Chinese New Year is coming up quickly here- this Friday, January 31st- and I will be eating dumplings to celebrate. You guys know my obsession with Asian food, and I will take any opportunity to try out a new recipe that will replace something I normally buy pre-packaged. Traditionally, dumplings are eaten in China to symbolize wealth and prosperity for the new year, as they are shaped like an ancient Chinese currency called the sycee. I never considered making dumplings myself before, but on a trip to H Mart in Denver, I ran across dumpling wrappers (similar to wonton wrappers) and decided to give it a go. I played around a lot with this recipe, since most versions contain some type of pork and I wanted to make these vegetarian. I think you will find this recipe to be a relatively straightforward process should you choose to celebrate the Chinese New Year yourself with some dumplings!
Chinese Vegetable Potstickers (makes ~50 pieces)
- 1/4 sweet white onion, diced
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 oz sliced mushrooms, diced
- 3 cups of diced cabbage
- 2 cups of diced broccoli (1 small crown)
- 4 green onion stalks, chopped
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/2 block firm tofu, crumbled
- 1 package dumpling wrappers (about 40-50)
Begin by chopping everything into tiny pieces so that you will have a great variety of flavors in each dumpling. In a large pan, begin cooking the white onion, garlic, and ginger with olive oil on medium until fragrant and beginning to stick to the pan (about 4 minutes). Add the rest of the chopped vegetables and the soy sauce and cook them for 5-7 minutes until the mixture is soft and there is no extra liquid at the bottom of the pan. It should have shrunk to half its size. Add in the crumbled tofu and mix well. Take the mixture off the stove and let it cool slightly.
When you are ready to assemble your potstickers, have an oiled baking tray nearby for the prepared dumplings to sit on. Take one dumpling wrapper and put 1 tablespoon of the veggie and tofu mixture into the middle of it. Using your fingers, pinch two edges of the dumpling wrapper together (first photo below) and then keep that hand there while the other pleats each side of the dumpling two to three times to seal in the filling (second photo below). There are plenty of YouTube tutorials if you get stuck!
At this point, I went ahead and froze many of the potstickers (just lay flat on a plate in the freezer until frozen, and then pop them into a bag together). To cook them, add a bit of oil to a small pan and heat on medium for a minute. Add 4-7 potstickers at a time and fry for one minute in the oil. The bottoms should be browned. Add about a 1/4 cup of water into the pan (beware of the spray) and cover quickly to let the potstickers steam for 3 minutes. Uncover the pan and let them continue cooking until there is no liquid left.
Serve with soy sauce, green onions, and sesame seeds. I love the contrast of the black sesame seeds.
Happy Chinese New Year!