human_oven (human_oven) wrote in vegancooking,

Appetizers! Tofu Wontons and Spiced Rice Phyllo Parcels

Hey all! I'd like to share a couple delicious recipes that omnivores too, just love. Over a year ago, while still vegetarian, I went several times to a local fast food chinese place that had a variety of vegetarian things, including tofu wontons. I haven't been back since turning vegan, though they are very likely vegan anyway. My mom started making her own tofu wontons. We had to get different wonton skins once I went vegan (these are labeled as "dumpling skins" and are circular, not the traditional square), but the wontons are still delicious. I have started making these for parties and such, and everyone loves them! So:

Tofu Wontons (really simple!)
Yields- it depends. I never measure how much tofu I use very well. The batch in the pictures made 17, I think? Usually it's more.

wonton skins (purchased at asian market, they exist in regular stores, too... always check if vegan)
1/4 to 1/3 block of tofu (or more, if you want to be frying all night)
2-3 water chestnuts, minced (for crunch!)
1 or 2 stalks green onion (which I didn't have when I made this batch. it really adds a lot to the flavor), minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
if you have it, a bit of chopped cilantro never hurts :)
Spices: sriracha sauce (even if you don't like spicy, just a small amount of this adds flavor), seasoned salt, whatever's in your kitchen
Small cup of water

1. Mash tofu with a fork very well. (see image below for texture). Add all other chopped ingredients and seasoning. In this batch, I had no greenery, due to lack of ingredients, and I went a bit sriracha crazy, so it looks a bit odd. But more reasonable batches have a paler color and the contrast of green onions and cilantro/coriander.

2. Spoon a small amount of tofu onto the wonton skin.

3. Dip finger in water and paint along the rim of the skin, to moisten. (If you are using traditional square wrappers, you do this on two edges and fold in diagonally). Then fold the skin onto itself, pressing down on moist edges to seal.

Repeat until all tofu filling is used.

4. Fry in vegetable oil. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot (or not, they're still pretty good).

And my second recipe came about of necessity. I've sort of earned a reputation for bringing delicious food to fiestas, but I was short on time and had no ideas for this one. So, examining my ingredients, I came up with this- a kind of greek hybrid. It has a filling similar to what you would find in stuffed grape leaves (dolmas), but is wrapped in phyllo pastry (ok, phyllo isn't really quick, but I sort of cheated on the thawing process with very light zaps in the microwave).

Spiced Rice Phyllo Parcels

Never having made dolmas before, I used this recipe as my inspiration. I changed several things however. And obviously, to finish, I did not put the recipe in grape leaves, I stuffed it in lovely phyllo parcels and baked.

Yield: about 12 parcels (easily doubled recipe)... comes nowhere close to using all of a box of phyllo dough.

Enough olive oil to sautée (about 1 Tbsp)
1 onion, minced (oww, my eyes! I was crying at this part of the recipe)
3/4 cup uncooked white rice
It calls for 1 tbsp. tomato paste. I had none, so I threw in a very small amount of salsa- it's just for flavoring.
Recipe asks for 1 tbsp each currants and pine nuts, but I did not use either, because that wasn't really the flavor I'm going for (and I didn't have those ingredients)
1/2 T cinnamon (I used less- I'm not a huge cinnamon fan)
1/2 T dried mint (I don't think I had any?)
1/2 T dried dill weed
1/2 tsp allspice (had none)
1/2 tsp cumin (I used more than that quantity)
Spices I used, not in original recipe: 1 clove minced garlic, Some seasoned and garlic salt (when I tasted not enough flavor/salt), squeezed lemon juice. I don't measure spices when cooking really, I just use however seems enough.
Phyllo pastry, thawed
Small quantity melted vegan margarine (or olive oil)

-thaw the phyllo pastry according to directions, ideally overnight. I cheated and lightly microwaved and then set out for 30 minutes. This made the phyllo slightly more difficult to work with, though.
1. At some point, preheat oven to 350 degrees. The prep will take a while, so you decide when to preheat (I did it when I began to stuff my rice mixture into the phyllo parcels)
2. Heat oil in medium saucepan, medium heat, and sauté onions until tender. Then, stir in rice, and add hot water to cover. Cover this and simmer until the rice is half cooked (said the recipe- I found my rice to be pretty fully cooked after this, which was ideal). Hopefully it won't stick to the bottom too much. If you don't want to do this, you could just precook the rice and then sauté it with your onions.
3. Remove from heat. Add seasoning ingredients above, until it tastes good to you.
4. Melt margarine in microwave.
5. Cut a piece of phyllo approximately 3x3 inches square. With pastry brush, lightly brush with margarine. Place another square on top of this and repeat. I made each square have four layers of pastry. You could have more if you wanted.
6. Place a few tablespoons of the rice mixture in the center of each phyllo square. Then, bring the sides up and pinch together, so it looks like a happy parcel. Place on baking sheet (mine was lined with parchment paper, that's probably not necessary).
7. Repeat until filling is used up. I made 10 and had leftover filling I saved for my friend who cannot eat wheat, because it was very delicious. But it would make 12, most likely.

Enjoy! I swear, both of these recipes are amazingly delicious.
Tags: appetizers, ethnic food-general asian/fusion, ethnic food-greek, foods that non-vegans would like, fried stuff, party foods &/or potlucks, pastry-phyllo dough, picnic-foods, tofu
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