Are you craving a big serving of soft and steamy dumplings? We have the perfect recipe for you: vegan shumai dumplings with a juicy eggplant filling. They're packed with healthy veggies and delicious Chinese ingredients. Let us show you how to do them!
We started from the classic Cantonese siumaai recipe (AKA shumai or siomai) but swapped pork and shrimps with sautéed eggplants. Aubergines are fleshy and tasty—perfect for replacing meat. Then, we kept all the other classing ingredients like mushrooms, spring onions, ginger, soy sauce, and sesame oil; we only added bamboo shoots for extra flavour and texture. And instead of the traditional red fish eggs (fish roe), we used carrots. Clever, right?
The traditional filling also includes Chinese rice wine, called Shaoxing rice wine. You should be able to find it at your local Asian food store or in the Asian food section of your supermarket. But, if you can't get a hold of it, swap it with rice vinegar or mirin, which should be more accessible.
As for the siomai wrapping, the best choice is to use store-bought gyoza wrappers. They consist of a simple dough of water and flour, and they come fresh or frozen, already cut out into rounds. Using ready-made gyoza wrappers will save you time, but you can also follow our instructions on how to make dumpling dough from scratch if you can't find them. Some recipe variations, especially in Philippines and Indonesia, use wonton pastry to line dumplings, but it's not vegan as it contains eggs, so it's a no-go for our plant-based recipe.
Preparing shumai is very simple as all you have to do is cook the filling, shape the dumplings, and steam them in a bamboo basket. We'll show you how to do everything with step-by-step pictures, so you'll get the same beautiful dumplings you see at Chinese restaurants.
Once ready, enjoy these aubergine siumaai piping hot and dip them in your favourite dumpling sauce. They're small in size but big in flavour, perfect served along with other small dim sum nibbles and a cup of tea. Sounds yummy? Whip out your chopsticks and let's dive into the recipe!