Vegan Chinese Dumplings

Hey friends,

This recipe has me super excited! Dumplings are probably one of the most famous Chinese dishes. For me they really are a staple. My mom always made them filled with meat, which is absolutely delicious. But since I now eat plant-based 90% of the time, I wanted to veganize these dumplings.

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Don’t be scared of by the folding of the dumplings

Now when it comes to dumplings, what scares many people off is the shaping and folding. Let me tell you the good news: The shape doesn’t matter. My dumplings also don’t look great. And you know what, you can keep it real simple: You can simple fold your dumpling skin in half to close and that’s it. There is no right or wrong technique. I’ve even come to notice that each family coming from different regions have different dumpling shapes. You can really get creative!

it’s vegan and full of flavor! You won’t want meat.

Now let’s talk about the taste. I was at first scared that because there is no meat in these dumplings, the umami taste and the flavors would be missing. That a vegan dumpling would taste super bland. But let me tell you, this one does not! I tested different versions of the recipe, and this is the perfect combination. We for one get the flavors from the shiitake mushrooms and we fry the ingredients of the filling as well to further get out most of the fragrance. I’m so happy with the outcome of this recipe and don’t think for one second that is is inferior to it’s meat counterpart.

Freeze for lazy dazys

What I recommend is to make these in bulk. Maybe on a sunday or so, when you have lot’s of time. Or what many Chinese families to is to make these dumplings as a family. This way you have lots of people helping to shape and make the dumplings and things move along much quicker. Now I recommend making a lot at once, so you can freeze the extras. To freeze them place the dumplings on a parchment lined tray and put that into the freezer, Once they’re frozen you can transfer them into a bag to save space. To me frozen dumplings is like an Asian version of frozen pizza: perfect for those lazy day where you don’t want to cook and want something warm and comforting. Just throw them in a pot of boiling water and they are done in 5min.

Turning them into pot-stickers

Or you can turn them into pot stickers. The art of making the perfect pot stickers is the golden crust on the bottom. For that simply add 1-2 tsp of flour to your water before adding to into the pan. And at the end when you want to get out the dumplings, Get a large plate and place it face down over the pan and flip the pan with the plate. So that the pan is faced down and the plate up. This is how you present the delicious golden crust.

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the sauce

Now when it comes to dipping the dumplings everyone has their own preferences. Ideally you would dip it in some black vinegar or some type of chili sauce. I just make a soy sauce and apple cider vinegar mixture of about 1 tsp soy sauce and 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar. But some people also like it without any sauce. It’s completely up to you.

Enough with the chatter, let’s get started.

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makes about 24 dumplings (2-3 servings)

Ingredients

Dough:

  • 175g all purpose flour
  • 125g whole wheat flour
  • 120ml room temperature water

Filling:

  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • ginger (walnut-sized)
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 0.5 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • 200g semi firm tofu
  • 3 stalks of green spring onion

Method

  1. Prepare the dough by combining all the ingredients and mixing and kneading in a bowl for 5min or until the dough is smooth and the bowl is clean. Cover with a damp tea towel and set aside to let it rest for 1 hour.
  2. Prepare the filling by first soaking the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl of boiling water for 15min. After the 15min drain the mushrooms and squeeze out the excess water and cut into small pieces. In the mean time wash, peel the carrots and grate finely. Crumble or cube the tofu into small pieces. Mince the garlic and ginger. Wash and cut the spring onion into fine slices.
  3. Heat up a pan on medium high heat and fry all the cut up tofu, ginger, garlic, mushrooms and spring onion until fragrant. Place all the pan fried ingredients together with the grated carrots into a large bowl. Add the soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Mix and let the mixture cool.
  4. Back to the dough: Take out a quarter of the dough (cover the rest) and knead it on a floured surface for a few minutes. Then shape it into a roughly 2cm thick sausage. Cut the sausage shaped dough into 2.5cm pieces. Take one piece, slightly knead it and shape it into a round ball. Press down and flatten with the palm of your hand. Take a small rolling pin and roll out the edges of the flattened dough by rolling towards the middle and back (we want the middle to be slightly thicker than the edges). Add about 0,5-1 tbsp worth of the filling on the rolled out dough and fold the dumpling (refer to the video). If you want to keep it simple just fold the dumpling skin in half to seal the filling. Set aside the finished dumpling and cover while you fold the rest. After you have finished all the folding, this is the point to freeze your dumplings (if you made more).
  5. To cook the dumpling you can either boil it in water or fry it in a pan. To boil it in water: Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the dumplings and stir carefully (so the dumplings don’t stick to the bottom) wait for the dumplings float to the top (should only take a few minutes) and then cook for another minute or so. Scoup out the dumplings and drain as much water from the dumplings as possible. Serve immediately with a vinegar and soy sauce mixture. To make pot-stickers: Heat a pan on medium high heat, add a little bit of oil and add the dumplings fold facing up. Once the underside of the dumpling is golden (3-5min), add 100ml water (add a tsp of flour to the water beforehand if you want a delicious crust) and cover the pan with a lid. Cook until the water has completely evaporated. Serve hot.

That’s it for this dumpling recipe. I hope you love it! I’m still obsessed with this recipe, that I will be making this quite a lot in the next few days.

If you like this recipe or are thinking of making this, give it a like and share it with a friend that deserves delicious dumplings!

Love,

Silvia

 

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