Vegan Veggie Dumplings
These veggie dumplings make me and my kids so happy. They are packed with nutrients and are the perfect finger food. They’re completely vegan and completely delicious, fun and easy to make. You can prepare them in batches and keep them in the freezer for a wonderful family/kid dinner.
Note: To freeze the uncooked dumplings so they don’t stick together, line them up on a sheet tray and stick them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen, remove the tray from the freezer and pop the individual dumplings into an airtight container or zip-top plastic bag. They can be steamed or pan-fried right from the freezer, without defrosting.
Makes 30 dumplings
1/2 small red or yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Savoy or green cabbage
Neutral oil (like canola, grapeseed, or safflower)
Coarse sea salt
1/2 cup crumbled firm tofu
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
30 square dumpling wrappers (Find premade ones near the tofu in the refrigerator section of the grocery store. We know they’re usually made with wheat, but considering that they’re a vehicle for quinoa and veggies, we’re pretty okay letting a little gluten fly here!)
Dipping Sauce, for serving
Blitz the onion, garlic and cabbage together in a good processor until finely chopped. Heat 2 tablespoons neutral oil over medium-high heat in a large nonstick skillet and add the cabbage mixture and a large pinch of salt.
Cook, stirring now and then, until the vegetables have softened and are just beginning to brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the tofu, peas, and quinoa and cook until the peas are totally soft, 2 to 3 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Using a potato masher, crush the mixture so it just begins to hold together. Let the mixture cool to room temperature.
Lay a few of your dumpling wrappers on a flat, dry surface and put 1 tablespoon of filling mixture in the middle of each wrapper. Dip your index finger in a little bowl of water and use it to “paint” the edges of each dumpling. Bring each edge together to form a sort-of little pyramid, being sure to press all the edges to form a tight seal.
To cook, use a bamboo steamer set over simmering water to steam the dumplings for 4 minutes. Or you can do them Chinese-restaurant style (a combo of frying and steaming) by heating a slick of neutral oil in a large nonstick pan set over high heat and cooking the dumplings for 2 minutes, or until they’re golden brown on the bottom.
Then add 1/2 cup of water to the pan (it will create a lot of steam, so stand back), put a lid on it, and let the dumplings steam until the wrappers are totally soft, another 2 minutes. Remove from the pan and serve with the Dipping Sauce.
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Mix all the ingredients together, adding more of any of them if you prefer the sauce saltier, or more tart, or milder. It’s a real throw-it-together, not-exact thing.