So – why bother making your own dumplings? I mean, you can order them in, or even buy them frozen — so much easier than taking the time to make them, right? WRONG! Only recently did I realize that a little extra time in the kitchen is. so. worth. it. Enter my new snazzy steamer and with it: HOMEMADE DUMPLINGS!
I googled a few recipes, and found one that looked easy. A few tweaks here and there (remove the egg, add a few more spices) voila — delicious, fresh dumplings! I didn’t realize how great these were until a few weeks later when we picked up frozen dumplings at TJ’s and made them. Bleh. Mushy inside and tasted, well…pre frozen.
Preface: Don’t be scared by the long list of ingredients below. The truth is dumplings require just a few things: steamer and boiling water, wonton wrappers and filler. You can improvise with the below and add things (mushrooms, spinach) or remove things and they’re sure to still taste great. I would recommend the sauces listed below, though, and then get creative with the different veggies you add in.
Also — this recipe makes a lot of dumplings! But don’t worry…they’re so e tiny that you’ll probably eat all of them in one sitting…(or was that just me?)
What You Need:
- 1/2 pound firm tofu (drained and cut into small cubes, or even crumbled)
- 1/2 cup coarsely grated carrots
- 1 cup shredded Napa cabbage
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped red pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
- 2 teaspoons finely minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro leaves
- few dashes of red pepper flakes
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Bowl of water, plus additional water for steamer
- 35 to 40 small wonton wrappers
- Non-stick vegetable spray, for the steamer
What You Do:
Combine all of the ingredients listed above (up to the black pepper) in a mixing bowl. Gently mix to cover everything well.
Fill a large pot with 1/2 an inch of water and bring to a boil. Place the steamer on top.
While the water is boiling, prepare your dumplings. Brush the edges of each wonton wrapper with water (I used my finger), then place about a tablespoon’s worth of the filling into the middle of the wrapper. Shape the dumpling as you’d like, pressing the edges together so that the dumpling is completely closed on all sides.
Once the water is boiling, spray the steamer with the non stick spray and place as many dumplings as will fit (without them overlapping each other). Cover, and let steam for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the steamer, place in a warm oven (200 degrees is fine), and steam the next round of dumplings.
That’s it! So easy.