Shu Mei & Hello Kitty

by Katie Chin, Tastemaker in Residence

Oh my, shu mei!  That’s what everyone says when they bite into these delicate dumplings which are juicy, light and delicious.  Who knew how easy these steamed dumplings are to make and that you can use the same filling to make wontons and potstickers?   You can substitute the ground chicken with turkey or pork or even tofu.  It’s super easy to steam a batch of these yummy morsels and freeze in a ziploc baggie.   Simply throw the frozen shu mei into a steamer over boiling water for 10 minutes and you have a fantastic appetizer in mere minutes.  My secret weapon for unexpected guests.

As the Culinary Ambassador to City ofHope, I just demonstrated how to make shu mei with Dr. Michael Friedman, president and CEO of City ofHope last Sunday at a private event.   My shu mei recipe calls for mushrooms which City of Hope researchers have identified as being a powerful Super Food meaning they can help fight and prevent cancer.  Make room for mushrooms!!

Pictured from left to right, Dr. Michael Friedman, me, Vivian Chen

Pictured from left to right, Dr. Michael Friedman, me, Vivian Chen


4 medium dried black mushrooms
1/1/2 tsp salt, divided
10 oz medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
10 oz skinless, boneless chicken breast
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1/2 egg white
1 Tbsp cornstarch
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
2 Tbsp finely chopped carrot
4 Tbsp finely chopped onion
3 Tbsp light soy sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1 Tbsp chopped green onion with tops
18 shu mei wrappers


  1. Soak the mushrooms in hot water for 15 to 20 minutes or until soft. Rinse them in cold water and drain. Squeeze out any excess water. Remove and discard the steams and cut the mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces.
  2. Pour two cups warm water in a bowl. Add one teaspoon salt and stir to dissolve. Place the shrimp in the salt water and swirl. leave the shrimp in the salt water for 5 minutes, then rinse with cold water, drain and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the shrimp into 1/4-inch diced pieces.
  3. Trim the excess fat from the chicken and cut into 1/4-inch diced pieces. In a small bowl, make the marinade by mixing the pepper, sesame oil, egg white, cornstarch, vegetable oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, ginger, carrot and onion. Add the chicken, shrimp and mushrooms. Mix well and set aside.
  4. To make the dipping sauce, mix the soy sauce, sugar, 1 tablespoon water and the chopped green onion in a small bowl.
  5. Place one tablespoon of the chicken and shrimp mixture in the center of the a shu mai wrapper and bring the edges up around the filling, leaving the top open. Repeat with the remaining shu mai wrappers.
  6. Place the dumplings in a single layer on a rack in a steam, cover and steam over boiling water for 12 minutes, adding boiling water if necessary.