HAWAIʻI in the Kitchen: Steamed Shrimp and Chives Dumplings

Celebrate Lunar New Year with this traditional dumpling recipe by an award-winning restaurant.
Hitk Timhowan Steamed Dumplings With Shrimp And Chives
Photo: Courtesy of Tim Ho Wan

Gong Hei Fat Choy!

Friday is Lunar New Year—or, as it’s referred to in Hawaiʻi, Chinese New Year—and food is always part of it, whether it’s noodles or nian gao.

Chef Xue Chong Ruan of the award-winning Tim Ho Wan at the Royal Hawaiian Center make traditional steamed shrimp and chives dumplings—perfect for Lunar New Year. (Note: The video has subtitles.)

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Steamed Shrimp and Chives Dumplings

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1/2 oz. dried shiitake mushrooms
  • Boiling water
  • 8 oz. shrimp­, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
  • 1 cup finely chopped Chinese garlic chives, chives or scallions
  • 1 T. plus 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tsp. cornstarch

Ingredients for the dough:

  • 1 cup wheat starch (see note)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus more for dusting
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • Soy sauce, for serving


In a small bowl, cover the mushrooms by 1 inch with boiling water. Let stand until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain well and finely chop (you should have 1/3 cup).

In a medium bowl, mix the shrimp with the mushrooms, chives, oil, sugar, salt and cornstarch. Let stand for 10 minutes. (The filling can also be refrigerated overnight.)

Meanwhile, make the dough In a large bowl, stir the wheat starch and 1/2 cup of cornstarch with the boiling water until the dough comes together; let cool slightly. Lightly dust a work surface with cornstarch and turn the dough out onto it, then knead until smooth, about 2 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic and let rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Cut the dough into 2 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 1-inch-thick log (12 inches long) and cut each log into twelve 1-inch-thick slices. Using a lightly cornstarch-dusted rolling pin, roll out each piece of dough to a 3 1/2-inch round. Arrange the wrappers on a cornstarch-dusted baking sheet (it’s OK if they overlap slightly) and keep covered with plastic wrap while you prepare the rest.

Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of each wrapper. Fold the dough up and over the filling to form a half-moon and pleat to seal the dumpling completely. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

Line a large steamer basket with parchment paper and lightly grease or spray the paper with oil. Set the basket in a pot of boiling water. In 2 batches, steam the dumplings until the wrappers turn transparent and the filling is firm to the touch, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve with soy sauce for dipping.

Note: Wheat starch is a key ingredient to making the translucent wrappers for many dumplings. Look for it at Asian marketplaces or online.

Categories: Recipes, Watch