Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Har Gau)

Recipes | Parcels | Steaming | Yum Cha Makes 18 pieces Steamed Prawn Dumplings (Har Gau)

Har gau, steamed prawn dumplings, are a popular staple of yum cha (or dim sum) menus. The traditional wrappers are made from wheat starch, which becomes translucent when steamed, but these can be hard for the home cook to buy. Shanghai won ton skins are widely available and an acceptable substitute, especially if rolled out so that they are a little thinner than usual.


1kg green Prawns, peeled and deveined 
2 tablespoons Shaoxing (see notes)
9 slices bamboo shoots, diced
10 garlic chives, chopped
18 square Shanghai won ton skins
1 teaspoon sambal oelek (see notes)
¼ cup soy sauce 


Place prawns and Shaoxing in a food processor and pulse to form a coarse mince. Stir through bamboo shoots and garlic chives and set aside.

Roll won ton skins out as thinly as possible (this is easier to do if they are at room temperature, but keep them wrapped so that they don’t dry out).

Place 2 teaspoons of prawn mixture on half of each skin. Moisten the edges of the wrapper lightly with water then fold the wrapper over the mixture to form a triangle, pressing to seal the edges and extract as much air as possible. Flatten the long side of the triangle so that the dumplings sit up, and wrap the right and left hand side points in towards each other. Cover with a damp cloth while making remaining dumplings.

Half fill a wok or large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Place a plate in a steamer basket, or line with baking paper. Arrange the dumplings in the steamer. Place steamer over wok or saucepan, cover and steam for about 8 minutes, until skin is tender.

Stir sambal oelek into soy sauce and serve beside dumplings.


Shaoxing is Chinese rice wine, available from Asian grocery stores.

Sambal oelek is an Asian paste of salt and chillies, a quick way to get a chilli kick into any dish; substitute 1 small red chilli finely chopped if you prefer.

Alternative species:

Bugs, Marron, Redclaw, Rock Lobsters, Yabby.

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