I love making up my own filling and getting the bottoms browned just the way i like. These take about an hour from start to finish and are well worth it. Hopefully you can find dumpling wrappers in your local store. We’re spoiled in D.C. with health food and international markets all over the place but most groceries should have some size and shape that would work for you. We were even able to find a ‘no gluten added’ wrap. I used sliced leeks are the base for my filling. Along with the veggies, I threw in a little red pepper sauce for flavor. You’ll just use a small amount but it adds a wonderful creaminess to the dumplings with each bite.
For the red pepper sauce:
blend together until smooth, in a food processor, 1 red bell pepper, 8 oz of silken tofu, splash of hot sauce, 1 tsp garlic powder.
For the filling:
2 small or 1 large leek, sliced and chopped
1 cup of Napa cabbage sliced thin
1 cup shredded carrot
1/8 cup chopped fresh ginger
1/2 cup red cabbage
1 red bell pepper, diced very small
1/4 cup sesame seeds (optional)
Saute all your chopped veggies in a small amount of olive oil until just softened. They will cook some while you’re steaming your dumplings to don’t over cook them here. Transfer the sautéed veggies to a bowl and stir in
enough red pepper sauce so that the veggies combine together like a slaw. Wet but not swimming in sauce.
Chill the veggie / red pepper sauce mixture for at least 1 hour. Overnight would be best for more flavor blend.
Makes about 30 dumplings.
Watch an excellent video on how to wrap your dumplings HERE
Now to start cooking!!
Heat up a few Tbs of oil in a large fry pan. Place each dumpling in the pan, pressing down slightly to make them stand up. Stay with the pan and check under each one frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Reduce the heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly. At this point, all you want is to brown the bottoms. When they look browned, pour in enough warm water *about 1 1/2 cups worth, to create a full pan of steam and cover quickly with a lid. steam the dumplings for about 10 minutes. add more water if it steams off too quickly before the dumplings are done. If you like a dryer dumpling, reduce the heat some after they steam and brown the bottoms again to crispen them up slightly. I took mine off the heat completely and let them sit and firm up while i got my plate ready to dish up.
This is somewhat of a learning process and also a preference recipe. My husband likes his a little softer and so he cooks with the steam longer while i brown mine more. Whichever you like cause you’re making them, not the local take-out place 😉
Serve with a cup of dumpling sauce – or make your own with equal parts soy and rice vinegar plus a pinch of red pepper flakes.
The uncooked dumplings also freeze well in a sealed plastic bag for an even quicker, still healthy meal.
one year ago I was enjoying big spoonfuls of this Christmas Rice
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