From Shanghai with Love: Angie's Shaomai Recipe

Personal Background & Journey

Hello! I’m the creator of @spoonful.tian, a page that specializes in Asian-influenced recipes with the goal of introducing others to the amazing flavors I grew up with. While baking through the pandemic, I found sharing food to be one of the most enlightening and rewarding ways to share our stories, backgrounds, and cultures with each other. @spoonful.tian is a collection of my stories, whether it’s throwbacks to childhood favorites or cultural twists on viral trends. Welcome to a snippet of my happy place!

Life Aspirations

Impact comes in all shapes and sizes– my goal is to make a meaningful and positive difference in the lives of those around me, whether that’s problem-solving large-scale issues or just feeding you my favorite foods!

What is Bento Box to you?

I’ve always viewed meal prep as a form of self care and love. Growing up, my parents would stay up late or wake up early to prepare bentos for my school lunches and make sure I had incredibly nourishing meals. This kind of consideration and dedication made me always feel like I was carrying around a bit of home in my bento.

What do you pack in your TAKENAKA Bento?

As a dim sum fiend, I love packing a sampler of all my favorite dim sum. This bento features a generous portion of one of my favorites – Shanghai Shaomai (上海烧麦) or sticky rice dumplings!

What is your favorite part of our boxes and what what colors have you chosen? 

These bentos are so spacious and easy to bring with me anywhere! The intuitive design means I can pack anything from small snacks to full-scale meals with ease. Not to mention the colors are gorgeous– I love the neutral tones of my White Eggshell bento :)


Shanghai Shaomai (上海烧麦) Recipe


20-25 dumpling wrappers
¾ cup sweet sticky rice
30g shiitake mushrooms, soaked and diced
1 Chinese sausage, diced
20g soy sauce
10g dark soy sauce
10g oyster sauce
8g sugar
10g Shaoxing wine
1g white pepper
80-100g water (adjust as necessary)

What to do:

1. Soak the sticky rice in a bowl for 12-24 hours. Line a steamer with parchment paper and place the sticky rice inside. Fill a pot with water and bring it to a simmer before placing the steamer on top.

2. Steam for 40-50 minutes until fully cooked. Set aside.

3. Heat a pan over medium heat and saute the mushrooms and Chinese sausage. Once fragrant, add in the soy sauces, oyster sauce, sugar, Shaoxing wine, white pepper, and water and bring the mixture to a simmer.

4. Add in the cooked sticky rice and mix until well-combined and the sauce is fully absorbed. Remove filling from heat and let it cool.

5. Take one dumpling wrapper and place about 1.5 to 2 tbsp of filling in the center. Squeeze the edges of the wrapper together to create a little pouch. Repeat with the rest of the wrappers and filling.

6. Steam for 8-10 minutes until the skin is fully cooked. Serve warm.