I’ve tried most of the dumplings listed, if not all, and they are consistently among my favorite chinese dishes. A lot of sushi places offer shaomai, often spelled shu mai or shui mai, as an appetizer.
The best of the bunch is char siu bao, or simply bao. I first experienced these delightful steamed buns during my 2006 trip to China, and I’ve been singing their praises ever since. I was especially tickled to see them featured so prominently in Kung Fu Panda.
A great place to get fresh bao in Chicago is “Wow Bao“, but they only have a few locations , and none convenient to me. However, many specialty asian grocers will have steamed buns in the freezer section to make at home. Try some soon and let me know what you think. Enjoy!