Tofino Time: Steamed Shrimp and Crab Shumai

Crab and Shrimp Shumai

This next week is the Tofino edition! The family and I are nestled in the balmy Pacific Northwest for a week of action-packed fun: fishing, prawning, crabbing, hiking, camping, and best of all – dinner roulette: where dinner is entirely dependent on whatever Dad catches on his 16-foot boat. Given that I’m with the fam damily this week, I’ll have some guest contributors!

Guest Contributor//Emily: There are about 1 trillion things that I adore about my sister – one of the biggest ones being that she has a true adoration and admiration for all things food. Of course,  it’s always a pleasure to dine on whatever Eva “whips up”, but, since she always makes it look so fun, I thought I’d jump in. We cranked the Reggae, poured two glasses of wine and let the fun flow! Sissy and I are very similar and very different – in this case, our differences in the kitchen really do keep things smooth sailing. As her honorary sous-chef for the evening, I was keen on ensuring that she had a clean workshop to let her creativity flow. It’s really something to watch her work – a certain smell or color or texture will inspire a whole new direction, only more delicious than the previous one. I enjoy  following her direction – in a life of constant unknowns, she is precise with her guidance and is mindful of being kind to a novice (like me). One of the greatest parts of this experience was capturing her creativity,  documenting the magic that she really does create, and being able to celebrate it time and time again.  – EJSF – 

Last night, Emily and I decided to make shrimp and crab shumai because, you know, we just happened to have them fresh from Dad’s boat. For our shumai, we used my knight in shining armor – wonton papers – to make these delicious seafood dumplings, perfect as an appetizer. This is definitely an activity meal, so enlist a sous-chef before you get started and prepare these little pinwheels of delight in advance. Conversely, if this is part of the “performance” make sure guests have something to nosh on while watching the action.


Fresh crab, shrimp, scallions, ginger

Shumai Filling

  • 12 small shrimp, (can be raw or boiled)
  • 1 cup fresh boiled crab
  • 2 scallion, white and green chopped
  • 1 T Fresh ginger finely chopped
  • Egg wash: ramekin of 1 scrambled raw egg and 1 T water


Asian-style goodness

Dipping Sauce

  • 2 splashes Soy sauce
  • 1 dash Rice wine vinegar
  • 1 splash Sesame oil
  • Sesame seeds
  • 1 t. Dijon mustard
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 T fresh ginger, finely chopped
  •  2 scallion, white and green chopped

The Gist:

The idea of the shumai filling is to have multiple textures, achieved by staging the mixing process. I was without my trusty Cuisinart for this recipe and used an old blender making it difficult to control this.  We ended up simply rough chopping several ingredients by hand and mixing them in a bowl after we got the pasty base.

Shumai Filling

  •  Make the dipping sauce first. This mixture will season the filling.
  • Add half the crab and shrimp and 2 T of dipping sauce to the food processor and mix until paste like.
  •  Add the rest of the shrimp and crab and scallions and pulse.



Fake it ’til you make it…

To wrap the shumai:

Let’s be honest here – Emily and I had no idea what we were doing and had a blast taking creative license making our little dumplings. The nice thing about shumai too is that it’s actually opened on the top, so it made it easier to hide our neophyte skills. I’ve had shumai before and really like the pleating of the dumpling wrap so I attempted to replicate it. Regardless of your style, it’s important use the egg wash before pressing any two corners of the wonton paper together so they stick together.

Finally, steam the shumai, 3-5 minutes ideally in a bamboo steamer lined with cheesecloth (to keep the shumai from sticking). We didn’t have this luxury, so I poured enough water to cover 2 inches of the bottom of a large pot and fashioned a pedestal in the bottom  using a trivet (so the bowl was not in direct contact with the burner) and an overturned bowl, then placed the plates of shumai directly on the raised surface one at a time. Worked out pretty well, thanks Sissy for all your help!

My oh my, shumai!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *