Shu mai is probably one of the most known dim sum dumplings, so I decided to tackle that one first. It was a tough one to do for a vegan recipe because shu mai is made entirely with ground up pork and shrimp (plus a couple flavorings). But with the help of a vegan pork powder I found along with some vegan shrimp, I think I have the flavors just right.
Obviously, the other thing to tackle is the shu mai texture. Because all of the meat is ground up, shu mai is quite tender and easy to bite into. I knew I wanted to play around with wheat gluten and the vegan pork powder. So I took my lessons from bread making and baking into the seitan world.
I knew that combining a starch with the protein of wheat gluten would result in a softer product, much like how some flours are cut with cornstarch to make cake flour. I also added fat to the wheat gluten dough as fats disrupt the network of gluten bonds. In conjunction, both of these methods, along with very minimal mixing resulted in amazingly tender pieces of vegan shu mai.