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Har Gow - Shrimp Dim Sum

Updated: Feb 17, 2021

Har gow is probably the most popular dim sum dish. I have loved it since I was a child and my kids love it too. The shrimp is soft and juicy with just a bit of crunch from the addition of bamboo shoots. The skin is a bit translucent and chewy, perfect with the delicate filling.

I loved going to "yum cha", literally translated as "drink tea", with my family and friends. We used to go down to NY Chinatown every weekend to go to church and visit my grandmother. Having dim sum with family or friends was always a good time. No one left hungry and someone was always fighting for the bill before the end of the meal. Ahhh...good times.

The key to the dough, and I'm not kidding about this, is to use boiling water. Not slightly cooled down boiled water but boiling water. I tried this three times and the first two times I ended up with a soupy mess and wasted ingredients because the water cooled down just 5 minutes. Take my advice and use what again?...that's right...boiling water.

I really am not kidding though. I was frustrated when a dough didn't form the first two times I tried. The water has to be hot enough to cook the starches. After you add the oil you will end up with a lovely, smooth, slightly stretchy, pliable dough.

Har Gow - Shrimp dim sum

Ingredients (makes 18-20 dumplings)

Shrimp filling

1/2 pound raw shrimp (225g), peeled, de-veined and patted dry, chopped into 1/2" pieces

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon ginger, grated

1/4 cup bamboo shoots, finely chopped


1 cup wheat starch (different from flour; look under ingredients section; find in Asian markets)

1/4 cup cornstarch

1/4 cup tapioca starch (if you can't find this ingredient, just use 1/2 cup total corn starch)

1 1/4 cup boiling hot water (310 ml) may need an additional 1 to 2 teaspoons

3 teaspoons vegetable oil, plus one teaspoon for wiping on equipment


round plastic take out cover

rolling pin (optional)


Make the filling. In a mixing bowl mix all of the ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until needed.

Make the dough. In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/4 cups water to a boil. Leave on to simmer.

In a heat proof mixing bowl, mix together the wheat starch, corn starch and tapioca starch. Turn the heat off on the water. Very carefully pour some of the water over the starch mixture and stir at the same time. Keep adding water and stirring till you get a rough looking dough. If it looks too wet, don't add all of the water but it should be just right.

Add oil. When the dough is cool enough for you to handle, start kneading by hand. Knead until you get a smooth dough that feels like playdough.

Knead then roll the white dough into a log about 2" in diameter. Cut the log into 18-20 pieces. Cover all the pieces of dough with a damp paper towel. Working with one piece at a time, place a piece of dough on work surface. Gently flatten slightly with the palm of your hand. Place the plastic cover over the dough and firmly press the dough using a circular motion to spread the dough into a round about 3 1/2" in diameter by 2-3 mm thick.

Place a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center. Watch the video to see how it's folded. It's the same fold I use for pot stickers. It yields a flat bottom and a lovely pleated crescent. Start by folding in half pinching just the very middle. Start at the middle and work your way to the ends. Using the front flap of wrapper only, make a small pleat bringing it forward toward the middle and lightly pinch to stick. Repeat to make 4-5 small pleats going to the end on the right then repeat starting in the middle going left folding each pleat forward toward the middle.

Repeat steps until all the har gow are wrapped.

Place steamer basket over boiling water. Line basket with cabbage leaves or parchment. Place har gow in steamer and steam for 8 minutes. Be careful when opening cover. Serve hot with some dipping sauces (or just soy sauce) you can find in the Mix and Match section. Enjoy!

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