Monday, December 29, 2014

Steamed Shrimp & Vegetable Dumplings

Merry (belated) Christmas everyone! Hope you all had a fabulous holiday break even if it was just a day or two. My sister-in-law, Kathy, was my secret santa this year & part of my present that she got me was a bamboo steamer! Like the food nerd that I am I couldn’t wait to try it & I did. I love it. I don’t know why I never felt the need to get one before but now I’m so glad I have one - Thanks Kathy! It makes me feel healthier just thinking about it (- hello 2015 resolutions)!

I usually buy the veggie gyoza at Trader Joe’s & sometimes the shrimp ones. I love them & probably will continue to buy them & stash them in my freezer but I wanted to try my hand at making my own. After perusing the inter webs for a dumpling recipe I collected my findings & an inventory of what I had on hand to come up with this light but tasty recipe. 

Do you have a bamboo steamer? If so, what do you make in yours?
Ingredients for Dumplings:

  • 3/4 lb shrimp, shelled & deveined
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 cup shiitake mushrooms, cleaned
  • 3 scallions (green onions), trim ends
  • 1 large head of baby bok choy
  • 1 piece ginger, about the size of your thumb, peeled
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg
  • 20-30 dumpling wrappers (find these in the freezer section of your super market!)
  • potato or cornstarch for dusting
  • water

Ingredients for dipping sauce:
  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used white balsamic - bonus points for rice vinegar)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 clove garlic, grated
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil

Make the dumplings!
  1. Using the grater attachment on a food processor, grate the carrots, mushrooms, scallions & bok choy.
  2. Remove mixture from the food processor & set aside in a mixing bowl.
  3. Add garlic, ginger & most of the shrimp (reserve about 1/3 of the shrimp to leave whole) to the food processor using the ’s’ blade. Pulse 2-3 times. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Add the veggie mix back into the food processor. Process the mixture until all combined.
  5. Place mixture back in the mixing bowl. Add egg & combine well.
  6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap & refrigerate for 1 hour. If you’re pressed for time shoot for 15-30 minutes in the freezer.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the shrimp that you set aside. cut the shrimp in half length wise. Then cut it in thirds. Set aside pieces in a small bowl.
  8. Dust a cutting board with potato starch.
  9. Lay out dumpling wrappers.
  10. When the mixture has chilled remove from fridge.
  11. Using your finger, rim the edge of each dumpling wrapper with water.
  12. Place the wrapper in your hand.
  13. Using a melon baller (or a teaspoon measure) spoon a small amount of mixture into the center of the wrapper.
  14. Pull the sides of the wrapper up so that the top remains open & the sides hug around the side. Fold all the small flaps in the same direction. (I tried two methods of making these dumplings - the aforementioned way & this way. They will taste the same it just depends on your personal aesthetic.)
  15. Place a chunk of the shrimp on top of the exposed portion of the filling.
  16. Set finished dumplings aside on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper.
  17. Continue to create dumplings until all the filling has been used. Reseal & freeze any additional dumpling wrappers.
  18. Line each tier of the bamboo steamer with parchment paper. Carefully place dumplings onto the paper. Don’t overcrowd. Make sure there is enough space around each dumpling so they don’t stick together as they steam.
  19. Fill a large skillet or wok that will fit the bamboo steamer with 1-2 inches of water. Be sure the water doesn’t touch the lattice part of the basket. The water should not touch the food.
  20. Place the bamboo steamer into the skillet.
  21. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Bring water to a boil & steam the dumplings until the shrimp on top turns opaque (about 6-8 minutes).
  22. Remove dumplings carefully with a small spatula & place on serving dish.
  23. Serve dumplings hot with dipping sauce (see directions below for dipping sauce).

Make the dipping sauce!
  1. Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Whisk together. Set aside until ready to serve.


  1. They look so yummy....I have some won ton wrappers in the fridge that are closing in on their 'sell by' date, and shrimp in the freezer. It's destiny--I am making these tonight...mmmmm...Thanks for the inspiration! K