Everyone loves a good dumpling. They’re fillable with almost anything, doughy (in the best way) and oh-so-poppable, which make them great party appetizers. In this recipe, chef Ming Tsai shares his secrets for shumai, an open-faced traditional Chinese dumpling. Take his recommendation of using truffle oil if you want truly fragrant and flavorful wontons, and don’t overlook the smashing in step three — flattening the dumplings makes them even easier to eat in one bite.
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled and diced
- 1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
- 16 thin square wonton wrappers
- 1 bunch scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons of the greens reserved for garnish
- 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- In a food processor, combine the shrimp and eggs and process until almost smooth. Add the butter and truffle oil, if using, season with salt and white pepper, and pulse until the butter is incorporated but still visible in small pieces. Test a small amount for seasoning by microwaving it at high power for 10 to 15 seconds, or by sautéing it in a little oil in a small pan. Adjust the seasoning if necessary. Use or place in a container, cover, and store refrigerated for up to 2 days.
- To form the shumai, have a bowl of water handy. Hold 1 wonton wrapper in the palm of your non-dominant hand. Cup the hand and place 1 heaping tablespoon of the mousse in the center of the wrapper. Bring the wrapper up around the filling, pressing it to adhere to the filling and pleating as you go. Continue around the filling. There will be 6 to 8 pleats and the filling will be exposed. Tap the dumpling against the work surface to flatten the bottom. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- Put the scallions on a platter. Add the sesame seeds and combine. With a wet palm, press down on the shumai, flattening them to a thickness of about ½ inch. Press the “open” top side of the shumai into the scallion mixture.
- Line a large plate with paper towels. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. When the oil is hot, carefully add half the shumai to the pan coated side down and cook until golden, turning once, 1½ to 2 minutes per side. The tip of a paring knife, when inserted in the shumai, should emerge hot. Transfer the shumai to the paper towels to drain. Cook the remaining shumai with the remaining 2 tablespoons oil. Transfer to a platter, sprinkle with the reserved scallion greens, and serve.