Steamed Mixed Shellfish Dumplings


By Helen You

Published on January 17, 2017

In China, this combination of shrimp, scallops, and crab is a special-occasion dumpling filling. The clean flavor and slippery texture of the shellfish are unobscured by any filler. Serve steamed dumplings directly from the bamboo steamers, since their delicate wrappers can break in transfer. This recipe is adapted from The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook.

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For the dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 34 cup boiling water

For the filling and cooking

  • 2 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 12 cup minced shiitake mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (1 tsp.)
  • 12 lb. medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and minced (1 cup)
  • 34 cup lump crabmeat, minced
  • 4 medium scallops, chopped into a paste (1/4 cup plus 2 Tbsp.)
  • 14 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
  • 2 tsp. freshly grated ginger
  • 2 tsp. sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 12 cup minced garlic chives (Chinese chives) or conventional chives
  • 8 large green cabbage leaves, for lining the steamers


Step 1

Make the dough: In a large bowl, add 1 cup and 3 tablespoons flour. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the boiling water until the dough forms an elastic ball. Fold in the rest of the flour by hand. (The dough will have some dry pockets of flour.)

Step 2

On a well-floured work surface using floured hands, knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, until springy and smooth, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a lightly floured bowl and cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest 30 minutes or up to 1 hour.

Step 3

Make the filling: In a small skillet over medium-high heat, heat the oil. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Remove and let cool.

Step 4

In a medium bowl using your hands, mix the mushrooms, shrimp, crabmeat, scallops, scallions, ginger, sherry, pepper, salt, and sugar into a sticky paste. Fold in the chives.

Step 5

On a floured surface, knead the dough briefly until satin smooth. Cut into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a log and cut with a cleaver or a sharp knife into 6 equal pieces about the size of an egg yolk. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the balls with flour and drape with a damp paper towel.

Step 6

Flatten each ball slightly with the palm of your hand. Using an Asian-style rolling pin, flatten the dough a bit more. Roll from the edge of each dough disk to its center, rotating the disk between rolls. Repeat until the wrapper is 3 inches in diameter and the edges are half as thick as the center. Transfer back to the well-floured surface and tent with a damp paper towel.

Step 7

Holding a wrapper in your palm, fill the center with a tablespoon of filling. Pinch the edges shut to form a half moon, stretching the dough slightly as needed and squeezing out any air bubbles. Tug the ends of the dumpling slightly to elongate, then curve into a slight crescent shape. Repeat with the remaining wrappers.

Step 8

Line the baskets of one or more large bamboo steamers with cabbage leaves. Leaving at least 1 inch between each dumpling, lay in as many dumplings as will fit. Stack the steamers and cover with a lid.

Step 9

In a large pot over high heat, bring 2 inches of water to a boil. Place the steamer over the pot (if using multiple steamers, use multiple pots), with the steamers resting at least 2 inches above water. Steam until the dumpling wrappers are translucent and shiny, 7–9 minutes.

Step 10

Turn off the heat and carefully remove the steamers from the pots. Uncover the steamers and serve the dumplings immediately, straight from the steamers.

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