I'm a huge fan of steamed dumplings. I think they're so much fun in their cute little pockets of delicious. My husband and I went to a local dumpling restaurant months ago and I still talk about how great they were. It's about a half hour away though and so we just don't make it to that side of town very often anymore. They made their dumplings from scratch (of course, and I should hope) and they were little pillows of yum. I could have eaten like 15 (but I didn't). So, were I'm going with this is that I made some at home that were also delicious!
For Christmas, I received a little dumpling mold. I was super excited and couldn't wait to jump in and make 120 wonderful dumplings to keep in the freezer so I can fulfill my craving at any point. I did end up making only 12 because I had not made all of it from scratch before (dough and filling), only 108 left to go!
I actually got wild and made the dough from scratch also! For the purposes of time and effort, yeah, I would probably purchase wontons wrappers in a pinch. The wrappers were really good though, it was just a youtube video moment watching me roll them out. I couldn't get them as thin as they needed to be so I didn't get as many as it was supposed to yield because I used extra dough to get them to the size they needed to be. So, they were a little thick but I wouldn't turn them away and we may have eaten all of them in about 10 minutes because we. just. couldn't. stop.
The filling is made with tofu and napa cabbage and other delicious stuff. Per some recipes I've seen for dumplings I lined the steamer basket with a few pieces of napa cabbage so that the dumplings wouldn't stick. I also gave it a quick spray over the cabbage because I'm not a fan of peeling steamed dumpling dough off a hot steamer basket. I haven't had to yet and I hope to not ever need to.
Sauteing the dumplings in a skillet is also one of my favorite parts because it gives the dumpling that crispy golden brown bottom (my husband also does the sides, I don't). For dipping we just make a simple sauce of soy sauce, minced garlic, and sriracha in whatever amounts we feel like that day. I served the dumplings with a tasty Korean-style black bean soup that can be found here. Happy dumpling making!
Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings
Makes 12 but hopefully 24 (maybe a little extra filling)
- 1 cup flour
- ⅓ cup water
- ¼ pound firm tofu
- ¼ cup coarsely grated carrots
- ¼ cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped scallions
- 1 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 egg white, lightly beaten
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. To prepare wrapper, combine flour and water in a bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 5 minutes. Cover dough; let rest 30 minutes.
2. Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into 12 equal pieces. Shape each dough piece into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4-inch circle on a floured surface (cover circles with a damp towel to prevent drying).
3. Preheat oven to 200F if you need to keep the dumplings warm after cooking. Cut the tofu in half horizontally and lay between layers of paper towels. Place on a plate, top with another plate, and place a weight on top (a 14-ounce can of vegetables works well). Let stand 20 minutes.
4. After 20 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/4-inch cubes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the carrots, cabbage, scallions, ginger, soy sauce, hoisin, chili oil, egg white, salt, and pepper. Lightly stir to combine.
5. To form the dumplings,place one wrapper on the work surface, keeping the others covered. Brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Place 1-2 rounded teaspoons of the tofu mixture in the center of the wrapper. Shape as desired.
6. Set on a sheet pan and cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.
7. Using a steaming apparatus of your choice, bring 1/4 to 1/2-inch of water to a simmer over medium heat. Place several cabbage leaves on the steamer then spray the steamer's surface lightly with the non-stick vegetable spray to ensure no sticking.
8. Place as many dumplings as will fit into a steamer, without touching each other. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes over medium heat.
9. Remove the dumplings from the steamer to a heatproof platter and place in oven to keep warm. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.
Adapted from Food Network