I will not lie to you. This is somewhat time consuming, fiddly business. BUT, it really is worth it! Fragrant, soft, crispy, saucy, savoury, sweet, they have it all. It’s a simple and relatively easy recipe to make, but it does require a little time and a little patience. The good thing is, (besides the heavenly experience of eating them), that these dumplings freeze well, so you can make a large batch, freeze half of them and save them for another moment in time. My children could eat these till they come out of their ears! Which is wonderful because they are full of nutritional goodness. Delicious! I truly hope you will give my dumplings a go. You will not regret it!
Theresa’s Veggie Dumplings
Makes 75 (can be halved)
1 block of firm organic tofu, patted dry and diced (200g)
1 cup brown chestnut mushrooms, quartered
1 leek, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 cup of fresh baby leaf spinach
2 cups white cabbage, finely chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp veggie stock powder
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
75 gyoza wrappers, defrosted (3 packets of 25)
A little corn flour
A few sprays of olive oil
Soy sauce, sesame seeds and some chopped spring onions to serve
🥟 Begin by preparing all the ingredients for the filling. Place the tofu cubes in a food processor and pulse until you have a coarse breadcrumb consistency. Empty in a large mixing bowl. Repeat with the mushrooms, the leek, the carrot and the spinach, pulsing each one gently, till they all look like breadcrumbs. Add the finely chopped cabbage and the spring onions to the mixing bowl and toss everything together.
🥟 In a large frying pan, pour a little water and add the veggie/tofu mixture, the soy sauce, the hoisin sauce, the ginger, the coriander, the veggie stock powder and the sesame oil. Stir fry the mixture for 5 minutes, till everything wilts and softens. Spoon the mixture in a sieve over a bowl and set aside to drain and cool. Allow it to come to room temperature.
🥟 To assemble the dumplings, open one of the gyoza wrapper packets, but do not take them all out. Dampen a dish cloth and keep it draped over the packet of the gyozas to prevent them from drying out while you work. Take a small bowl of clean water and have it at hand. Place a couple of large trays near by and dust them with some corn flour to prevent the dumplings from sticking.
🥟 Place one wrapper on your palm and spoon a teaspoon of the filling onto its centre. Using your finger, wet only half of the edge of the wrapper with a little water. Carefully fold the wrapper in half to create a crescent shape and pinch the edges to seal them all around, thus tucking the filling in the middle. Now I am not an expert in dumpling decor, but I do know there are many different ways to pinch the dough and there are many tutorials online. I chose to improvise by kind of folding the edges inward to create a braid like pattern. As long as they are sealed, they will be fine. As you prepare them, place them in the floured trays and set aside.
🥟 At this point you may decide to freeze some or all of your dumplings. If this is the case, place them in the freezer on the trays until they are solid. Then they can be transferred in containers or bags. Defrost before cooking.
🥟 To cook the dumplings, spray a large frying pan with a very tiny amount of little olive oil. Place the dumplings in the pan, close together over medium heat. Watch them closely and gently move them ever so slightly, to prevent them from sticking. When they are golden brown underneath, spray the tops with a little more olive oil and turn them over. Repeat the process, always moving them very slightly with a wooden spoon. Lower the heat. Add a splash of boiling water and cover them for a couple of minutes to help the filling steam. Uncover, check they are nice and golden and lay on a clean cloth.
🥟 Serve with some soy sauce for dipping, a few chopped spring onions and a sprinkle of sesame seeds.
A bowl of basmati rice and some steamed edamame are nice accompaniments.