Vegetable Dumplings- A Classic Dumpling Recipe
Let’s face facts here- if you’ve never made dumplings before, it’s not going to be easy but if you follow these steps carefully, your dumplings will turn out just fine. Vegetable dumplings are a staple all over Asia, not just in its arguable birthplace of China. Nowadays, almost every country in Asia has its unique version of vegetable dumplings, some with spicy sauces, others with sweet sauces. The most important key here is to start with good quality ingredients then mise en place (i.e. have everything in its proper place), so you can have a smooth assembly line and not scramble to look for anything while your dumpling wrapper goes dry and brittle. Have fun! It’s ok to make mistakes; it’s just dumplings! If you totally mess up, you can just throw everything in a pot of boiling water, add soy sauce and seasonings, and you’ll have a messy wonton soup!
Makes 38-42 Dumplings
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
8 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely minced
2 cups Chinese Napa cabbage, finely shredded
1 1/2 cups dried wood-ear mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes, drained and thinly sliced
1 cup bamboo shoots, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 1/2 tablespoon regular soy sauce
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
38-42 round wonton wrappers
1 large egg, lightly whisked
In a wok, heat the vegetable oil on high heat. Sauté the garlic and ginger for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Add the Napa cabbage, sliced wood-ear mushrooms, bamboo shoots and scallions. Toss together.
Add the soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Stir-fry for just a few minutes until the vegetables are softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Using your hands, squeeze out and remove any excess liquids from the vegetable mixture.
Place a wonton wrapper on a clean, dry flat surface. Place about ½ a tablespoon or so of the vegetable mixture into the middle of the wrapper. Dip your finger into the whisked egg and drag around half of the perimeter of the wonton wrapper. Fold the wrapper over so you’ve formed a half moon shape. Gently but firmly press the non-coated perimeter of the wonton wrapper against the egg-coated half to seal. Once you do this a few times, you’ll find the perfect amount of vegetable filling to add so that the wonton seals comfortably. Place the sealed wonton on a large baking sheet or other clean, flat surface. Repeat this step until all the filling is used.
Bring a large pot of water to a vigorous boil on high heat. Drop in a few dumplings at a time and boil for just a couple of minutes until the wontons are floating on top of the water. Use a strainer to gently remove the wontons and place on a serving plate. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce. We recommend Black Vinegar Dipping Sauce.