Shrimp Dumplings or Har Gao (虾饺)



Pardon me for my ugly shaping.. There is nothing wrong with the recipe and in fact I like the recipe very much.. It is my skill of shaping… As a blogger, I learn together with readers and I do not come of a family that prepare all types of restaurant  dishes. All the various types of shaping skills was only acquired when I entered the kitchen about 15 years ago and nobody taught me except watching some TV shows or Youtube videos.. 


In this illustration, I also make a mistake of greediness.  I have chosen big prawns that cost SGD30 per kilo.. That is not a good choice as bigger prawns may not be as juicy as the smaller prawns.. In fact, at time, the meat can be rather hard if it is over cooked. I would advise using medium size prawns to facilitate wrapping and for better meat texture… As least for this recipe, I do not believe “expensive and big is good” . May be I am wrong ..Haha.


This shrimp dumpling or Har Gao do not need much introduction.. I believed those who have been to Dim sum restaurant will know this dish.. In fact together with Siu Mai, these two are the iconic dishes of any dim sum restaurant and a must order item when dining in dim sum restaurant .. If you are interested in some homemade siu mai, you can refer to this post: Basic Siu Mai Recipe– Siu Mai Dumpling (烧卖)


As per Wikipedia:

“Ha gow (anglicized as Har gow) or Xiā jiǎo is a traditional Chinese dumpling served in dim sum。 The dumpling is sometimes called a shrimp bonnet for its pleated shape. This dish is often served together with sieu mai; when served in such a manner the two items are collectively referred to as hagowsieu mai (蝦餃燒賣).These shrimp dumplings are transparent and smooth. The prawn dumplings first appeared in Guangzhou outskirts near the creek bazaar Deli. This dish is said to be the one that the skill of a dim sum chef is judged on. Traditionally, ha gow should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper. The skin must be thin and translucent, yet be sturdy enough not to break when picked up with chopsticks. It must not stick to the paper, container or the other ha gow in the basket. The shrimp must be cooked well, but not overcooked. The amount of meat should be generous, yet not so much that it cannot be eaten in one bite.”


Being an iconic, it is logical that there are stringent standards to govern the preparation and reading above Wiki definitiion, hmmmm, I think I will not pass the test of Har Gow.. Well, i am not a professional chef and I believed experienced home chef are able to make 8 pleats that suit the requirements … Lol



Servings: About 20-25 shrimp dumplings depending on size


  • 400 grams of small or medium size prawns
  • 100 grams of minced pork
  • 100 grams of pork lard
  • 4 water chestnuts
  • 2 sprigs of spring onion
  • 30 grams of egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of light soya sauce
  • Pinches of salt
  • Dashes of white pepper
  • Sugar to taste


  • 150 grams of wheat starch
  • 50 grams of potatoes starch
  • 130 grams or ml of hot boiling water



PicMonkey Collage1

  • Set aside 100 grams of the prawns. For the remaining 300 grams of prawns, depending on the size, cut into big chunks (1 medium size prawns cut into 2 pieces). Pour about half of the egg white to the prawns, add pinches of salt and sugar, marinate for at least 15 minutes,
  • Chop the remaining 100 grams of prawns,  the spring onion, garlic, pork lard and minced meat until fine. Transfer to a bowl, add light soya sauce, pinches of salt, dashes of white pepper and sugar. Stir in one direction until well combined. Marinate for at least 15 minutes.

PicMonkey Collage2

  • In a bowl, put the wheat starch and potatoes starch. Stir and make a well. Pour the hot boiling water, use a pair of chopstick to stir until lumps are form. Once the temperature drops slightly, use your hand to knead until it form a pliable dough. If it is too wet, add wheat starch tablespoon by tablespoon. Divide the dough into 25-30 pieces.

PicMonkey Collage3

  • Take a dough, shape round and use the rolling pin to roll it flat until a circle of about 1 cm. Put a piece of prawn meat and about a teaspoon of filling on the centre of the skin. Wet the edges of the skin with either egg white or plain water. Crimp the centre .

PicMonkey Collage4

  • After crimping the centre,  crimp one of the sides and lastly the space in between the centre and that side. Perform the same for the other sides. Transfer the dumpling to the steamer. Steam at high heat for 15 minutes. Best serve hot directly from the steamer.



To make a tasty and smooth tasting dumpling, I will generally advise that pork lard be used.. Traditional recipe did not call for minced meat but pork lard only.. As a generally rule, for shrimp dumpling, beside the shrimp, the filling portion follow the rule of 70% minced prawns and 30% minced pork lard.. To achieve your health objective, feel free to alter the proportion of the pork lard but taste and texture will definitely be compromised.


Hope you like the post today.. Cheers and have a nice day..



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