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Whitefish Shu Mai Dumplings

Whitefish Shu Mai Dumplings

This is my tongue-in-cheek Chinese-Jewish whitefish dumpling. These dumplings are cute and very tasty. I serve them at VIP events and at home for appetizers or as a starter. I garnish them with a wasabi pea in the center for added crunch.

Green Aromatics: The secret ingredient to any stir-fry is an aromatic paste that adds a punch of garlic, ginger and sesame. This paste does not add a lot of liquid which is the enemy of any stir-fry. You want crispy vegetables and meats. To use the paste when stir-frying, heat a wok over very HIGH heat. Generously coat the wok with toasted sesame oil. Add the green aromatics and immediately add your vegetables or meat. Continuously move the food in the wok for even cooking. 

Note: You can freeze the dumplings in a single layer and then transfer to an air-tight bag. The dumpling can be stored frozen for 1 month.  

No Steamer? This is how to use your wok as a steamer if you do not own bamboo steamer baskets, you can straddle a metal strainer over the wok with water underneath. Line your strainer with cabbage leaves so the steam will pass around the leaves, and cover the whole set-up with a lid.

Or, place chopsticks in a crisscross pattern into the wok with water underneath. Place cabbage leaves over the chopsticks and cover the whole set-up. This works really well! 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 4-6Servings


Green Aromatics:

  • 3-inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 6 scallions
  • Pinch of crushed red chili flakes
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Sichuan Soy Sauce


  • 1 pound white fish fillets, boned but skin on
  • 2 tablespoons homemade aioli or store-bought mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh-squeezed lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 2 teaspoons finely ground carrots
  • 1 package wonton skins


1. Prepare Green Aromatics: Place all the ingredients for the Green Aromatics in a blender and pulse until the mixture resembles a paste.

2. Green Aromatics can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or frozen for 1 month.

3. Prep the Fish: Smear the white fish with Green Aromatics. Steam the fish in a steamer or a wok set up as a steamer until the fish is cooked through but still very moist (about 10 minutes).

4. Pull the skin off of the fish and flake the flesh with your fingers. Add the aioli, citrus juices, scallions and carrots. Mix together.

how to make shu mai

5. Cut the wonton skins with a cookie cutter to the desired size, if necessary. Place a small amount of fish in the center. Moisten the wonton skin with a little water and pinch the edges together as close to the center as possible. Transfer the finished dumplings to a sheet pan and cover loosely with a damp towel. Continue making the dumplings.

6.To serve: Set up your wok as a steamer and steam the dumplings for 8-10 minutes directly from the freezer, or until they are warmed through and the wrapper is translucent. Garnish with wasabi peas or scallions.