Shu Mai at the All Happy Family Restaurant in Edmonton
The only really good dish I had at the All Happy Family Restaurant in Edmonton was their Green Onion Pancake , which was excellent. The rest of the dishes were not impressive at all, save for their version of Shu Mai. This wasn’t great at all, and I would probably rate it a mediocre compared to those in other restaurants, but they still weren’t all that bad.
The Shu Mai at Happy Family was listed on the menu as ‘Minced Pork and Shrimp Dumpling’, but the Chinese characters read 蟹黃燒賣 , which means ‘Shu Mai’ with crab meat (or crab roe). Generally, in any disparity between the English and Chinese versions on a menu, the Chinese usually accurately describes the dish but, in this case, somewhat curiously, the opposite was true. There was no crab in these dumplings at all, and while I probably would have ordered this item if the Chinese description matched the English, I was a bit disappointed.
On a happy note, the pork and shrimp filling was pretty generous, with the pork being not too finely ground, and the shrimp in decent chunks. Often the ground pork in Shu Mai is almost a paste and I prefer a slightly more granular texture, personally. In addition, favorably, there was a liberal inclusion of finely chopped Black Chinese Mushrooms, which were a nice addition both for texture and taste.
The wrappers on these Shu Mai were fairly standard with the yellow color that occurs fairly frequently in Dim Sum restaurant varieties and they were fairly thin suggesting they were made with Lye Water which makes the dough softer and easier to work. Sometimes, the wrappers on Shu Mai can be very thick and chewy, which spoils the overall effect, but these were just right in that regard.
My only quibble with the Shu Mai at the All Happy Family Restaurant, aside from the fact that they were not especially pretty in appearance, was that the filling was a bit bland. I think it included a little white pepper, but the salt was lacking. There was soy sauce in the side for dipping, but, in this case, I also added some of the Chili Oil that was available on every table to round out the taste a little. This is not something I usually feel the need to do with Shu Mai, so, while these weren’t bad, they didn’t score top marks.