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Chinese fish and seafood

18. Dumplings with crabmeat filling


how to make Chinese dumplings with seafood filling
Chinese dumplings with crabmeat filling

(For an introduction to dumplings, see Chinese dumplings, Chinese dumplings.)

You probably spotted the different shape of dumplings on the bamboo board in the photo.:)) It is because I have more pastry sheet left than  fillings, so I used two sheets for one dumpling.
My auntie taught me this, she could make dumplings of any shape you can name. I remember, she used to make shapes of ‘chicken, ‘fish’, ‘flower’… in order to get me interested into eating dumplings (I was very picky when it comes to food, when I was little.)

This is a recipe that another of my friends has asked for.  I must say, however, that crabmeat dumplings are not very common in Chinese Northeast cuisine;  they are much more popular in the Southern provinces, and most of the popular recipes combine crab meat with pork mince. In those recipes, crab meat doesn’t act as “main ingredient” in the filling, but rather gives a fresh seafood touch to the meat mince.

I am a big, huge seafood fan, never have had much passion towards meat. Put it this way, I am scared of all the animals, dogs, cats, spiders… you name it, but I am never scared of seafood — oh, not entirely true, I mean, as long as they don’t bite me, like crabs. :))

Most of the seafood in Northeast Chinese cuisine is simply steamed to keep the freshness, we prefer to buy them fresh, not frozen, for the ‘safety of having seafood’. As you know, if seafood is not fresh, it could easily cause lots problems, like, diarrhea..
Seafood dishes count as a ‘good treat’ and are supposed to be more expensive than other dishes. Here is a photo I took when my friends treated me an amazing ‘seafood’ feast when I went to back to China last time (September is the best season for this).

The appeal of the crab is not only for its tasty meat, but also the fun of eating it (… you know, trying to get the meat out of the shell).

Once, I was so happy and surprised to find frozen crabs in Sainsburys’ that almost immediately I picked two up and put them into my shopping basket. However, when I was about to prepare them, just realized that they were ready to eat — the meat was picked up ready and stuffed back into the shell — very easy to eat, but … no fun !!! … However, this is still great for crab meat dumpings.

I always thought that crab meat by itself in the dumpling filling does not have strong taste anymore, so since a friend asked, I went to look for suggestions — What I found out is that crab meat goes well with scallops and prawns, and if you put some Chinese mushrooms in, even better — I tried this recipe, not bad.

Here you go.


Crab meat (As I said before, if you can find the ones sold in Sainsburys’ frozen seafood section, it would be great, if not, the ones in cans also do, but any extra liquid needs to be excluded. We bought a pack of crab meat from the seafood market, it mixed with yellow york — not ideal choice, I think having only the white part is better.)

Scallop (Again I prefer the ones in Sainsburys’ frozen section, they come small size, taste good, and not expensive, good for making the fillings like this.)

Prawns (Sainsburys’ is doing promotion for some prawns, very good value.)

Mushroom (It is a kind of Chinese mushroom, with very thick ‘meat’, it gives very strong influence in the dish or the fillings like this.)

Dried beancurd sheet (see Chinese food made with soya)

Others: Oil, sesame oil, salt, cooking wine. ( I did not put many seasoning in, because I prefer to keep the original freshness from the seafood).


1)Soak a few mushroom and one dried beancurd sheet in hot water for 15 minutes or until mushroom is very soft and chop them into small pieces possible.

Chinese soaked mushrooms

2) Mince the scallops and prawns (couple of handful each).


1)Mix minced scallops and prawns with crabmeat ( from 2 crabs), and add in chopped mushroom and dried beancurd sheet.

2) Put around 4 tablespoons of oil, and 2-3 tablespoons of sesame oil, 1 tablespoon of salt and a tablespoon of cooking wine into the mix. Mix everything well.

—— The filling is done, ready for filling into the pastry sheet of dumplings.

For making the pastry sheet of dumplings, see Chinese dumplings: the pastry sheet

For wrapping up the dumplings, see Chinese dumplings -wrapping it up

Chinese dumplings with seafood fillings
Chinese dumplings with crab meat fillings

For boiling and serving the dumplings, see Chinese dumplings – boiling and serving

Note, however, that since this is a seafood filling, which is very easy to cook,  you only need to bring the water to boiling once . Oh, btw, if you are a bit worried the ‘safety of seafood’, have some garlic to go with these dumplings. Isn’t garlic a natural and powerful antibacterial remedy?:)

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21. Chinese Garlic chives and prawn Pastry (part 2)
55. Chinese sweet and sour fish (northeast style)
58.A typical Chinese breakfast: You Tiao
105. Chinese bakery recipe: ‘open mouth’ flat bread with fillings


One Response to “18. Dumplings with crabmeat filling”

  1. >Darling, this one looks really professional!!

    Posted by Liren | May 19, 2011, 7:47 pm

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