Southeast Asian-inspired spot prawn dumplings

Making shrimp dumpling at home is easier than you think

Shrimp dumplings photo by Tyler Branston
Shrimp dumplings photo by Tyler Branston

With the help of Taryn Wa, executive chef of Savoury Chef Foods, you can make dim sum at home. You might need a few tries to get the technique of the wrapping right, but these dumplings are worth the effort.


3 tbsp coconut milk
1 tsp palm sugar
1 lb spot prawns
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 Thai chili
3 tbsp fish sauce
1/4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp minced cilantro stems
1/2 tsp minced green onion
1/4 lime, zested and juiced
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

In a small bowl, mix coconut milk and palm sugar until sugar has dissolved, set aside. 

Remove heads from spot prawns and peel off shells, reserving heads and shells for another use (like spot prawn broth).  

Puree 1/4 of prawns in a food processor to make a paste, put in a mixing bowl. Roughly chop the remaining prawns and put in the mixing bowl. 

Add remaining ingredients to the prawns and mix thoroughly, adjusting seasoning to taste. Keep filling in the refrigerator while you prepare the dough. 


Dough (for wrapper)

3/4 cup water
1 1/2 cup wheat starch
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil

In a medium pot, bring water to a boil. 

Mix remaining dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Add boiled water and oil to dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. Knead until smooth by hand or using hook attachment of mixer.

Note: dough can be kept overnight in the refrigerator if wrapped well in plastic wrap.

Nuoc cham dipping sauce

1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 Thai chili
1 tbsp palm sugar

Combine all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and adjust ingredients to your taste.


Divide dough in half, set half aside, keeping it wrapped. 

Roll dough into a log about 3 cm in diameter. Cut dough into 10 even pieces. Keep dough pieces in plastic wrap while you make each dumpling to prevent them from drying out. Press each dough disc flat with a tortilla press lined with plastic, or with a small rolling pin, to approximately 6 cm in diameter. 

Put 1 tbsp of filling in the centre of each dumpling. Fold round in half press to seal. 

To deep fry, heat oil to 375F, and fry until golden brown and cooked through.

To steam the dumplings, prepare a bamboo steamer lined with parchment or a cabbage leaf.  Bring water to boil, put steamer on the pot and steam over medium heat for approximately 7 to 8 minutes, or until dumplings are cooked through. 

Serve with the dipping sauce or a squeeze of lime juice, and garnish with cilantro. 

20 dumplings