Vegetarian Dumplings + Tips for Making Stunning Potstickers

Vegetarian Dumplings + Tips for Making Stunning Potstickers

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vegetarian-dumpling-chinese-potsticker
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I made these vegetarian potstickers for a dinner party the other night and never thought they'd be so popular. There were brisket stew, fried milk pudding(!) and stir fry sticky rice on the table, but this was THE item people wanted recipes for. I never really use recipes for potsticker fillings because they're so adaptable and forgiving. I just stick to these 3 general rules:

  • Squish together the filling to make sure they are able to clump up. If it is too wet, drain it and add a teaspoon or so of cornstarch
  • If you have extra wrappers, cook them like noodles for your next meal
  • If you have extra filings, cook them as stir fry!

The secret recipe for my vegetarian dumplings is 橄欖菜 Chinese olive paste, a preserved paste made with 芥菜 mustard green and olive. It is a specialty of the Chaoshan region, and has a distinctive savoury and earthy taste. I highly recommend adding this to your Asian pantry repertoire. It's great for stir fries, and stirred in rice or noodle for a quick meal. I even use it for pasta!

You can use any dumpling wrapper you want, but I prefer the round Shanghainese ones that are thicker and chewier. They are also the closest in texture to homemade dumpling wrappers. If you are entertaining, I highly recommend making the roux for the crispy skin. Trust me it's easy, and they're such a showstopper!

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Vegetarian Potstickers

Makes 24-36 dumplings.

For Assembly:
24-30 dumpling wrappers

For the Crispy Skin:
⅓ cup all purpose flour
2 teaspoon oil
⅔ cup water, more as needed

For the Dipping Sauce:
2 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 bunch scallion, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

For the Filling:
½ cup shiitake mushroom
½ cup oyster mushroom
¼ cup wood fungus
½ cup carrot, coarsely grated
1 cup finely diced cabbage
2 tablespoons olive paste
1 garlic clove, minced
½" knob of ginger, grated
1 scallion whites, chopped
1 bunch cilantro, chopped

For the Seasoning:
2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon cooking wine
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoon cornstarch

  1. Make the filling. Finely chop the mushrooms. Combine the mushrooms with the rest of the filling and seasoning ingredients. Mix well, and add half a teaspoon more cornstarch at a time, until the filling is is not wet. If making ahead of time, the filling can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 day. Stir well just before using.

  2. Set up your dumpling wrapping space with a small bowl of water, dumpling skins, the filling with a spoon, and a large parchment-lined tray to hold wrapped dumplings. Slightly cup your palm and place a wrapper on top. Place around a tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper. Dip one finger in the water and moisten half of the outer edges of the dumpling. Fold over the dry edges onto the wet edge and pinch the center together. Starting from the center, continue pinching the edges until around a quarter inch is left. Fold the tip into the pinched start pleating each side. Make 2 to 3 pleats on each side of the dumpling, pinching tightly shut. Arrange on the prepared tray. Repeat with remaining dumplings, making sure they are not touching as the skins tend to stick.

  3. Make a roux for the crispy skin. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. Adjust with water until the mixture is a thin, pouring consistency.

  4. Fry the dumplings. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non-stick pan with a lid over medium high heat. When the oil starts to shimmer, arrange the dumplings so that they fan out along the edge of the pan. Fit a couple dumplings in the center so they fit snugly in the pan; they should be touching each other. Pan-fry for 2-3 minutes until the bottoms are light golden. Pour ¼ cup of water along the sides of the pan. Cover with the lid and allow to steam for 2 minutes. Remove the lid and pour the roux along the sides and in all the gaps between the dumplings. Avoid the tops of the dumpling skins and swirl the pan until the entire bottom is covered. Continue pan-frying for 2-3 minutes until the bottom is gold brown and is crispy. Cover for another 2 minutes until the tops of the dumpling skin are translucent. (see photo) When the dumplings are done, place a large plate on top of the pan and flip over so the crispy skin is on the top. Serve immediately.

  5. Make the dipping sauce. Whisk together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, scallion and parsley in a small bowl. Serve with dumplings.

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