Getting Steamed Over Shrimp Shui Mai

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - September 23, 2009
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Fred Paine moved to Hawaii in 2005 to become the general manager of Pearlridge Center. He was surprised to learn that Canstruction, a national community service program created by the Society for Design Administration that supports programs to feed the hungry, was not being organized here. Fred had hosted the Canstruction competition in the nation’s capitol, and knew the power it had to raise awareness of hunger.

American Institute of Architects,-Honolulu Chapter executive vice president Amy Blagriff was contacted by Fred with the Pearlridge resources and funds of the center’s owners, merchants and employees ready to support the effort. Amy explains, “Fred was the spark plug that energized AIA to get this event off the ground in Hawaii. He gave me the staff resources, access to publicity, connected us to the Hawaii Foodbank and even provided needed financial support to cover some of our administrative expenses.” Canstruction has brought in 165,000 pounds of canned food over the past four years to feed Hawaii’s hungry!

This recipe is dedicated to Fred with a hearty mahalo for all of his good work.


To shell shrimp, hold the head in one hand and the body in the other, and pull on the head to remove both the body and the shell. Any remaining pieces of shell can then be removed. If the head has already been removed, slit the shell with scissors for easier removal. It is easier to remove shells from partially frozen rather than fully defrosted shrimp.

Try these tasty packages for an appetizer or pupus to take to a potluck. Serve with a sweet-sour dipping sauce or mixture of rice vinegar and shoyu to taste, and a dash of hot mustard.


* 12 ounces shrimp, shell removed

* 1/4 cup diced green onion

* 2 tablespoons sesame oil

* 1 tablespoon ground ginger

* 1 tablespoon low-sodium shoyu

* white pepper and salt, to taste

* 1 teaspoon white wine

* 2 tablespoons finely diced celery

* 1 tablespoon finely diced carrot

* 15 shui mai wrappers

Wash and drain shrimp; drain on paper towel and chop into small pieces.

Put shrimp in a large bowl; add all other ingredients and mix well.

Spoon 2 teaspoons of the mixture in the middle of a shui mai wrapper. Fold all sides up and keep middle exposed. Steam for eight minutes. Makes 15 pieces.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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