Don’t be intimidated by the scallop-like, delicate pleats pinched into each dumpling (12, to be exact) – har gow is actually easier to make than it looks. A classic go-to dish at any yum cha, the Guangzhou original combines minced pork, prawn, ginger and soy, all wrapped up in a neat, translucent little parcel to be splashed in a vinegary soy and eaten all in one mouthful. When the dough for har gow is properly prepared, the dumpling is should be pleasantly sticky and chewy. Simple and elegant, the dish is said to be the standard of judging the skill of a dumpling master.

Chef Liang Pan of Oriental Teahouse in Prahran shows us how to whip together a batch of har gow for a yum cha at home. He makes his own dumpling wrappers, but wonton skins at any Asian grocery will do you fine. Just practice your pleats.


1 pack of wonton wrappers
500g pork, minced
250g raw prawn, minced
6 bok choy
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chopped ginger
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
Small bowl of water

Dipping sauce
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp ginger, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic, chopped
3 tbsp vinegar
3 tbsp soy sauce
A few drops of chilli oil
A few drops of sesame oil

Place the bok choy in boiling water for a minute to let the leaves soften. Then chop them in small pieces and squeeze the water out.

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Mix all the dumpling ingredients together (except the water and wonton wrappers). Moisten the edges of the wonton wrapper by lightly dabbing it with water. Keep the bowl of water on hand to re-wet the edges if needed.

Place a teaspoon of uncooked filling in the centre of each wonton wrapper. Fold the wonton wrapper in half lengthwise, making sure the ends meet. Press down firmly on the ends to seal. Use your thumbs to push down on the edges of the filling to make sure it stays in the middle. Keeping your thumbs in place, fold the wonton wrapper over one more time.

Push the corners up and hold each corner in place between your thumb and index finger. Bringing the two corners together so that one overlaps the other, press together to seal.

Place the wontons in a steam basket and steam for seven to eight minutes. While you’re waiting, mix all the dipping sauce ingredients together. Serve in the steamer and enjoy.