Restaurants & Bars

China Dumplings

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling: aka Har Gow ( 蝦餃 ) - A list of Hong Kong's Finer Ones.


Restaurants & Bars 12

Steamed Shrimp Dumpling: aka Har Gow ( 蝦餃 ) - A list of Hong Kong's Finer Ones.

Charles Yu | Apr 12, 2013 04:06 PM

When ever the topic of Cantonese Dim Sum is being discussed, Har Gow, the quintessential of all Dim Sum dishes, almost always come to the fore front of discussions.

The ONE dish that the skill of Dim Sum chef is judged, this easily replicated dish is one tough cookie to perfect!

In my book, the perfect morsel should have thin, translucent and malleable wrapper skin that is taut, slightly chewy and strong enough not to break when picked up with chop sticks. It should also not stick to the paper or steamer surface. This calls for the correct ratio of water, wheat and tapioca starch mixture! ( An art that I found no North American Chinese Restaurants manage to master ). On top, the wrapper should have at least 11 to 13 pleats. This is a reflection of the skill and devotion of the Dim Sum chef.

Filling should use the freshest of shrimps, preferably whole Gei Wai Ha 基圍蝦 ( Sand Prawns ) with minced Bamboo Shoots and perfectly seasoned with rice wine, white pepper and premium top soya to bring out and not mask the fresh umami flavor of the shrimps. Product should be crunchy, juicy and not overcooked.

The following is a list of this hard to perfect dish from some of Hong Kong's better and reputable establishments. IMHO, they all range from more than passable to near perfection. Unfortunately, photos of four of my favorites: Celestial Court, Yung Kee Club Level, Lung King Heen and Fook Lam Moon were missing from my data bank.

- Fu Sing
- Sun Tung Lok
- Tim Ho Wan
- Yan Toh Heen
- One Dim Sum
- Sha Tin 18
- House of Canton
- Fan Tang
- Hong Kong Cuisine (1983 )
- Guo Fu Lou
- Ming Court
- V Cuisine
- Above & Beyond
- Luk Yue
- Lei Garden

I would rate the near perfect top tier candidates to comprise of Fook Lam Moon, Yung Kee Club Level, Ming Court and Above and Beyond. Second tier candidates include Sun Tung Lok, Tim Ho Wan, Guo Fu Lou, Lei Garden, Hong Kong Cuisine, Yan Toh Heen, Fan Tang, and Sha Tin 18. The rest, though not as good as the afore-mentioned elite ones, still manage to beat all the ones I have eaten in San Fran., New York, Toronto and Vancouver...etc HANDS DOWN!!!

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound