(also spelled shui mai
, shu mai
, sui mai
, sui maai
, shui mei
, siu mai
, shao mai
, siew mai
) is a traditional Chinese dumpling
There are two regional varieties of shaomai
: a Cantonese
version and a version from the Jiangnan
As prepared in Cantonese cuisine, shaomai
is also referred to as "pork and mushroom dumpling." Its standard filling is a combination of ingredients, consisting primarily of seasoned ground pork, whole and chopped shrimp, and Chinese black mushroom
in small bits. The outer covering is made of a thin sheet of lye
water dough. The center is usually garnished with an orange dot, made of roe
or diced carrot
, although a green dot (made with a pea
) may also be used. The decorative presentations vary from restaurant to restaurant.
prepared in the Jiangnan region (south of the Yangtze
River, stretching from Shanghai
) are quite different. The wrapper is larger and tougher than the Cantonese version. The filling is similar to Zongzi
(Chinese-style tamales) with soy sauce/rice wine/sugar marinated pork pieces in glutenous rice and steamed with some lard. It is larger in size than the Cantonese version. However, most people in Western countries associate shaomai only with the Cantonese version due to the Cantonese diaspora. Recently, the Jiangnan version is starting to appear in areas with high-density new immigrants from mainland China, such the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley.
prepared with shrimp, beef and hard boiled egg filling. Similar to the Japanese gyoza it is initially prepard by frying in a small amount of oil, eventually finishing the cooking process by steaming. Flavoring for this dumpling include ginger, five spice, and star anise.
Within the dim sum
tradition of southern China, shaomai
is one of the most standard dishes. It is generally served alongside har gau
, another variety of steamed dumpling.
In food stalls in Indonesia, shaomai (or "siomay" in local dialect) are eaten together with steamed vegetables and tofu, and served with spicy peanut sauce.