Safe, effective, and fun! (surrealestate) wrote in vegancooking,
Safe, effective, and fun!

Homemade Chinese-style Dumplings!

Last week, a couple of friends hosted a potluck event and I decided at the last minute to make Chinese-style dumplings. I'd never made them before even though I've wanted to for a very long time, but I happened to have a package of wrappers in the fridge from a recent trip to the Asian superdupermarket, and I just decided to go for it. I made it all up as I went along, but they turned out great! Plus it was fast -- I had a first batch assembled in under a half-hour. The feedback was wonderful and even self-proclaimed tofu-haters really enjoyed them.


1 block of tofu (firm, not silken)
Small can water chestnuts
Handful of broccoli

Canola oil
Sesame oil
Soy sauce
(As long as I'm posting, allow me to make special mention that mirin (sweet rice wine) is really a must-have if you like various Asian-style cooking. I've seen people claim that you can just substitute rice wine vinegar, but that's completely different. After all, would you ever substitute red wine vinegar for red wine and expect similar results? Yuck.)

Dried parsley
Garlic powder
Ginger powder

Package dumpling wrappers

What to do (or rather, what I did)

1. Crumble the tofu into a bowl
2. Chop the water chestnuts and mix into tofu. (The best tool for the chopping is a Zyliss "comfort food chopper". If you don't have one already, get one.) (The water chestnuts were the only item I thought about ahead of time, because I wanted the crunch. Then I looked at the mix and it was just so WHITE that I sprinkled in some dried parsley. I liked the color, but it wasn't enough. So I checked what else was around and then...)
3. Chop the broccoli and carrot (again with the Zyliss or similar) and toss that in
4. Add a little canola oil and some sesame oil to a large frying pan (or wok), toss in the mix, add soy sauce and mirin and cook it all over medium-high heat, tossing frequently. Sprinkle in the garlic and ginger. (If I'd thought of it earlier, I'd have used fresh.)
5. When it all seems sufficiently done, assemble the dumplings. It was much faster and easier than I expected it to be. I used round wrappers, put some filling in the center, then wet the perimeter with water, folded, and pressed along the seam with a fork.
6. Drop in barely-boiling water and cook for about five minutes. The wrappers turned somewhat translucent. I'd wanted to do a sort of steam-sear cook, but there was little time. I was concerned they might fall apart in the water, but they held perfectly.
7. Serve with your favorite dumpling sauce, which for me is a mix of soy sauce, rice winer vinegar, mirin, and hot sauce.


Dumplings prior to cooking, along with a mound of the filling.

Dumplings after cooking, along with the dipping sauce.

Tags: ethnic food-chinese
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