Chicken Wontons/ Shumai Dumplings in a Shio Koji Black Vinegar Sauce

In life it is better to admit your mistakes and move on, you will earn much more respect than trying to cover or justify your follies.

So, I admit, I was wrong. As far as I can remember, Eliza and myself would agree that we could never be friends because I vehemently refused to like dumplings.

As a British child, growing up in the 80s, who had never travelled further East than Greece, dumplings for me were sad little pucks, that I can only describe as wrinkly, flaccid condoms from an Asian takeaway. Unless deep fried, I had no interest.

But then I visited Hong Kong, how wrong could I have been. There us such elegance and delicacy in all Asian Dumplings, the care and finesse reverberated by the fillings within.

While I don’t proclaim to be adept at the folding techniques, I hope that the taste and the joy in making them can come into your homes too. It’s a cathartic process.

So yes Eliza, I was very wrong, but we still can’t be true friends until you admit you like peas….

This filling can be used to make Wontons or Shumai Dumplings according to the shape of your wrappers


30-35 Wonton or Gyoza Wrappers.

250g Minced Chicken (7% Fat)

1 Clove Garlic, minced

2 cm Ginger, minced

2 Egg Whites

1 tsp Light Soy Sauce

1 tsp Chinese 5 Spice

½ tsp Sichuan Peppercorns, crushed

2 Spring Onions, finely sliced, plus extra to serve


1 tbsp Shio Koji Liquid

1 tbsp Light Soy Sauce

1 tsp Caster Sugar

2 tsp Sesame Oil

1 Clove Garlic, minced

2 tbsp Black Vinegar

2 tbsp Chiu Chow Chilli Oil


1. Begin with the filling. Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, but only use one of the egg whites.

2. Keeping the wrappers that you are not working with covered, lay out 4 wrappers. If making wontons, pop a teaspoon of the mixture into the centre of the square wrappers. Brush the edges with a little of the remaining egg white and bring together to form a triangular package.

3. Add a touch more egg white to each corner and bring together and cross over to form a wonton. Lay, upright on a tray lined with baking paper. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

4. If making Shumai Dumplings, take a gyoza wrapper in your palm and pop a tablespoon of the mixture in the centre, bring the edges around the filling, pleating as you go to create and open topped dumpling with the filling visible. Pat on a surface so that it stands upright and continue with the remaining wrappers.

5. At this point you can cover the trays tightly in cling film and pop in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

6. Mix all the ingredients for the sauce together and set aside.

7. When ready to cook, bring a large pot of water to the boil. For the wontons, add a few plus a cup of cold water. When the mixture boils again, the wontons should be cooked, drain, and continue.

8. For the shumai, bring a pan of water to the boil and place a bamboo steamer on top. Lay a sheet of baking paper with a few holes cut inside and pop the shumai on top. Steam for 6-8 minutes or until cooked through.

9. Serve both dumplings drizzled with the sauce and extra spring onions on the side.