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Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow).

Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow).

Hope everyone’s safe and sound for the holidays and not stranded on some snowy highway somewhere. A few days ago, I flew across the country back home to a sweltering, balmy 8 degrees. If you’re afraid of leaving the house, like I am, and wearing 4 layers of clothes indoors, just start cooking. Or playing the dusty old piano that’s been sitting in your parents’ living room untouched for the past 10 years. Or just start cooking.ย 

My mom decided to make some Har Gow, or steamed shrimp dumplings, for our lunch today, so of course I needed to document it. Here is the recipe and the photos.

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow)

December 20, 2009
: makes 24 dumplings
: moderate


  • 1 cup of Wheat Starch (labeled Bot Ha-Cao)
  • 5 oz. raw shrimp, peeled and de-veined (or between 1/2 cup and 2/3 cup)
  • 1 oz. pork fat
  • 2 oz. bamboo shoots, cooked or canned
  • Ingredients for Seasoning:
  • 1/4 tsp. sesame oil
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch
  • Step 1 Coarsely chop the shrimp, and finely chop the pork fat and bamboo shoots. Mix with the seasoning ingredients, using your fingers to make it into a smooth and slightly sticky mass. Set aside while the wrappers are prepared.
  • Step 2 Make the wrappers according to the directions. Roll the dough into a long sausage shape and cut it into 24 pieces. Keep it covered (so it doesnโ€™t dry out) while rolling each piece into a ball.
  • Step 3 Place a ball on a cutting board, and using the flat side of a meat cleaver, flatten the ball into a thin wrapper. Or use a tortilla press to flatten the balls.
  • Step 4 Fill the wrappers with a small spoonful of filling in the center, then close it up by folding in half and pressing edges firmly. Or see below for step-by-step photos. Place dumplings on a lightly greased plate.
  • Step 5 Place the finished plate of dumplings on a raised wire rack over water in a wok, or in a steamer. Cover and steam for about 7 minutes, or until the wrappers are translucent and the shrimp is pink. Serve while hot (with hot mustard if you prefer).



Instructions with Photos:


This is the brand of wheat starch my mother buys. I always got confused since it looks like it’s written in Vietnamese, even though it’s also used for dim sum wrappers.


Dough cut into pieces.


The shrimp and bamboo filling.


So…Vietnamese wheat starch and Mexican tortilla press. Very worldly.


Don’t make the wrappers TOO thin, or you’ll have trouble keeping it from falling apart on you as you fill them with shrimp. Make them as thin as you can without breaking, though.


Step-by-step photos on how to make the Har Gow. Hey, it’s wayyy easier than trying to explain it with words!




It looks easy, doesn’t it? I’d just like to say my mom made all these, I attempted a few though. If you can pick out the totally deformed dumplings in the photo, those are mine.


Heat the water until boiling before placing the rack or steamer in to cook.


When the water is ready, place the dish on a rack raised above the water. Or if you’re using a bamboo steamer, you’re already way ahead of me.


Steam for 7 minutes or until the dumplings are translucent with the pink shrimp showing.


See how pink and clear they got? This is what they should look like when they’re done.


More close-ups. Are you hungry yet?





Tomorrow, I’ll be making cookies (yea I know, totally different theme now) for the holidays so be sure to check up on my progress!

Other dumpling recipes you might like:

Pork and Shrimp Siu Mai

Pork and Shrimp Won Tons

Pork and Cabbage Potstickers

Pork and Chive Potstickers

Rose Shaped Gyoza


17 thoughts on “Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow).”

  • I think I could totally make this! My mom bought me a steamer for Xmas, so I could try this out with the new pot…well, once she lets me open it. Thanks for the great recipe. Your mom AND you did a great job on forming and steaming these dumplings

  • Oh man these looks SO good!! Your pictures are so gorgeous I just want to reach into the screen and take one to eat! lol

    We got our snow in CT last night! I got the easy job of making breakfast while hubby and our house guests are out clearing snow. It’s a rough life..hehe

  • Hi Everyone! Just wanted to let you know I fixed one of the ingredients; instead of using 1 whole package of wheat starch, use 1 cup. I blame the mistake on blogging in the middle of the night.:P

    Memoria – lemme know how they turn out if you try them! ๐Ÿ™‚

    April – How many inches do you have?? Luckily, we didn’t get ANY of the snow in Upstate NY. It missed us by who knows how many miles. We just get the occasional lake effect. But I hope you guys stay warm.

  • We got a foot of snow! This is our 3rd winter here and this is the most we’ve seen so far. I love it, but probably because I wasn’t out clearing it! :o) My hubby loves the snow blower though and has a blast so I don’t feel so bad that I was inside making pancakes.

    I really love living here, but I certainly get the strangest looks from locals when I tell them that. I guess since I didn’t grow up dealing with snow I can still enjoy it. Glad you dodged it there! :o)

  • Candy-I stumbled on your website a couple months ago and wow! I love it! I’m an American born Vietnamese girl who loves all kinds of asian foods and I never know how any of it is made. I’ve looked thru all of kinds of cookbook but none of them really show how asians cook at home and at restaurants. Your blog rocks! Quick question: how do you keep the dumplings from sticking to the plate, steamer, etc when you remove them? My last dumplings fell apart when transferring them to a plate ๐Ÿ™ Yours look perfect and very yummy!

  • April – a foot isn’t bad. It just ensures a white Christmas ๐Ÿ™‚ unless a heat wave comes through. But I’m glad you are enjoying it!

    Chau – THe dumplings need to be placed on a dish that is lightly greased with oil. When you are preparing each dumpling, also rub a bit of oil on your hands to keep it from sticking to the wrappers. Then after the dumplings are done steaming, let them cool a few minutes before plucking them off the plate. THey need time to firm up a bit before you pick them up with chopsticks. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Woaaaa…thank you so much for sharing the steps and the type of flour used. I think I don’t have anymore excuses after my family saw all the steps in your blog and they are looking at me… and your blog…and then again at me ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Is there secrets to making good skin wrappers, such as temperature of water and proportion of water to flour? Could you share the details on that? I have tried that but the dough skin wrapper does not stick at all, so when i flatten it, the skin wrapper just crack.

  • I tried the bot ha gao package and it says to add 1 1/2 cups of water to the flour and the consistency is nothing like yours in the picture!!! mine is soft and mushy!!!!! (sigh) what a waste – i’ll try to look for the package your mom buys…. thanks

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