Makes about 15 large dumplings.


  • 1-2 tbsp (15-30 mL) vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) freshly grated ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 7 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked to rehydrate, then finely chopped
  • 8 water chestnuts, finely chopped
  • 2 ½ cups (625 mL) cooked U.S. short grain brown rice
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Shaoxing cooking wine
  • 2-3 tbsp (30-45 mL) light soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) dark soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) vegetarian oyster sauce
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground white pepper
  • 2 stalks scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 package dumpling wrappers


  1. In a wok over medium high heat, heat oil until it glistens. Add ginger and garlic, and fry until fragrant. Add mushrooms and water chestnuts (and meat, if using). Stir fry until mixture is heated through (or cooked through, if using ground meat, about 3 mins).
  2. Mix in cooked rice and cook for 2 mins. Stir in cooking wine, light and dark soy sauce, oyster sauce and white pepper. Fold in scallions and cilantro and mix well. Adjust seasoning and remove from heat to cool.
  3. While filling is cooling, prepare steamer basket or plate by lining it with a sheet of parchment paper to keep the shao mai from sticking to the bottom. Heat a pan or wok with just enough water so that the bottom of the plate or steamer won’t be touching the water directly when steaming.
  4. To wrap the shao mai, lay a sheet of wonton wrapper in your hand and put a big spoonful of filling in the middle. Gather the sides of the wrapper and pleat the wrapper as you wrap your fingers around the bottom firmly to create a well. Using the back of a spoon, continue to fill and press in more filling, exposing the top. Squeeze around the dumpling near the top to give it a “waist.”
  5. Arrange filled dumplings in the steamer basket or on the plate with some room between them.
  6. Adjust the heat to high and steam the dumplings over boiling water for 10 minutes.


Recipe courtesy of Diana Ng, Eat North