Shao mai (烧卖)
Shao Mai are steamed dumplings. But unlike typical Chinese dumplings, they are made of ground meat. The Shao Mai wrappers are made of wheat and are rolled by a specially-made roller to obtain the nice shape. The small bundles are pinched at the top into pleats, but left open in the centre at the pleated top, so that you can see the filling inside.
The filling is usually pork, but beef, mutton and crab are also used. Other ingredients can include shrimp, mushrooms, bamboo shoots, chives and onions. Shao Mai are served with dipping sauces such as soy sauce, chile sauce, or hot mustard.
Shao Mai steamed dumplings taste quite different from the more common boiled dumplings. There are not that many restaurants that still sell traditional Beijing Shao Mai. Du Yi Chu Shaomai Restaurant is considered one of the oldest and best restaurants for traditional Beijing Shao Mai.
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Shao Mai Dumplings, www.practicallyedible.com
Du Yi Chu Shao Mai, english.visitbeijing.com.cn