Definitions

Ha gaw

Har gow

Har gow (also spelled har gau, har gao, ha gao, ha gow, ha gau, har gaw, ha gaw, har kaw, ha gaau, har cow, or har gaau) is a dim sum staple in Cantonese cuisine. It is prepared by filling wrappers (made with gluten-free wheat flour and potato starch) with shrimp, bamboo shoots, and seasonings. The pouch-shaped dumpling is then steamed in a bamboo basket until translucent. When the dough for the wrapper is properly prepared and cooked, the dumpling has a slightly sticky, chewy texture. Ingredients vary regionally, but most versions contain sesame oil, salt, sugar, and sherry. Other versions may contain oyster sauce, water chestnuts, pork fat, scallions, or ginger.

The dumpling is sometimes called a shrimp bonnet for its pleated shape. Traditionally, har gow should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper. Many dim sum customers refer to har gow as the test of quality when judging a dim sum establishment, though much less in more modern times.

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