Both the Thais and Chinese serve these open top dumplings. I prefer the Thai rendition as they eat them with fried garlic and sweet soy sauce. Much easier to prepare than gyoza or wontons, shumai can be assembled in moments.
Roughly chop half of the prawns and place in a bowl with the pork and water chestnuts. Place the garlic and ginger in a food processor and chop until fine, then add the coriander, spring onion and remaining prawns and pulse until chunky. Add the cornflour, egg white, fish and soy sauces and pulse again to mix. Pour into the bowl with the pork and chunky prawns. Mix well and season with freshly ground black pepper.
If using wonton wrappers, snip off the corners of the squares so that they are more round and keep the wrappers covered with a tea towel so that they don’t dry out.
Place a wrapper in your hand and spoon 1 heaped tablespoon of the mixture into it. Wrap the wrapper around the filling so that it’s pleated round it and the filling comes up nearly to the top. Tap it on the work surface so that the bottom becomes flat and run a knife across the top to smooth over. You want it to be a tight, compact dumpling. Continue with all the wrappers and filling, then place on a plastic tray.
To make the fried garlic, add the oil and garlic to a small frying pan and cook for 1–2 minutes over low heat until golden.
To make the sweet soy dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
Fill a pot or wok with a couple of inches of water and bring to a boil. Place some baking paper with holes cut through in the bottom of a bamboo steamer. Arrange the dumplings, in batches, so that they are not touching each other, then cover and steam for about 6–8 minutes. Place on a serving dish, scatter with the fried garlic and extra spring onions and serve with the dipping sauce.
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