Name: Steamed Prawn Dumplings
Mandarin: xia jiao
Cantonese: ha gao
Skin: wheat starch/flour, water (may have corn starch)
Filling: fresh prawns, pork, bamboo shoot
Key taste points:
Skin: translucent, paper thin, almost ‘crystal like’, slightly chewy and soft but shouldn’t stick to your teeth.
Filling: fresh crunchy crisp prawns yet smooth and soft with the pork mince. The filling should almost ‘bounce off your teeth’ when you bite into the dumpling.
There is a saying in Cantonese that if you did not eat Ha Gao during Yum Cha then you did not Yum Cha at all.
(i.e. it’s one of the ‘must orders’! Unless you are allergic to prawns or that you are a vegetarian or simply don’t like to eat prawns….?)