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Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow/虾饺)

Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow/虾饺)
Shrimp Dumplings (Har Gow/虾饺) pictures (4 of 4)

Today, I wanted to introduce you to the sweet and adorable Shao of FriedWontons4U. Twitter has become a great platform to discover new food blogs and I found FriedWontons4U a few months ago. FriedWontons4U chronicles Shao’s cooking and travel adventures. Shao came from Guangzhou—the birthplace of exquisite Cantonese cuisine—so we decided on shrimp dumplings or har gow (虾饺), arguably the most popular dim sum ever! Please welcome Shao to Rasa Malaysia and do leave her your comments. Her shrimp dumplings/har gow look absolutely inviting and yummy!

If there was ever an official mascot for dim sum, “har gow” would definitely be a strong contender. What’s not to love about? Pump and juicy shrimp just barely visible through its clear dumpling skin, what a tease to the senses. A dim sum meal without it would not be complete for me. Growing up I was lucky enough to live within walking distance to many Chinese restaurants in Philadelphia, and most of my Sunday afternoons were spent eating dim sum. With all my years of eating har gow, I never tried making it until early this year. This recipe is a combination from what I have learned from watching how my mom and dad makes it, and how my uncle makes it.

There are usually two types of filling you would find in har gow.

Number one: A lump of shrimp meat usually with mince size pieces of bamboo.

Number two: Minced shrimp combined with either bamboo or water chestnut.

I prefer filling number two. When you bite into it, the elasticity of the minced shrimp mixture is a nice contrast against the transparent skin. Don’t worry about getting a bamboo steamer if you don’t have one. Simply line a regular steamer or a plate with either napa cabbage or thin slices of carrots.

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51 COMMENTS... read them below or add one

  1. NYMY

    Your har gow looks like the ones served at dim sum restaurants. Beautiful and I can see the pink-color shrimp inside the har gow. Yummy!

    Have never been to Guangzhou and would love to sample the dim sum there one day.

    • Thank you NYMY! Wish I could wrap it as fast as my mom. It took me forever to shape one in the beginning, but now I’m a little better at it. If you’re around Hong Kong it’s only about a 2hr train ride to Guangzhou.

  2. Kate and momgateway, glad you like the recipe! Please let me know if you have any questions on it.

    Lisa, I think the only main difference between chiu chow dumplings and har gow is the stuffing and maybe the shape of it. So if you can make chiu chow dumplings you can definitely make har gow!

  3. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

    Wow, you’ve laid -out beautifully and simply a ‘how to’ on a dish that I wouldn’t think would be possible for me to make at home. Your introduction on har gow is beautiful, it’s true this is the poster child for dim sum!

  4. YUM! my absolute favorite item to get at dim sum!!! i’ll have to try this recipe out- tried one before, but trying to get the dough right nearly put me over the edge!

    • That happen to me the first time I rolled out my dough. Don’t roll it too thin. Cook about 4 or 5 test dumplings before making the rest to test out the thickness of the dough.

  5. I would like to know what is wheat starch exactly
    THis seems to have eluded me. I live in Geneva how can I get ahold of wheat starch locally…can it be substituted with something else ?


    • Fusion, you can find wheat starch in most Asian grocery stores. It should be in the same aisle as the tapioca starch. I don’t think you could substitute wheat starch for anything else, although I might be wrong, but if you do it might turn out to be a different type of dough. The combination of the wheat starch plus the tapioca starch gives the har gow skin that transparent look.

  6. Adelina

    This is my all time favorite thing to eat! I think I can easily wobble down at least 5!

    I’m very tempted to try this recipe!

    Thanks for posting and for sharing!

  7. Lavender

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe! I have tried this using different ingredients and see which will suite the shrimp best!

  8. Dosef

    Hi! I tried this recipe today and it was the best Har Gow recipe i’ve tried yet! I’ve tried alot of Har Gow recipes, but this is the closest I’ve come to restaurant quality Har Gow. The pork fat adds a really nice creaminess to the texture of it. Thankyou for sharing, this is one recipe I’m sure to make again.

  9. Debbie

    i love to eat har goa also. I have been trying to make it but everytime i failed. This recipe help me a lot…thanks…

  10. Nicki

    I just made Har Gow with my chinese grandmother today. This recipe is pretty much the exact same recipe as our family recipe! (we use oil instead of lard) I love these dumplings!
    PS. LOVE your site ;)

  11. Amy

    I’m a big fan of this blog and have tried many recipes with great success. But!!! I can’t seem to get the har gow recipe right =[ the filling turns out delicious but the wrapper never works out. It stays extremely sticky and does not keep it’s shape ( bounce back to original form after rolling and flattening) the color of the dough is also yellow not white. And when I do try to steam it, the dough turns into a sticky goopy mess. Doesn’t even turn clear. What did I do wrong?? Help please

  12. Rebecca Lee

    Hi, wheat four is 澄粉. If we use Har Gow wrapper flour, just add in water ?? As I have not heard of this powder before, may be only sold on overseas as I stay in Penang. Thanks.
    Wow, you made the Har Gow so, so beautiful. I can’t, will try more often.

  13. Holly B.

    I’m dying to try Har Gow. I’ve never tasted it but don’t need to – I already know it’ll be delicious.

    My problem is that I can’t get wheat flour. I live in Mexico, and there’s a very wonderful grocery store here that caters to us foreign residents with a delightful variety of international foods, including many Chinese ones.

    But no wheat flour. I can get – and DO have already – rice flour, corn flour (cornstarch) and tapioca flour. If I used rice or tapioca flour in place of the wheat starch, might I get the same result?

    The cooking properties of all three of these are extremely similar. They should all result in a dough that cooks up semi-transparent, and taste isn’t likely to matter much since any starch is almost tasteless. But that isn’t all that’s needed. Will the dumplings hold together if I use these other starches? Will they cook into a goo? Or lack enough body to hold their shape before steaming?

    Has anyone tried making Har Gow with tapioca starch or rice starch instead of wheat starch? What were the results?

  14. Christine

    My mum’s parents are Guangzhou ex-pats so I decided I have been neglecting my heritage for too long!

    I made these today and they were fantastic!

    I have always been a little bit scared of making them because of the hype around them but they were so easy!

  15. Moggie

    Thank-you for the recipe. They only had high protein wheat starch at my Asian grocer. I used that with the tapioca starch and the dough was not translucent. It was sticky and soft. What is high protein wheat starch used for?

  16. Neny Lily Lao

    I have tried the recipe, but unluckily, I am not satisfied with the result. It is not as shiny as what I see on the picture. Could it be something wrong with the dough? Thus, the wrapper easily broken after cooking. I really want to perfect them. Can you give me an advice?

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