The Shu Mai (燒賣)at Sushi North in Yellowknife were different from the usual, and among the best I have had. They got a Rating of 5 out of 5.
Sushi North ranks as one of the more northerly Japanese restaurants in the world, being at 62 degrees north latitude in Yellowknife, the capital of the Northwest Territories. It is not an especially ‘high-end’ sort of place, being somewhat cafeteria-like in décor, but many of the items available are top-notch.
Shu Mai dumplings are a Chinese Dim Sum specialty, of course, but Sushi North had some non-Japanese items available when I visited, including the excellent dish they described on the menu as ‘Japanese Style’ Shu Mai. These were generally similar to the typical Dim Sum offering, but with some significant departures.
The main difference, which was immediately apparent, was that these Japanese style 燒賣 at Sushi North were considerably smaller than the ones you usually find in Chinese Dim Sum restaurants. Now, some people may like the giant varieties, and maybe feel like they are better value for one’s money, but I much prefer the sort that can be popped into one’s mouth in a single bite.
The wrappers, in this case, were also a bit different than the usual. They were slightly translucent, and almost certainly contained rice flour. They were thinner the typical Shu Mai wrappers, and I rather liked the more delicate result.
The filling was also more distinctly Japanese. It contained shrimp, which is a common Shu Mai filling ingredient, but it was mixed with fish, rather than pork (which is commonly paired with shrimp), and I cannot remember any occasion when I have encountered fish in Chinese Shu Mai at all.
In any event, the combination of well made and well-formed wrapper, with a tasty and well-textured filling resulted in one of the better examples of Shu Mai I have ever enjoyed, including those I have made at home.