If you are cooking the shumai immediately, line a bamboo steamer with parchment paper. If you plan to freeze the dumplings, line 1 or 2 large plates or a sheet pan with parchment paper.
(Refer to the photo collage in the post for visuals on how to form the dumplings.) Take one dumpling wrapper and place it on your left hand. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling on the center of the wrapper. Shift the wrapper and filling so that it is laying on top of the crook of your left hand (Photo 1).
Using a butter knife or spoon on your right hand, start pressing the filling down into the gap formed by the crook of your left hand (Photo 2).
Use your left hand to squeeze the dumpling together (Photo 3). I usually form an “o” shape with my thumb and pointer finger to help guide the dumpling into a round shape. My dumplings are usually about 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Use your ring finger to cradle the dumpling underneath (Photo 4). This makes it easier to pack the dumpling with filling.
Make sure to fill the dumpling all the way to the top (Photo 5). You don’t want to see any excess dumpling wrapper on the top because the dumplings will not look as nice when cooked.
Place the filled dumpling on the counter and check to see if it stands upright without leaning over. If the dumpling is leaning, use your fingers to straighten it. Transfer the dumpling to your lined bamboo steamer or plate. Continue filling and shaping the dumplings until you run out of the filling.
Top each dumpling with about 1/4 teaspoon of finely diced carrots.
To cook the dumplings, cover the bamboo steamer with the lid. Fill a wok with water. It should cover about 2 ½ inches from the bottom of the wok. Bring the water to boil. Then, carefully place the covered bamboo steamer directly over the boiling water. (See photo in the post for reference.) Let the dumplings cook for 7 to 8 minutes. You can stick a thermometer into a dumpling to see if the meat has reached 165ºF. Remove the steamer basket from the wok and serve.