"We'd be hard-pressed to name a culture in the world that doesn't have something that could be called a dumpling. From filled pastas like Italian tortellini and Polish pierogi, to less obvious types of dumplings, like Mexican tamales and Argentinian empanadas, to unfilled German spaetzle and chicken and dumplings from the U.S...Sinking your teeth into a bundle of flavorful aromatic meat and vegetables wrapped in a soft dough transcends any imagined borders of culture and caste."
- Chef Hugh Amano
Welcome to our kitchen! Today, we're sharing our experience making some delicious Cantonese dumplings: pork and shrimp shumai.
Learn more about cooking with kids.
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If you follow us on social media, you know that we recently made pork and shrimp shumai using the Let's Make Dumplings! comic book cookbook.
Well, it was so delicious and such a fun cooking experience that we'd love to share it with you.
In fact, we even made a FREE kid-friendly recipe with pics for you to enjoy with your own family. It's perfect for pre-readers and up. It comes with an ingredients list, tools list, and step-by-step instructions with pictures.
You can also grab a free printable recipe for yourself that includes nutrition information and unit conversions. They're both waiting for you down at the bottom.
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What's Pork & Shrimp Shumai?
Pork and Shrimp Shumai, Siu Mai, 燒賣 consists of pork, shrimp, and in this case mushrooms, green onions, and carrots wrapped in dough to form a delicious basket-shaped dumpling. These are Cantonese dumplings, originating from China.
There are many regional varieties of dumplings to enjoy. On this particular occasion, our kids picked this Asian dumplings recipe to cook because they were attracted to the dumpling's basket-like appearance, which showcases its delicious filling.
Is Shumai Healthy?
Given the ingredients used in the recipe and the method of preparation, we would consider it a healthy meal choice. You can take a look at the nutrition label and serving information at the bottom of this post to find out if it aligns with your diet preferences.
Want to Use Homemade Dumpling Wrappers?
Nothing tastes better than homemade!
If you want to save time, you can purchase square egg roll wrappers from the market. However, if you're looking to extend the fun, you can make your own wrappers. We use all-purpose einkorn flour and an easy wrapper recipe from Let's Make Dumplings!
Kids can practice working with a tortilla press to create the dumpling wrappers.
Are Pork & Shrimp Shumai Cooked?
Yes, they are typically steamed. We used the Instant Pot for this steamed dumpling recipe. We recently added an Instant Pot to our kitchen because we like the versatility and flexibility it offers.
However, if you don't have an Instant Pot, you can use other electric or stovetop steamers to do the job. A stockpot, dutch oven, or wok along with a stainless steel, silicone, or bamboo steamer basket will work well. You can also purchase stand-alone electric steamers or steamers to use in your microwave, although I wouldn't recommend the latter for this recipe. There are so many options to choose from.
If you decide to use a steamer basket insert at the stove, be mindful of placement while following the recipe. I've melted a silicone steamer basket or two in my day and I could see our kids totally doing the same thing. We use a stainless steel steamer basket nowadays.
Pork & Shrimp Shumai, Siu Mai, 燒賣: A Steamed Dumpling Recipe for Kids
These tasty pork and shrimp shumai are so much fun and our kids enjoyed making the dumplings as well as using the Instant Pot under supervision.
We omitted the water chestnuts from the original recipe but feel free to add some to your recipe if you prefer.
Since this shumai dumpling recipe contains shrimp, it would be prudent to familiarize yourself with shellfish allergies, if you haven't already done so.
Now, let's get started.
- Shiitake Mushrooms
- Sesame Oil
- Ground Pork
- Green Onions
- White Pepper
- Soy Sauce
- Gyoza Wrappers or another Dumpling Wrapper
- Dipping Sauce
1. Prep the Mushrooms and Green Onions
Before getting started, always wash your hands with soap and water. If you haven't already, gently rub the produce under cold running water. Next, kids can gather their food prep tools and ingredients to bring to their workstation.
If the child is new to working with mushrooms, you may want to model how to remove the stems and slice the mushrooms.
2. Prep the Carrot and Garlic
The box grater is a lot of fun for kids to use. If you've seen how we make jollof rice, you know how much our kids enjoy the box grater. You may find that your children want to use all the sides when grating the carrot.
I actually peel our carrots before our kids get them out of the fridge. We have an old peeler that can be frustrating for an experienced chef if it's not held at just the right angle. Therefore, I complete that portion of the prep work for now and I model peeling the carrot away from the body.
If you need to mince garlic, this is an excellent time to do that as well.
3. Head to the Stove and Heat Oil in the Pan
Grab any items you need and head to the stove. If you use cast iron pans as we do, kids can explore the comic book cookbook while waiting a few minutes for the pan to heat up. When the pan is hot, they can add avocado oil.
4. Add Mushrooms to the Pan
5. Add Garlic
6. Give It a Stir
Cook for 3-5 minutes.
7. Add the Sesame Oil and Remove the Pan from Heat
Our kids like to rest the spoon over a bowl as they pour. This helps them measure precisely and catches any overflow.
Turn off the stove.
8. Add Ground Pork to a Bowl for Making Pork and Shrimp Shumai
After the pork is transferred to the bowl, the child can wash their hands again with soap and water. A prompt can serve as a reminder.
9. Add Shrimp to the Ground Pork
The shrimp we purchase comes peeled and deveined. However, those are also excellent skills to model and teach kids, depending on their interests and abilities. You can see how we do it with these Aussie barbecue prawns.
At this point, kids can chop the shrimp into small pieces or do like ours and use their fingers to break them apart.
Next, you guessed it, more handwashing. Also, be sure to wash any bowls or other tools that come in contact with raw meat, seafood, or eggs.
10. Add Remaining Vegetables and Seasonings
Add all of the vegetables to the bowl containing the pork and shrimp, including the ingredients from the pan. The child can use their measuring spoons to add the appropriate amount of salt, sugar, white pepper, and soy sauce.
We've actually never used white pepper before in our kitchen and it was nice to try something different.
You may opt to save some of the grated carrots from this step if your kids would like to top the dumplings with it before steaming.
11. Add the Egg
Crack the egg and add to the rest of the ingredients. The child can once again wash their hands with soap and water afterward.
12. Mix the Ingredients in the Bowl
This is where the real fun begins. Our kids love getting in there and mixing the ingredients together by hand. It's helpful to have the dumpling wrappers ready when beginning this step so they can move right into making the dumplings.
13. Transfer the Mixture to a Dumpling Wrapper
14. Moisten the Wrapper with Water
Dip 1 or 2 fingers in a small amount of water and wet the dough around the filling.
15. Fold the Dumpling into a Basket
We used square wonton wrappers for our shumai. Our kids molded them into the basket shape by cupping the dumpling and using their opposite hand to pack the filling down, forming a basket. Afterward, they set them along the sides of the air fryer basket that came with the Instant Pot. This provided some additional support to hold their shape while they made the rest of the shumai.
Because of the wrappers we used, our pork and shrimp shumai were a bit large. That meant that we didn't need to use as many wrappers as if we were making smaller ones.
16. Prep the Instant Pot to Steam the Pork & Shrimp Shumai
Prepare the Instant Pot for steaming and have the steaming rack ready to go inside the pot.
17. Place Pork & Shrimp Shumai in the Instant Pot
Place 1 layer of shumai in your steamer basket and place it on the Instant Pot steamer rack. Program the Instant Pot using the steam setting. Make sure the valve on the lid is set to sealing.
Since our dumplings were on the large side, you'll notice we skipped the stainless steel steamer basket and placed them directly on the steamer rack in the pot. If you're using traditional gyoza wrappers or making smaller dumplings, you'll want to use a steamer insert to keep them from falling off the rack.
18. Cook for 10 Minutes
Voila! Yummy pork and shrimp shumai for all. Well, 9 people anyway. Feel free to use the unit conversion or adjustable servings tools in the recipe card at the bottom to tailor the recipe to your location and family. Repeat the steaming process for each batch of dumplings you put in the Instant Pot.
19. Enjoy with a Dipping Sauce
Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce. To learn more about the dipping sauces, be sure to check out the cookbook. We used a sesame and soy sauce concoction for dipping and it was amazing!
Summary of Pork & Shrimp Shumai, Siu Mai, 燒賣
We hope you enjoyed seeing how we make Pork and Shrimp Shumai. We couldn't have done it without this awesome Let's Make Dumplings! comic book cookbook by Chef Hugh Amano and illustrator Sarah Becan.
They took every component of dumplings, from the dough to the dipping sauces, and broke it down so you can confidently make your own and genuinely enjoy the process. There's so much we have learned and love about this cookbook. In fact, we're even making our own dumpling wrappers now.
Our kids really enjoy the comic book story format and we think your kids will too. However, the best part is seeing the recipe from the book come to life in our kitchen.
FREE Pork and Shrimp Shumai Recipe for Pre-Readers and Up
Don't forget to grab your free kid-friendly pork and shrimp shumai printable recipe above. It takes this recipe one step further to meet kids where they're at. Children can gather ingredients using the ingredient list and prepare the meal using the step-by-step recipe cards, with assistance as needed.
The cards are easy to use, include pictures, and encourage confidence and independence in the kitchen. They also make an excellent addition to your Montessori continent box for Asia.
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Pork & Shrimp Shumai, Siu Mai, 燒賣
- Vegetable Peeler
- Box Grater
- Frying Pan
- Steamer Basket stainless steel, silicone, or bamboo
- meat thermometer
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 8 oz shiitake mushrooms stemmed and minced
- 1 carrot peeled and grated
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 12 oz ground pork
- 4 oz shrimp peeled, deveined, and chopped
- 2 green onions trimmed and minced
- 1 ½ teaspoon pink himalayan salt
- 1 teaspoon stevia
- ½ teaspoon white pepper
- 2 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 egg
- 1 pkg gyoza wrappers
- 1 ½ cups water
- dipping sauce
- Prep the mushrooms and green onions: Wash your hands with soap and water. If you haven't already, gently rub the produce under cold running water. Next, kids can gather their food prep tools and ingredients using the kid-friendly recipe and bring them to their workstations. If the child is new to working with mushrooms, you may want to model how to remove the stems and slice the mushrooms into small pieces. This is also a great opportunity for kids to weigh their produce if you have more mushrooms than the recipe calls for. Remind the child that you're available if they would like assistance.
- Prep the carrot and garlic: You may want to peel the carrot beforehand or introduce the peeler to the child if they show interest. If so, model peeling the carrot away from your body. For using the box grater, you may find that your children want to use all the sides when grating the carrot as it's an exciting kitchen tool. Encourage them to pay close attention to hand placement to prevent their skin from coming in contact with each side. Be available for assistance as needed. If you need to mince garlic, this is an excellent time to do that as well.
- Head to the stove and heat the avocado oil in the pan: Grab any items you need, including the learning tower, and go to the stove. Turn the stove on medium-high heat. If you use cast iron pans as we do, kids can explore the comic book cookbook while waiting a few minutes for the pan to heat up. When the pan is hot, they can add avocado oil. The avocado oil can be measured and over time kids will be able to estimate based on how much they're pouring into the pan.
- Add the mushrooms to the pan.
- Add the garlic to the pan. If using already minced garlic, the child can measure the appropriate amount using their measuring spoons.
- Give it a stir. Cook for 3-5 minutes. It will be fragrant and softening.
- Turn off the stove. Add the sesame oil and place the pan on a cool burner. The child can use their measuring spoons to measure the appropriate amount of sesame oil.
- While the pan is cooling, unwrap the ground pork and add to a clean bowl. After the pork is transferred to the bowl, the child can wash their hands again with soap and water. A prompt can serve as a reminder.
- Add the shrimp to the ground pork. Depending on how your shrimp is prepared, you may want to demonstrate the peeling and deveining process or invite them to participate. Encourage handwashing as needed. Be sure to wash any bowls or other tools that come in contact with raw meat, seafood, or eggs.
- Add the ingredients from the pan to the bowl. Add the minced green onions, salt, stevia, pepper, and soy sauce to the bowl of pork and shrimp. Use the measuring spoons as needed.
- Crack the egg over the bowl and discard the shell. If you compost at home or your eggs are coming from your hens, kids can wash the eggshells in water and add to the compost or save them for feeding back to the hens. Wash hands with soap and water before returning to the recipe.
- Mix the ingredients in the bowl. Kids will enjoy using their hands to combine the ingredients. It's helpful to have the dumpling wrappers ready to go when beginning this step so they can move right into making the dumplings.
- Place a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hands and transfer the filling mixture onto the dumpling wrapper using fingers.
- Dip 1 or 2 fingers in a small amount of water and wet the dough around the filling to moisten the wrapper.
- Fold the dumpling into a basket: Cup the dumpling in your hand and use your other hand to push the filling down into the wrapper. Continue to support the sides of the dumpling as you form a basket shape. You may want to demonstrate the procedure to kids before they continue independently. Wash hands with soap and water when finished.
- Prepare the Instant Pot for the dumplings. Pour the remaining water into the Instant Pot. Place the steaming rack inside the pot and have your steamer basket ready.
- Place pork and shrimp shumai in the Instant Pot: Place 1 layer of shumai in your steamer basket and place it on the Instant Pot steamer rack. Follow the instructions for your particular Instant Pot. Make sure the valve on the lid is set to seal. Wash hands with soap and water.
- Program the Instant Pot using the steam setting and cook for 10 minutes. The shumai are done when their internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. You may want to demonstrate for kids how to check the internal temp of the dumpings. When cooking is complete, move the valve to vent for a quick release of steam. Remove the lid and steaming rack using the handles. Open the steamer basket and transfer dumplings to a plate. Repeat the steaming process for each batch of dumplings or freeze the remaining uncooked dumplings.
- Enjoy with your favorite dipping sauce. To learn more about the dipping sauces or how to make your own dumpling wrappers, be sure to check out the cookbook.
- The same amount of sugar or other sweeteners can be substituted for stevia.
- The same amount of olive oil or any other favorite cooking oil can be substituted for avocado oil.
- While shiitake mushroom stems are not edible, save them and they'll add flavor to your next broth.
- If you are unable to locate gyoza wrappers, wonton or other dumpling wrappers can be substituted. Another alternative would be to make your own wrappers using a recipe from the cookbook.
- Depending on your diet preferences, you can omit either the pork or the shrimp and add more of the other protein for flavorful dumplings.
- Pork and Shrimp Shumai should be tightly covered and refrigerated within 2 hours after cooking.
- Cooked Shumai can be consumed for up to 3 days after refrigerating. If it smells rancid or feels slimy, toss it. Otherwise, resteam them in the Instant Pot for 3-5 minutes or until warm throughout.
- Full Recipe Info and Pictures at: https://happyhomeschooladventures.com/shrimp-shumai
Estimated nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is not guaranteed.