Updated: Dec 31, 2020
This is a Vegetarian Dumpling recipe I created after my first attempt fell flat. I'm so pleased with how these turned out! I think they are as delicious as a meaty version, so it's a great option for a vegetarian or mixed veggie/omnivore household.
You can either mix up your own dough OR you can use store bought wonton wrappers. If you use store bought wonton wrappers, you will be able to see the filling through the noodle wrapper just like you’re used to seeing in wonton soup. If you go the store bought route, go for the large square wrappers as you can fit more filling inside. They will also be easier to fold, the more surface area they offer. If you make your own dough, you will have a thicker bulkier final product. You will also have more flexibility with the size and shape of your dumplings as you can do as big or as small as you like. This time around, I ended up doing a mix of both homemade and store bought, because I had more filling than the store bought wrappers could hold. The dumpling dough recipe was adapted from Fucia Donlop's recipe in Every Grain of Rice.
Vegetarian Mushroom Dumplings Recipe
Makes 30-40 dumplings, depending your wrapper size
4 cups mixed mushrooms diced (king trumpet and shitake)
1 onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon minced ginger
1 large pinch chili flakes or white pepper
1 bunch cilantro (keep stems)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
½ bunch kale, Chinese broccoli or leafy green of your choice, cut into ribbons
1 red bell pepper, small cubes
2 eggs (2 flax eggs for vegan)
1-2 tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce for vegan
2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry (optional)
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Dumpling wrapper ingredients
4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour
1 cup (265 ml) cold water
For the Dough:
If you are making your own dumpling wrappers, start the dough first, as it needs to rest after kneading. Add 4 cups (500g) all-purpose flour to a large mixing bowl and dig out a well in the center. Pour 1 cup (265 ml) cold water into the well.
Using chopsticks, a fork, wooden spoon or your hands, mix the water and flour together until it forms a shaggy dough. Transfer the dough to a clean and lightly floured work surface and knead the dough for about 6-10 minutes, until it comes together as a smooth elastic but slightly firm ball.
Cover with a damp tea towel or leave it to rest in an appropriately sized Tupperware or do the old bowl over the plate trick. It’s important it rests covered, as uncovered it will form a dry skin very quickly. Rest time: 30min
For the Filling
Prepare all vegetables: mince the garlic, ginger and the stems from the entire bunch of cilantro – store together. Chop the cilantro leaves and green onions, store together for later use. Finely chop the mushrooms and onions and red bell pepper. Slice the kale into ribbons, stacking and rolling the leaves and then slicing then horizontally.
In a cold pan, add the cooking oil and the cilantro stems, ginger, garlic and chili flakes, and a pinch of salt, set the heat to medium and sauté until they release their aroma. Then add the onion and another pinch of salt and sauté for another 2-3 minutes, until the onion aroma comes through.
Add the finely chopped mushrooms and sauté for around 8-10 minutes, taste along the way, and keep cooking until you like the flavor development. I started to get some browning on the pan towards the end of cooking, so I gave it a splash of water from time to time.
When the mushrooms are cooked, add your fish sauce or soy sauce, and your Shaoxing wine, and your red peppers and continue to cook until the peppers have slightly softened. Add water if/when more browning develops on the pan. Next, add your kale and keep cooking until it is wilted. Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning (you could add more salt, chili, soy, or fish sauce at this point. If you’d like to add the tiniest amount of toasted sesame oil, that’s an option too. Remove from heat and cool.
When the sautéed veggies are cool, add 2 eggs and the chopped green onion and cilantro leaves. Mix well to incorporate. You’re done here! Store this in the fridge until you’re ready to get folding!
Below are two videos showing how to fold your dumplings depending in the wrapper you decide to go with.
Here is a video showing 6 different dumpling folds to use with homemade dough
Here is a video showing how to fold dumplings with a store bought wrapper. I bought pretty small store bought wrappers, which was very limiting in how I could fold. I recommend going as large as you can and square, with the store bought versions.
For wonton soup or boiled dumplings – boil the wontons separately from the broth so that you don’t muddy up the broth with excess flour on the dumplings. They only need a 1-2 minutes to cook because the filling is already cooked; you’re just looking for the noodle to cook here. If you’re dumplings are frozen this will take longer. The noodles are cooked when you can see the filling through the noodle. Serve either in your broth OR with chili oil over top!
For bottom seared dumplings:
The best cooking vessel for this is a deep bottom nonstick pan or pot with a lid so that you can both steam and sear. Start with the steaming bit, place your dumplings in the pot and gently fill with water so that they’re half way submerged. Turn on your burner and bring to a boil. Once you get the boil, steam them for about 6 minutes. (I learned from Julia Child that this called is the boil steam method)
After 6 minutes, if there is any water left over, gently pour it out. Put the pan back on the heat and pour in 1-2 T of oil. Give the pan a little shake to disperse the oil well. Cook on medium high heat until you achieve the sear you’re looking for, about 2-5 minutes depending on how hot your burner gets.
Mix your dipping sauce by combining your 1T (14g) soy sauce and 2t (10g) rice vinegar in a small bowl.
Serve with dipping sauce and enjoy!
Store leftover cooked dumplings in the fridge and microwave 1-2 minutes to reheat.
Dumplings are amazing to freeze and have on hand all the time. If you can fit your prepared baking sheet full of dumplings in the freeze, place the entire thing in there for at least 6 hours, until the dumplings are frozen through. You want to freeze them NOT touching one another first. Once they’re fully frozen you can put them in whatever freezer container you prefer. Once fully frozen, they won’t stick together.
To cook them from frozen, you use the exact same method as fresh, but double the steaming time to 12 minutes in boiling water.