First, let's thaw the frozen peeled shrimp. Add the salt and baking soda to 500 ml of lukewarm water, and stir. The lukewarm water will help to dissolve the baking soda.
Soak the frozen peeled shrimp in the salt water.
Let it sit until thawed halfway through, or for 20 to 30 minutes.
Now, the shrimp should be semi-thawed. Discard the salt water from the bowl.
Add fresh water and rinse the shrimp thoroughly. We are demonstrating this on the counter for filming, but at home you should rinse them under running water.
Thawing the shrimp in the salt water helps lock in the umami flavor, and the baking soda will give them a plump and chewy texture. If the baking soda isn't available, just skip it and follow the steps thoroughly so that you can still expect a plump and chewy texture.
Place the shrimp into a mesh strainer and pour clean water over it.
Hit the strainer against a kitchen towel numerous times to remove the water.
Then, place the shrimp onto a paper towel.
Spread out the shrimp and wrap with a paper towel to remove the moisture thoroughly. If you see any sand veins in any of the shrimp, make a shallow cut along the back of the shrimp and scrape it out with the tip of the knife.
Add a small amount of sake and rub it in.
Then, for the topping of the shumai, cut up some of the shrimp into 18 pieces about the size of the tip of your little finger.
Cut up the rest into thin slices and then chop them with a knife.
You can chop the shrimp until it almost becomes a paste, or you can roughly chop them if you like.
Let's make the meat filling. First, add the potato starch to the chopped onion in a bowl.
Toss to coat evenly. The potato starch will absorb the water from the onion so that it will blend well with the meat.
In a bowl, combine the ground pork, chopped shrimp, salt, sugar, chopped ginger root, sake, oyster sauce, sesame oil, and pepper. The sugar might be a bit surprising but unlike gyoza dumplings, it will taste better if you add a little.
Mix until the meat mixture becomes gooey. At first, mix it roughly like you are squeezing the mixture.
Then, loosely spread your fingers and spin your hand around. The mixture will become gooier, and your hand will start to feel heavy.
Add the chopped onion.
Gently fold the mixture to prevent the potato starch from coming off.
Continue mixing until the onion is evenly distributed. Adding plenty of onions keeps the meat from becoming tough even if you use lean meat, and the natural sweetness of the onions makes the shumai more delicious.
Now, the meat filling is ready. Since our steamer is small, we are steaming the shumai in two batches so wrap half of the meat filling.
Take a shumai wrapper in your hand and place a little over 1 tablespoonful of the meat mixture in the center of the wrapper.
Lightly press the meat to make it firmly attached to the wrapper.
Gather the wrapper to the center.
And form the shumai into a cylindrical shape by squeezing it.
Dip a piece of shrimp for topping into potato starch and lightly press it into the top of the shumai.
Wrapping shumai is easier and faster than wrapping gyoza, so your child might enjoy helping you.
Flatten the bottom with your palm.
Place the shumai onto a tray lightly covered with potato starch. The potato starch will help to avoid sticking.
And now, let's steam the shumai. Turn off the steamer to avoid burning yourself and remove the lid.
Arrange the cabbage leaves on the plate. The cabbage will absorb any juices from the shumai, making them more delicious.
Arrange the shumai on the cabbage so that they do not stick to each other. You can also place the shumai or cabbage directly on parchment paper without using the plate.
Cover with the lid. Heat on high heat until the steam comes out vigorously.
Then, cook for about 8 to 10 minutes with the steam coming out continuously.
Now, they should be ready. If you are not sure if they are cooked thoroughly, split one of the shumai in half and check the inside.
Dip the shumai in vinegar soy sauce and enjoy it with a bit of karashi mustard. The combination of the shrimp and pork is very tasty.
If you don't like shrimp, you can make the shumai with pork only. It's much easier and quicker to make.
If the smell of the shrimp is still bothering you, please check out our ebi fry recipe on how to prepare the shrimp using salt and potato starch.
The plate in the steamer is hot so be careful when removing it.