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Cedges Learns – Dim Sum Class – 3 Steamed Dumplings

A couple of months ago, I attended a Dim Sum Course at London Cookery School – It was a 3 and a half hour session for the bargain price of £35 up in Highbury.  We learnt how to make Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor, both thin translucent skinned dumplings with fillings of prawn and pork including the dough and Sui Mai which has a pork and prawn filling but which used a shop bought skin. All of the dumplings were steamed and eaten at the end of the class – there were a lot of dumplings! I would have been wise to save some for later!

The set up wasn’t really what I expected which was essentially proper cooking work stations – instead we had a long table with chairs for 20 and each person’s seat laid out with a few Ikea plastic bowls, a place mat and a few ingredient items in the middle of the table. One wall of the otherwise empty shop front had tables with a row of electric steamers and a little sink area at the back. I felt a little underwhelmed but actually the set up worked well – it would have been nice to not have some of the ingredients quite so pre-prepared but for 3 hours, £35 and the overall outcome, I can’t remotely complain.

We started by making the three fillings, went on to make the translucent dough and then put together the dumplings themselves.  I have provided the ingredients and methods below but I’ve obviously missed out a whole list of tips and tricks we learnt on the day along with tips on the dumpling folding etc so I’d still recommend attending the course.

Most of the ingredients, including the more unusual sounding will be available from any decent chinese supermarket or are likely available online. The dough and fillings are actually super simple to make so don’t be put off by the ingredient lists.

Makes at least 30 dumplings


Ha Gau Filling:

80g Raw King Prawn (de-veined and shelled)
1 tsp Water Chestnut, finely chopped
1/4 tsp Ginger, finely chopped
1/3 tsp Salt
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Tiny Pinch White Pepper

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salted radish (finely chopped)
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Light Soy
1 tsp Sesame Oil
A Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Cornflour
2 tbsp Cold Water

Sui Mai Filling:

60g 20% Fat Minced Pork
10g Minced Prawn
1 tsp Chinese Mushroom (finely chopped)
1/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1/3 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Cornflour
A Small Pinch White Pepper
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough:
60g Wheat Starch
40g Tapioca Flour
40g Cornflour
1 tsp Sugar
A Large Pinch Salt
120g Boiling Water
1 tsp Vegetable Oil

10 Siu Mai Wrappers


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Ha Gau Filling Method:

Finely mince 80g Raw King Prawns (de-veined and shelled), 1 tsp Water Chestnut and 1/4 tsp Ginger. Combine in a small bowl with 1/3 tsp Salt, 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour and a Tiny Pinch White Pepper.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Filling Method:

Combine 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork and 1/4 tsp Baking Powder in a small bowl.  Finely chop 1/2 tsp Salted Radish and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and add to the bowl with 1 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Light Soy, 1 tsp Sesame Oil, a Pinch White Pepper, 1 tsp Cornflour and 2 tbsp Cold Water.  Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Sui Mai Filling Method:

Finely mince 10g Prawn and 1 tsp Chinese Mushroom and combine with 60g 20% Fat Minced Pork, 1/4 tsp Baking Powder, 1/4 tsp Salt, 1/3 tsp Sugar, 1 tsp Cornflour, a Small Pinch White Pepper and 1 tsp Vegetable Oil. Mix thoroughly and set aside in the fridge.

Ha Gau and Chiu Chow Fun Gwor Dough Method:

Combine 60g Wheat Starch, 40g Tapioca Flour, 40g Cornflour, 1 tsp Sugar and a Large Pinch Salt in a medium bowl.

Add 120g Boiling Water, mix quickly for only 20 seconds then cover the bowl and leave for 2 minutes – this ‘cooks’ the flour.

Add 2 tsp Vegetable Oil to the dough and knead until very smooth – this doesn’t take long at all.  And it goes VERY smooth.

Divide the dough into two halves, roll each half into a thick sausage and then divide each sausage into 10 equal pieces to end up with 20 pieces in total. Keep the dough balls in a plastic bag with the top kept tightly wound to stop them from drying out.

Making the Ha Gau:

Roll out one of the dough balls to about 1/2 mm thick, then cut out a round with a 3 inch cookie cutter with smooth edge.  Squeeze the cuttings together and place back in the plastic bag.

Add about half a teaspoon of Ha Gau filling to the dough round and loosely fold the dough over the filling. Hold the dough in your left hand and use your right hand to create pleats whilst at the same time pinching the edges together. I can’t possibly describe this any better sorry!

Tip – Even the most gnarly folded ones dumplings looked pretty great after they steamed – and if they taste good who cares – if you want to make them more even, prettier and with longer pleats – I think the trick is just to keep practising it. 

Place the folded dumpling into a steamer basket and continue to repeat with the other 9 balls of dough.

There should be some filling left so squeeze together all of the off cuts and roll them out to form as many extra dumplings as you can get with the remaining dough and filling. I think I ended up with about 14.

Making the Chui Chow Fun Gwor:

Prepare each of the remaining 10 dough balls in exactly the same way as with the Ha Gau.

Add a similar amount of filling to each round and fold in half. Squeeze the edges of the dough together to make a half moon shape – these are much easier than the Ha Gau!

Place each dumpling in steamer baskets and again use up any leftover dough with the leftover filling until all used up.

Making the Sui Mai:

This is the easiest of them all. Take the 10 Siu Mai Wrappers and lay them out of a flat surface. Split the filling mixture between the 10 skins.

Wet the edge of the skins with a little cold water using your finger.

Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger on your left hand. Balance the dumpling skin and filling over the hole in your hand then ease the whole thing downwards through the hole. This will wrap the dough around the filling leaving the top exposed. Firmly press the wrapper together until it keeps its shape.

Repeat with the other 9 dumplings and place them all in the steamer basket.

Steam all of the dumplings for 8 minutes over high heat.

Tip – You can freeze the dumplings on an oiled try before cooking – once frozen, throw them in a ziplock freezer bag.  They will take about 12 minutes to steam from frozen. I’d really recommend doubling or tripling the recipes and doing this for easy weeknight dinners. 

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