Shumai, a traditional Chinese dumpling, has found its way into the hearts and plates of many around the world, including Malaysia. Originating from China, this delicacy has been embraced by various cultures, each adding its unique twist. In Malaysia, the dish has been adapted to suit local tastes, making it a popular choice among locals and tourists alike.
Origins of Shumai
Shumai, known in its traditional form as 烧卖 (shāomài), is a type of Chinese dumpling that traces its roots back to Cantonese cuisine. It was typically served as a dim sum snack. Over time, the dish has travelled with the Chinese diaspora, finding its way to Japan, Southeast Asian countries, and beyond.
Varieties and Adaptations
While the original Shumai consists of seasoned ground pork, mutton, Chinese black mushroom, and lye water dough, various regions have introduced their unique variations. For instance, the Cantonese version, known as siumaai, is made from ground pork, shrimp, Chinese black mushroom, green onion, and ginger, seasoned with Chinese rice wine, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chicken stock. In contrast, the Indonesian version, siomay, is typically made from fish due to the predominantly Muslim population and is served with peanut sauce.
Shumai in Malaysia
In Malaysia, Shumai has been adapted to cater to the diverse palate of its population. While retaining the essence of the traditional dumpling, Malaysian Shumai might incorporate local ingredients and flavours, making it a unique culinary experience.
Shumai’s journey from the bustling streets of Guangzhou to the vibrant markets of Malaysia is a testament to its universal appeal. As it continues to evolve and adapt, this humble dumpling stands as a symbol of culinary fusion and the shared love for food across cultures.
Article curated by Suwaytha Gopal