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n. pl. shumai
1. A steamed or fried dumpling that contains a pastelike filling of minced ingredients, as pork, shrimp, ginger, and onion, usually seasoned with soy sauce and often only partially wrapped, exposing part of the filling.
2. A dish consisting of a number of these dumplings.

[Japanese shūmai, from Cantonese siu1 maai6, Cantonese reading (with siu1, to burn, roast, and maai2, variant in composition of maai6, to sell) of Mandarin shāomài (as written with the characters shāo, to burn, roast, and mài, to sell, since shumai are frequently sold in small shops and as street food), rewriting of earlier shāomài : shāo, a little, variant of shào (from Middle Chinese ʂaı̷w`, from Old Chinese *sr(i)âuh) + mài, wheat (perhaps with reference to the thin wheaten wrapper, from Middle Chinese ma⋮jk, from Old Chinese *mrək, perhaps of Indo-European origin; see melə- in Indo-European roots).]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are bite-sized, grilled-to-order yA<<kCu chA<< xiAngchang (literally 'a mouthful of sausage') and Emperor's shAomai (consider these levelled-up siew mai).
Anyone who has ever eaten a cha siu bao, shumai (shaomai in Mandarin), or spring roll has eaten dim sum.
On the second floor the menu is limited; they have dishes such as 'Noodles with Mock Chicken,' 'Noodles with Mixed Vegetables,' fried rice dishes, and shaomai, delicious sticky rice balls.
Chi Mei Frozen Food Company's product line runs the gamut from meat- and vegetable-filled dumplings to wonton (paozu) and dimsum ranging from pearl balls and crab shaomai to Tiensin fluffy green onion pancakes and pork sticky rice.
She thought the pork and prawn shaomai (pounds 2.75) would be a good starting point.
Pullmans are stocking a mixed case containing 36 pieces each of prawn wonton, seafood shaomai, vegetable spring roll and spicy prawn samosa.
Included were: ready meal seafood kits; fish and/or shrimp skewers with vegetables; marinated shrimp or fish; panko crumb breaded or pastry shrimp; shrimp gyoza (Japanese-style dumplings); shrimp won ton; deep fried samosa; shrimp rings (though, he noted, unfortunately this has often "become a commodity that supermarkets use as a price football"); dim sum, such as shaomai or hakao.
* Flat bag, suitable for standard frozen and chilled foods like shaomai and dim sum.
Wheat-based items, always the staple foods of China, dominate the market: dumplings, buns, filled buns, rolls, wontons, shaomai, and spring rolls.