KitchenTigress: Sui Gaw (Water Dumplings)

Sui Gaw (Water Dumplings)

There're 3 components to sui gaw: wrappers, filling, and broth. Wrap thin pieces of dough with a meaty filling. Cook these dumplings in a rich, umami broth, and you have delicious sui gaw.

Good sui gaw wrappers are thin but they don't tear when they're boiled. Thankfully, these are available readymade.

Good homemade broth is pretty straightforward. Just simmer pork and/or chicken gently for a couple of hours using a 1:1 ratio. So, if you need 1kg of finished broth, use 1 kg of pork/chicken meat/bones.

The filling isn't too difficult either. Here are a few tips:

🦐 Use prawns that are fresh, and make them as dry as possible. The fresher and drier the prawns are, the firmer they'll be after they're cooked. To dry prawns well after they're rinsed, blot them with paper towels.

🐟 Dried sole is a crucial ingredient. It's grilled or roasted till dry and crisp, then pounded so that it's not too small (you wouldn't be able to taste it) nor too big (would be gritty).

Dried sole gives sui gaw filling a unique toasty flavour. And if the stock is simmered with a few chunks of the dried fish, that's even better.

🐷 Sui gaw filling must have lard. Otherwise, it'd be dry and rough.

🍄 When a lump of minced lean meat is cooked, the proteins join together to form a tight, hard ball. That's not nice at all. Lard and dried mushrooms help keep minced meat soft. So do water chestnuts, which also add sweetness and crunch.
💄 Before cooking dumplings, blanch them in boiling water to wash away excess flour on the wrappers and also some of the lye. Lastly, add some veggies to the sui gaw broth. A bit of green on food is like a slick of lipstick on women.

How to make sui gaw

Step-by-step guide

Meaty sui gaw in homemade stock is a umami feast. Dried sole adds a wonderful fragrance to the dumplings. If the dried fish isn't available, substitute with an equal amoiunt of fried shallots.

sui gaw
  • 250 g minced pork
  • 100 g minced lard
  • 200 g prawns – shell (shells and heads removed may be added to stock), devein, rinse, dry thoroughly with paper towels, cut pea-size
  • ½ tsp salt

  • 30 g dried mushrooms – remove stalks; soak in 3 tbsp water till soft, about 30 minutes; squeeze dry (water squeezed out may be added to stock); chop roughly
  • 20 g dried sole – tear into small pieces, toast till brown, crisp and fragrant, pound into 2-3 mm bits
  • 120 g water chestnuts (6 pieces) – peel, rinse, chop roughly into 3-4 mm bits
  • 1 tbsp egg
  • 1 tbsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
  • ½ tbsp Shaoxing wine
  • ½ tbsp white sesame oil

  • 28 large sui gaw wrappers
  • 1 beaten egg (add 1 tbsp to filling) if making crescent-shaped dumplings
  • 1 litre chicken or pork stock, seasoned to taste – prawn shells and water from soaking mushrooms may be added
  • 250 g green leafy veggies – rinse thoroughly, cut bite-sized

  • 3 tbsp fried shallots
  • ground white pepper

  1. Thoroughly mix minced pork, lard, prawns and salt. Gather mixture into a ball. Throw mixture back into the bowl, hard. Repeat till mixture thickens, 3-4 minutes. Add water chestnuts, mushrooms, sole, egg, light soya sauce, oyster sauce, wine and oil. Mix evenly.

  2. For unpleated dumplings, place 25 g filling on a wrapper. Smear some egg on edges of wrapper and fold to form crescent shape. Press edges to seal.

    For pleated dumplings, pleat as show in the video (2:21-2:37), then use water instead of egg to seal edges.
  3. To cook dumplings, bring pot of water and chicken stock to a boil. Keep stock simmering gently. Over high heat, blanch dumplings in the water till half cooked. Increase heat for stock to high. Place dumplings in stock with a slotted spoon. Boil gently till cooked through. To test, place a dumpling in a spoon or ladle and press with chopsticks. Dumplings are done if hard.

  4. Transfer dumplings to serving bowls with a slotted spoon. Add vegetables to stock. Bring to a gentle simmer. Turn off heat. Divide vegetables and stock between serving bowls. Top with fried shallots. Serve immediately, adding ground white pepper to taste before eating.