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Chinese Har Gow Dumpling

Steamed Har Gow dumplings on a Chinese plate and a dipping sauce bowl with chili oil.

This recipe is a classic dim sum dumpling, Har Gow or Crystal Shrimp dumplings. They are steamed, and feature a iconic translucent dumpling wrapper and are filled with shrimp. This recipe yields filling for 24-28 dumplings.

Active Time: 60-90 minutes

Total Time: 60-90 minutes

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  • 200g raw shrimp, shelled and deveined | ~½ lb

  • 40g pork fat | ¼ cup

  • 30g fresh bamboo shoot | 3 tablespoons

  • 9g sugar | 2 teaspoons

  • 7g MSG | 1½ teaspoon

  • 4g salt | ⅔ teaspoon

  • 4g corn starch | 1¼ teaspoons

  • 3g white pepper | 1 teaspoon

  • 30g lard | 2 tablespoons

  • 4g sesame oil | ½ teaspoon

    Wrapper Dough
  • 100g wheat starch | ½ cup + 2 tablespoons

  • 67g tapioca starch, divided | ⅔ cup

  • 10g sugar | 2½ teaspoons

  • 233g water, boiling | ~1 cup

  • 10g vegetable oil | 2 teaspoons


  • You can use canned bamboo, but it is more fibrous. You might substitute with finely diced water chestnut if you don’t have fresh bamboo shoot.
  • Bamboo shoot and pork fat are most easily measured by weight, but if using tablespoons, the measurement provided is after you’ve finely minced them.
  • The initial salt and rinse are intended to reduce the glycol proteins that are on the shrimp. This helps the shrimp retain a “crunchier” bite.
  • If you don’t have fresh bamboo, you can substitute with water chestnuts. The bamboo adds nice crisp texture, and a mild flavor. Canned bamboo tends to be too fibrous.


  • You can mix this dough in a stand mixer using the flat beater attachment.
  • If you are adding color to your dough, you can add the food dye at the end. Simply knead until the color is fully incorporated.
  • Depending on your preferences and skills, wrappers may be as little as 9-10g each or as high as 15 grams. Smaller and thinner is considered “better”. The goal is a dumpling small enough that you can eat it in one bite.


Make the Filling
  1. Add shrimp and 1 teaspoon of salt to a small bowl . Stir to combine and set aside for 5 minutes.
  2. Blanch the pork fat and bamboo in boiling water for 1 minute.
  3. Rinse shrimp under cold running water. Set the bowl in your sink, and allow a slow stream of cold water to flow into the bowl for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Once cooled, finely dice the pork fat and bamboo, set aside.
  5. Drain the shrimp, and spread the shrimp out onto paper towels, and pat dry.
  6. Roughly chop the shrimp into pieces that are about the size of a pea.
  7. Add chopped shrimp, sugar, MSG, salt, corn starch, and white pepper to a medium bowl. Stir with a pair of chopsticks in one direction for 2-3 minutes until the mixture becomes paste-like.
  8. Add pork fat, sesame oil, lard, and bamboo. Stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate while you prepare your dough.
Make the Wrapper Dough
  1. In a heat proof bowl, add wheat starch, 33g tapioca starch, and sugar. Stir to combine.
  2. Add boiling water and stir with a pair of chopsticks until no dry starch remains.
  3. Add remaining 34g tapioca starch and stir to combine. When the dough is cool enough to handle, you can hand knead the dough until smooth. 
  4. Add oil and knead until incorporated.
  5. The dough is ready for use. Keep covered to prevent it from drying out.
Prepare Your Dumpling Wrappers
  1. Roll the dough into a log, then cut the dough into 24 equal sized pieces. Each piece should have two flat sides (the cut sides), and will be generally round. The cutting will squish them a little. Gently reform them into circles so that they are shaped like a scallop. Cover them to prevent drying.
  2. Lightly oil your work surface and a paper towel. Use the paper towel to lightly oil a Chinese cleaver or smooth plastic dough scraper.
  3. Place a piece of dough, cut side down. Using the flat side of your cleaver or dough scraper, flatten the dough by pressing down while also rotating the cleaver/scraper. You can repeat this action, rotating in the opposite direction to thin the wrapper and to help shape it into roughly a circle. Ideally, press and rotate such that one side of the wrapper has thinner edges than the other.
  4. Use the blade/scraper to gently lift the wrapper from the work surface. Slide the blade/scraper’s edge between the end of the wrapper and for surface, and lift until you are able to peel the wrapper from the work surface.
  5. Fill your dumplings as you create wrappers rather than making all of wrappers. You can’t stack wrappers as they will stick to each other. Re-oil the work surface and cleaver/scraper as needed to prevent sticking.
Fill Your Dumplings
  1. Har Gow dumplings are traditionally pleated similarly to a potsticker. If your wrappers have a. thinner side, face that side away from you. Pleats will be folded using the thinner side of your wrapper.
  2. Add pleats to one side, and fold the opposite side against those pleats to form the classic scallop shell shape. If you can, seven to ten pleats is consider a restaurant standard.
  3. If there is any excess dough at the top of the dumpling, you can cut it off to clean up the appearance of the dumpling. Place the dumpling on a steamer basket lined with parchment paper. Make sure there is some space between the dumplings. Lightly oil the paper because once steamed, the wrapper becomes sticky. If you are using a metal steam basket, you can simply oil the basket and skip the parchment paper.
Steam Your Dumplings
  1. Bring water in a steamer base to a full boil, then reduce the heat to medium. Place your steamer basket over the water and cover on the steamer and allow to cook for 6 minutes (frozen dumplings will need 8 minutes).

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