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A plate of har gow drizzled with chili oil sauce

Har Gow (Dim Sum Crystal Prawn Dumplings)

A true yum cha (dim sum) favourite! Learn how to make delicious, juicy har gow (crystal prawn dumplings) at home with clear instructions!
Watch the video above for how to fold and pleat har gow!
5 from 4 votes
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Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: Chinese
Keyword: prawn dumplings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
Total Time: 37 minutes
Servings: 20 dumplings
Calories: 47kcal
Author: Genevieve

Equipment

  • Mini food processer or blender
  • Steamer or bamboo steamer basket
  • Rolling pin

Ingredients

Har gow filling (prawn dumpling filling)

  • 300 g / 11 ounces prawns (shrimp) peeled, deveined
  • ¼ cup bamboo shoots (canned) ~ 40g (note 1)
  • 1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
  • ½ teaspoon corn starch
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • tablespoon neutral-tasting oil

Har gow sheets (crystal dumpling sheets)

  • 80 g / 2.8 ounces wheat starch (note 2)
  • 40 g / 1.4 ounces tapioca starch (note 2)
  • 125 g / 4.4 ounces hot, boiling water (note 3)
  • pinch salt
  • ½ teaspoon neutral-tasting oil

Chilli oil dipping sauce (optional)

Instructions

To make the har gow filling

  • Blend the bamboo shoots in a small food processer for a few seconds until minced.
  • Take a few prawns and cut them up into large chunks. Depending on the size of the prawns, cut them into half or in thirds. Cut enough prawns for 20 pieces. Set aside.
  • Add remaining whole prawns into the food processor with the bamboo shoots and blend for 3 seconds.
  • Add remaining har gow filling ingredients and blend for a further 5 seconds. A thick paste should form.
  • Transfer to a bowl, mix in reserved prawn chunks, cover and place in the fridge until ready to assemble. (note 4)

To make the har gow sheets

  • Combine wheat starch, tapioca starch and salt in a medium-sized heatproof bowl. Mix with a pair of chopsticks (or fork) until combined. About 5 seconds.
  • Add in oil and boiling (important) water. The best way to do this is to place the bowl on a food scale, carefully pour boiling water straight from the kettle. (note 3)
  • Quickly, mix in a circular motion with chopsticks/fork until a lumpy dough is formed. Transfer dough onto a clean work surface and knead until dough is smooth. Do not flour the surface. About 3 minutes.
  • Roll the dough out into a long cigar, about 30cm/ 12" long. Evenly cut and divide into 20 small pieces.
  • Cover the dough pieces with the bowl used to make the dough from the steps above to prevent the dough from drying out. Otherwise, cover with a damp tea towel.

To assemble

  • To form a dumpling sheet, take a dough piece, roll it into a small ball with the palm of your hands. Lightly grease the rolling pin with oil using a paper towel or tea towel. Flatten the dough ball with the palm of your hand on the work surface. Then, roll the dough out into a thin circular sheet, as thin as you can get it to be without breaking. About 8-10cm / 3-4" in diameter. Do not flour the working surface. If the dough starts to stick onto the rolling pin, grease it again with oil.
  • Take the prawn filling mixture out of the fridge and place the bowl onto an ice pack to keep it cold and fresh whilst folding the dumplings.
  • Fold and pleat each dumpling with a small spoonful of prawn filling (~1 teaspoon each). Repeat to make 20 dumplings. Fold the dumpling as soon as the dumpling skin is rolled out, one at a time. Make sure to grease the rolling pin after each dumpling. Watch the video above for how to wrap a har gow.

To steam / cook

  • Line the bamboo steaming baskets with prepared baking paper. (note 5) Depending on the size of your baskets, you may need to use 2 or 3 layers.
  • Place dumplings into the steaming baskets without overlapping, with wiggle room in between each dumpling. The dumplings will expand during the cooking process.
  • Boil water in a pot and once boiling, place baskets over the pot with the lid on. Steam for on high heat for 7 minutes.

To make the chilli oil dipping sauce (optional)

  • Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix well.

Video

Notes

1. Bamboo shoots can be found in small cans at Asian supermarkets or in the Asian isles of major supermarkets. 
2. Wheat starch and tapioca starch can be found at Asian supermarkets. No substitutes are recommended. These two starches yields the best result for making translucent dumpling skins. 
3. Boiling hot water is key. For the best result, pour boiling water into the starch mixture. To measure the weight, place the mixing bowl on top of the food scale and then pour in the amount required. 
4. Refrigerate the prawn filling mixture until ready to fold. This will keep the prawns fresh especially on a hot day.
5. Line steaming basket with baking paper will prevent the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the steamer (which it will!)
Alternative steaming method without a steamer. Use a bowl! Place a deep, medium-sized bowl upside down in a large pot or wok, fill with hot water, leaving around 8cm/3" of the bowl uncovered. Bring the water up to boil. Place dumplings onto a plate lined with baking paper and sit the plate onto the bowl. Make sure to use a plate that would fit inside the pot/wok used. Cover and steam on high heat for 7 minutes. 
Reheat steam for about 5 minutes on high heat. 
Freeze If using fresh raw prawns, can freeze for up to 2 months in airtight containers. To freeze, place the dumplings onto a baking tray, without overlapping and freeze for about 1 hour in the freezer. Then, transfer and stack in airtight containers and freeze. However, if using frozen prawns then it is best not to refreeze uncooked prawns and therefore (for food safety reasons), these prawn dumplings. 
If you don't have a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, you can adopt the OG traditional technique by crushing the prawns with a Chinese cleaver blade. More work is involved using this method as only a few can be crushed at a time into a paste. You've got to crush the prawns a few times to get that nice paste consistency. Simply dicing the prawns into a mince-like paste will just not cut it. I've tried, the filling end up being a little grainy and separated.
Nutritional value below are estimates and based on 1 har gow (chilli oil dipping sauce not included).
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Nutrition

Calories: 47kcal | Carbohydrates: 5.6g | Protein: 2.7g | Fat: 1.5g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 22mg | Potassium: 34mg | Fiber: 0.1g | Sugar: 0.1g