Har gow

Har gow (sometimes anglicized as "ha gow", "haukau", "hakao"; Chinese: 蝦餃; Jyutping: haa1 gaau2; Cantonese Yale: hā gáau; pinyin: xiājiǎo) is a traditional Cantonese dumpling served as dim sum.[1]

Har gow
Alternative namesXia jiao, also spelled ha gau, ha gaau, ha gao, ha gow, or other variants, Vietnamese "há cảo"
CourseDim sum
Place of originGuangdong, China
Region or stateCantonese-speaking region
Main ingredientsWheat starch, tapioca starch, shrimp, cooked pork fat, bamboo shoots, scallions, cornstarch, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, and other seasonings
Har gow
Chinese name
Traditional Chinese蝦餃
Simplified Chinese虾饺
Jyutpinghaa¹ gaau²
Cantonese Yalehā gáau
Hanyu Pinyinxiājiǎo
Literal meaningshrimp dumpling
Vietnamese name
Vietnamesehá cảo
Thai name
Thaiฮะเก๋า [háʔ.kǎw]


The dumpling is sometimes called a shrimp bonnet for its pleated shape. This dish is often served together with siumaai; when served in such a manner the two items are collectively referred to as gar gow-siu mai (Chinese: 蝦餃燒賣; pinyin: xiājiǎo shāomài; Jyutping: haa1 gaau2 siu1 maai2; Cantonese Yale: hā gáau sīu máai).[2][3]

Har gow, siu mai, cha siu bao, and egg tarts are considered the classic dishes of Cantonese cuisine and referred to as The Four Heavenly Kings. (Chinese: 四大天王; pinyin: sì dà tiān wáng; Cantonese Yale: sei daaih tīn wòhng).[4][5]

The name in Cantonese also means "wedding gown" as the shape of the dumpling resembles the traditional gown worn by a woman on her wedding day.[6]


These shrimp dumplings are transparent and smooth. The prawn dumplings first appeared in Guangzhou outskirts near the creek bazaar Deli. This dish is said to be the one that the skill of a dim sum chef is judged on. Traditionally, ha gow should have at least seven and preferably ten or more pleats imprinted on its wrapper. The skin must be thin and translucent, yet be sturdy enough not to break when picked up with chopsticks. It must not stick to the paper, container or the other ha gow in the basket. The shrimp must be cooked well, but not overcooked. The amount of meat should be generous, yet not so much that it cannot be eaten in one bite.

See also


  1. Hsiung, Deh-Ta. Simonds, Nina. Lowe, Jason. [2005] (2005). The food of China: a journey for food lovers. Bay Books. ISBN 978-0-681-02584-4. p41.
  2. Big5.China.com.cn. "China.com.cn." 廣州茶飲. Retrieved on 2009-03-17.
  3. Yahoo.com. "Yahoo.com Archived 2008-04-04 at the Wayback Machine." 街坊盅頭飯. Retrieved on 2009-03-15.
  4. Talks, Honest Food (2020-02-05). "Dim Sum, a Beginner's Guide to the Cantonese Cuisine". Honest Food Talks. Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  5. "广州早茶"四大天王"有哪些?". www.sohu.com. Retrieved 2020-10-30.
  6. "Raviolis aux crevettes à la vapeur (Ha Kao)" (in French). Retrieved 2021-12-28.
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