For the filling: In the bowl of a food processor, add the shrimp, ground pork, sesame oil, soy sauce, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, green onions, egg whites, lemon juice and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pulse the ingredients until smooth, 3 to 5 times. It should be somewhat chunky, not totally pureed. Put the filling into a bowl and fold in the water chestnuts.
To determine if the filling is seasoned well, make a small patty, about 2 tablespoons. Place a small saute pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon canola oil. Once heated, add the tester patty and cook on both sides until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and place onto a paper-towel-lined plate and taste. Adjust seasoning to the remaining filling if needed.
Prepare the dumplings according to desired assembly. Serve with Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce.
1) Shu mai (steamed):
Line each tray of your bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves and cover with the lid. Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a large, wide pan. Set the bamboo steamer over the pot. Continue to add water as needed.
Place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface and add about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water. Fold and pleat as you gather the wrapping around the filling, leaving the top of the filling uncovered. Gently tap the shu mai on your work surface, flattening the bottom and allowing it to stand upright and make a basket shape.
Put the shu mai in the cabbage-lined steamers and cover with the lid. Steam the dumplings until cooked through, 5 to 10 minutes.
2) Gyoza (pan-fried):
Place a wonton wrapper on a clean surface and add about 2 teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wrapper. Brush the edges of the wrapper with water. Take one edge of the wonton wrapper and fold it to the other side, creating a half moon shape. Then starting at one end of your half moon, make gentle folds, pleating and pressing the top side of the wrapper onto the bottom side as you work around the half moon.
Have about 1/2 cup water, a large skillet and a lid for the skillet handy. Heat the skillet with 1 to 2 tablespoons of canola oil over high heat. Once the skillet is hot, place the number of dumplings you want to cook smooth-side down in the skillet. Allow them to sear until the bottoms turn golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the water, immediately cover with the lid and let the dumplings steam for another 3 to 4 minutes.
Sesame-Soy Dipping Sauce
Yield: about 2 cups
Whisk together the soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, oil, honey and green onions, and set aside until ready to serve.
This recipe has been updated to more accurately recognize its origin or to add cultural context. It may differ from what was originally published or broadcast.