Shumai – Chinese style pork meatballs wrapped in lettuce leaves


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Shumai or shaumai is traditional Chinese pork dumplings usually wrapped in pastry made from flour and water. They are steamed and served as part of yum char.  This recipe uses lettuce leaves in place of pastry.

Ingredients (make 10)

300g pork mince

½ medium onion, finely chopped

1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sesame oil

2 tablespoons corn flour

10 fancy lettuce leaves

Plain flour

Soy sauce, vinegar, chili sauce to serve.


  1. Mix pork mince, onion, ginger, salt, sesame oil and corn flour in a bowl. Knead the mixture with your hand until the mixture become sticky.
  2. Wash and dry lettuce leaves with paper towel and lay flat on a plate. Dust with plain flour.
  3. Put 1/10 of pork mixture on the middle of a lettuce leaf and shape like tulip flower.
  4. Continue to make 10 shao mai.
  5. In a shallow sauce pan or a frying pan, arrange all the shao mai standing up in a single layer supporting each other. Add water to the pan to the depth of half the shao mai height. Be careful not to let the water steep inside of dumplings.
  6. Cover with a lid and put on to medium heat. Let it steam for 15 minutes or until the meat is cooked.
  7. Serve with soy sauce, vinegar and chili sauce.

Chika’s Tip: You can cook shumai in microwave. Place shumai in a heatproof plate and loosely cover with cling film. Microwave high  for 7 minutes. Leave for 3 minutes to rest before serving.

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