Veggie Dumplings

VeggieDumplings2

Well I decided to try making home made dumplings for the first time after going to a friends house over Christmas and decided that it wasn’t as much work as I thought. Particularly since I discovered your could buy pre-made dumpling wrappers in the store! However, I invited guests over for dinner that were vegetarian…. so I decided to try an attempt at vegetarian dumplings.

This recipe makes enough to store in the freezer, which is great for a night when you don’t have time to cook.

Vegetarian Dumplings

1 package extra firm or pressed tofu
1 package smoked tofu
3-4 carrots
1-2 inch fresh ginger
2 cans water chestnuts
6 cloves garlic
2 shallots
2 cup napa cabbage
1/4 bunch cilantro leaves
2 small bundles bean thread noodles
handful of wood ear mushrooms
4-5 shiitake mushrooms

3 tablespoon soy sauce
3 tablespoon hoisin / vegetarian stir fry / vegetarian oyster sauce
2 teaspoons sesame oil
salt, to taste
white pepper, to taste
1-3 teaspoon chili oil, to taste (optional)
3 teaspoon vegetarian chicken seasoning (optional)
mushroom seasoning (optional)

3 eggs, lightly beaten

flour, as needed

2 packages dumpling wrapper
1.5-2 recipes if making your own wrappers. I used this recipe

Filling
(If you’re using dried shiitake mushrooms, soak them overnight. You can also boil them until they are soft if you forget to soak them.)

Soak the bean thread noodles and mushrooms in just boiled water for about 30 minutes to soften.

In a food processor place the first 12 ingredients in a food processor one by one until chopped to your liking, and place into a large mixing bowl.

Add the next 8 ingredients to the mixing bowl. Lightly stir to combine. Taste until you are satisfied with the seasoning. Then add the eggs.

Add the flour and mix gently until the contents start sticking together. When you press with your hands, the contents should stay together.

Wrappers
You can purchase store bought dumpling wrappers. However, if you are unable to find the wrappers or just don’t want to go to the store you can also make your own wrappers. When making wrappers, I have used this recipe. However, if you plan on pan frying them rather than boiling them, I recommend using warm water. Cold water makes the wrapper chewy and doesn’t absorb the sauce well. Hot water makes the wrapper absorb too much sauce and make it soggy.

Forming
Store bought wrappers:
Fill a small bowl with water. Remove 1 dumpling wrapper from the package. Place 1 teaspoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper, with your finger brush the edges of the wrapper lightly with water. Fold as described below. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.

Homemade wrappers:
No water is necessary. Just roll out the dough and fold as described below. Repeat procedure until all of the filling is gone.

Folding
I found this blog on chow.com that demonstrates how to fold dumplings

Storing
Obviously you can cook the dumplings right away, but if you’re like me, this recipe makes way too many to eat in one sitting. To store, line a cookie tray with parchment paper and as you wrap each dumpling place them on a tray and make sure they do not touch. Place in the freezer for about an hour until they freeze and then store them in an air tight bag/container in the freezer.

Cooking
In a non-stick pan, add oil and then place the dumplings in the pan in a single layer. Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan until all the water has evaporated (basically you are steaming the dumplings). Remove the cover and let the bottom fry until a golden crust has formed.

**Note: If cooking from frozen, do not defrost ahead of time. Just place the frozen dumplings in the pan. You will just need to cook it a few minutes during the steam phase.

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