Monday, 10 August 2015

Vegetarian dumpling recipe

My favourite Sunday afternoon snack: dumplings. Photo by me, I made the dumplings, my partner made the sauce

I love dumplings. I love it so much that I learned how to make it myself so that I didn’t have to depend on my lovely Chinese friends who can be too busy to satiate my dumpling cravings. But my dumpling journey has been a bumpy one, until recently when I improved my dumpling making skills. I have concluded that I love pan-frying my dumplings with just a little bit of water; it results in crispy bottom and translucent upper part that are just divine. I first got the inspiration from watching one of Poh's shows on ABC, and after trying this method, I'm totally in love with the results (and Poh is such a lovely chef as well, it doesn't hurt...).


1 cup filling = 10 dumplings; this recipe makes 30 dumplings
1 carrot, shredded
6-7 shiitake mushroom, finely chopped
2-3 water chestnuts, finely chopped
¼ cups of bamboo shoots, finely chopped
1-1.5 cm ginger, finely chopped
¼ cups snap peas or snow peas, finely chopped
8-10 pods of edamame, de-pod (if that’s a word)
1 small red onion (the Asian version), finely chopped
300 grams of hard tofu, processed in a food processor to resemble a sticky gooey. If you don’t have a food processor, beat the tofu with mortar and pestle to crumbs
3-4 spring onions, chopped
1 package of gow gee wrappers (30 skins)


1. Sautee all ingredients except for the tofu, seasoned as wished.

2. Combined sauteed ingredients with the processed/crumbed tofu and chopped spring onions, seasoned if not yet savoury. The tofu, I find, provides nice “glue” that makes other ingredients stick together without the need of eggs or corn flour. 

3. Fill the center of one gow gee wrapper with 1-2 teaspoons of filling. Use a brush to wet the perimeter of the gow gee wrapper. Go easy with the water; it should just be wet enough for the gow gee to stick together. If you use too much water, you will find it too slippery to fold and the edges won’t stick together. Stick the edges of the gow gee wrapper together to make a shape of your choice. See this video below for some inspirations.

4. Continue filling your gow gee skins until you’re done; 1 cup of fillings is enough for 10 dumplings.

5. Heat just enough oil on the base of a wide pan. Fry 8-10 dumplings in the hot oil, careful not to burn it (I used heat 8 out of 9 for 1-2 min, then lower the heat to 6-7).

6. When the bottom of your dumpling are caramelised but not black-burned, lower the heat (I used 5-6). Get the pan lid ready. Pour very little water, just enough to cover the bottom of the dumplings, about 20% of its height. Immediately, close the pan with the lid, so that you don’t get burned by the hot water and oil splattering around.

7. Steam for 2-3 min until the upper part of the dumplings look translucent. Take care that you don’t run out of water, otherwise your dumplings will burn or stick to the pan.

8. Your dumplings are ready when the upper part of the dumplings look translucent. Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice (our favourite dipping sauce is made of garlic, soy sauce, sugar, chillies and lemon juice)

I used some website to improve my dumpling skills. I recommend some of them as follows:

Aaaaand I want to buy this book!

Crescent moon dumplings! By meeee....

Update 13 Aug15:

I have got  the hang of making the half-moon shaped dumplings! The secret is apparently to fold the front side against the back side from the middle/upper part, working my way down to the right (fold it leftwards as you go down the right arc) then return to the middle/peak, and folding it down to the left (fold it rightwards as you go down the left arc). That way, it creates half-moon shapes. I also made spinach gow gee wraps (see the green dumplings in the photo above), but it's not yet as thin and smooth as the store-bought wrappers (the crescent moon dumplings). One at a time...

No comments: