How to make Har Gow (Chinese Shrimp Dumplings)

Har Gow, also known as Chinese shrimp dumplings, are a popular dim sum dish that originated in Guangzhou, China. These dumplings are prized for their delicate and translucent wrappers, which encase a filling of juicy shrimp and other savory ingredients. Making Har Gow from scratch can be a challenging task, but with the right technique and ingredients, you can create these delicious dumplings at home.

To begin, you will need a few key ingredients to make the dough for the dumpling wrappers. These include wheat starch, tapioca flour, hot water, and a pinch of salt. Combine these ingredients in a mixing bowl and knead until you have a smooth and elastic dough. Then, roll out the dough into a thin sheet and use a round cookie cutter or a drinking glass to cut out circles.

Next, it’s time to prepare the filling for the Har Gow. The main ingredient is fresh shrimp, which should be peeled, deveined, and roughly chopped. Combine the shrimp with minced ginger, garlic, soy sauce, sesame oil, cornstarch, and a dash of white pepper. Mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated. Place a spoonful of the filling in the center of each dough circle, then fold the edges over the filling and pleat the edges to seal the dumpling.

What are Har Gow and why you should make them?

What are Har Gow and why you should make them?

There are several reasons why you should consider making Har Gow at home. First and foremost, they are absolutely delicious. The combination of the tender shrimp filling with the slightly chewy wrapper is incredibly satisfying. Additionally, making Har Gow yourself gives you control over the quality of the ingredients. You can choose the freshest shrimp, adjust the seasoning to your taste, and ensure that there are no added preservatives or artificial flavors.

To make your own Har Gow, you will need a few key ingredients. The most important component is the dough wrapper, which is traditionally made from a combination of wheat starch and tapioca starch. This gives the wrapper its unique translucent appearance. You will also need fresh shrimp, bamboo shoots, sesame oil, soy sauce, and white pepper for the filling. The process of making the dumplings involves shaping the dough wrappers, adding the filling, and then pleating the edges to seal them. Once assembled, the dumplings are steamed until cooked through.

Ingredients for Har Gow:
– Wheat starch
– Tapioca starch
– Fresh shrimp
– Bamboo shoots
– Sesame oil
– Soy sauce
– White pepper

Ingredients you will need to make Har Gow

Ingredients you will need to make Har Gow

  • Shrimp: The star ingredient in Har Gow is fresh, juicy shrimp. Look for small to medium-sized shrimp, as larger shrimp can be tough and less flavorful.
  • Wheat starch: This ingredient gives the dumpling wrappers their chewy texture. You can typically find wheat starch at Asian grocery stores.
  • Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch helps to bind the dough and gives it a slightly translucent appearance. It is a common ingredient in many Asian dishes.
  • Cornstarch: Cornstarch is used as a thickening agent in the filling, helping to bind the shrimp together and give it a smooth texture.
  • Ginger: Fresh ginger adds a subtle, aromatic flavor to the shrimp filling. It is typically minced or grated before being added to the mixture.
  • Sesame oil: A few drops of sesame oil add a nutty, savory flavor to the shrimp filling. It is important to use a high-quality sesame oil for the best flavor.
  • Soy sauce: Soy sauce is a staple in Chinese cuisine and adds saltiness and umami to the filling. Use a light or low-sodium soy sauce to avoid overpowering the delicate shrimp flavor.
  • Water: Water is used to make the dough for the dumpling wrappers. It is important to use cold water to achieve the right consistency.

These are the main ingredients needed to make Har Gow. Feel free to add other seasonings or ingredients to customize the flavor to your liking. Once you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, you can follow a recipe to make the dumplings from scratch.


In Chinese cuisine, shrimp is often used in traditional dishes like Har Gow, which are Chinese shrimp dumplings. Har Gow is a type of dim sum that consists of a translucent wrapper made from wheat starch and filled with a mixture of shrimp, bamboo shoots, and seasonings. These dumplings are steamed and served hot, often accompanied by soy sauce or chili sauce.

Here are some interesting facts about shrimp:

  • Shrimp is a good source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
  • There are thousands of shrimp species, but the most commonly consumed ones are the white shrimp and the brown shrimp.
  • Shrimp are typically sold and cooked with their shells on, but they can also be deveined and peeled for convenience.
  • Shrimp can be cooked in various ways, including boiling, grilling, and sautéing. They cook very quickly and should be monitored closely to prevent overcooking.
Shrimp Nutrition Facts
Calories 84
Protein 18 grams
Fat 1 gram
Carbohydrates 0 grams
Vitamin C 2% of the Daily Value
Vitamin B12 7% of the Daily Value
Iron 4% of the Daily Value



To make the wrapper, the wheat starch and tapioca starch are combined with boiling water and mixed until a smooth dough is formed. This dough is then divided into small portions and rolled out into thin circles. The circles should be thin enough to allow the filling to show through, but thick enough to prevent the wrapper from tearing during steaming.

  • Wheat starch: Wheat starch is a fine, powdery ingredient that is often used in Chinese cooking. It is made from the endosperm of wheat grains and has a slightly sweet flavor. Wheat starch is important in this recipe because it adds elasticity to the wrapper, allowing it to stretch without tearing.
  • Tapioca starch: Tapioca starch is a starch derived from the cassava root. It is often used as a thickening agent in Asian cooking and is known for its chewy and gelatinous texture. Tapioca starch is used in this recipe to give the wrapper a slightly chewy texture and to help it hold its shape during cooking.
Ingredients: Quantity:
Wheat starch 1 cup
Tapioca starch 1/4 cup
Boiling water 1 cup

Once the wrapper dough is rolled out, it is then cut into circles using a round cutter or a glass. The filling is then placed in the center of each wrapper, and the edges are folded and pleated to seal the dumpling. The pleats not only give the dumpling its distinctive shape, but also help to prevent the filling from leaking out during cooking.

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