopped)
  • 3 tablespoons bamboo shoots (finely chopped)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons green onion (finely chopped)
  • 3/4 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 large egg white (lightly beaten)
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • Vegetable oil (as needed)

How to Make It

Make the Dumpling Dough

  1. In a medium bowl, combine the wheat starch, tapioca starch, and the salt.
  2. Slowly stir in 1/2 cup of the boiling water. Add the oil and begin using your hands to shape into a dough. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of boiling water if the dough is too dry. Don’t overwork the dough, but continue shaping for about 2 minutes, until it is smooth and shiny.
  3. Cover and let rest for 20 minutes.

    Make the Filling

    1. Place the shrimp in a medium bowl and add the bamboo shoots, green onion, rice wine, sesame oil, salt, pepper, egg white, and cornstarch. Mix well.
    2. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to give the flavors a chance to blend.

    Form the Dumplings

    1. Coat a paper towel with vegetable oil and use it to oil your cutting board or work surface and the broad side of a cutting knife or cleaver (a cleaver works best). Keep the dough covered to prevent it drying out while preparing the dumplings.
    2. Break off 1 teaspoon of the har gau dough and roll into a ball. Flatten the ball of dough by pressing it in the palm of your hand.
    3. Lay the dough on the oiled work surface and press down on it with the oiled side of the knife or cleaver to form a circle that is 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter.
    4. Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper, spreading it out evenly but not touching the edges.
    5. Carefully lift the top edge of the wrapper and fold it over the filling toward you (you should have a half circle now). Use your thumb and forefinger to form pleats in the dough, and pinch the edges closed.
    6. Place the completed har gau on a plate and cover with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out while preparing the remainder of the dumplings.

    Cook the Dumplings

    1. Prepare a steamer and oil plate that will fit inside the steamer. Place a few har gow on the oiled plate and steam the dumplings in batches, until the wrapper is translucent and the shrimp appear slightly orange, 13 to 15 minutes.
    2. Serve the har gow with hot chili oil and/or soy sauce for dipping.
      Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
      Calories 89
      Total Fat 2 g
      Saturated Fat 0 g
      Unsaturated Fat 1 g
      Cholesterol 55 mg
      Sodium 157 mg
      Carbohydrates 13 g
      Dietary Fiber 0 g
      Protein 5 g
      (The nutrition information on our recipes is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. Individual results may vary.)