Recipe-Vegan Pot Stickers
I love stuffed stuff, especially in food form. It's really cool how each culture has its own version of stuffed foods, from the more traditional stuffed mushrooms, grape leaves, and peppers, to the not-so traditional stuffed crust pizza, stuffed foods, especially dumplings, have always had a place at the table.
China definitely has a lot to be proud of when it comes to it's stuffed foods, and I have definitely stuffed my face with many a baozi, and dumpling in my day. It can be a bit tricky to find 100% vegan ones, as many dumplings are pork-based and even many veggie dumplings contain egg. However, it's definitely possible to fully enjoy veggie stuffed eggless wanton skins that are full of flavor. I love this take on pot stickers, which are pan fried on the bottom before being steamed to perfection, making them a bit crispy on the bottom and delightfully chewy on top.
The best part of making these at home is that the whole family can get in on the action. Our 4-year-old loved making these and was so proud of his creations. This is by far the longest he's lasted making anything with me in the kitchen (because the time spent waiting to lick the spatula after making cookie dough doesn't count). Also, it's so cheap and all of the ingredients were purchased at my local wet market, so they were super fresh.
Be sure to make a ton of these babies because they will go fast. We ate them like popcorn! You can dip them in any creation you like, I like a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar and a dollop of chili garlic sauce.
30 wanton wrappers (fresh from the market if possible)
2 tbs cooking oil (plus extra for pan frying the pot stickers)
400g extra firm tofu, crumbled (if you buy this fresh from the wet market, there's no need to press to release extra moisture)
1 C shiitake mushrooms, finely diced
1 C Chinese cabbage, roughly chopped into small pieces
1/3 cup Chinese chives, sliced into medium small pieces
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs Zhenjiang vinegar (I am OBSESSED with this at the moment)
1/4-1/2 tsp. salt (to tate)
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tbs sliced green part of the scallions for garnish (optional)
1. Heat wok over medium heat and add cooking oil. Add ginger and cook for 2 minutes until fragrant.
2. Increase heat to medium-high heat and add tofu, mushrooms and Chinese cabbage and chives to wok. Add salt and stir. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently until mushrooms and cabbage have sweat out their water and it has cooked off.
3. Add soy sauce, vinegar and white pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired. Cook for 2 more minutes, lowering heat if necessary, until cabbage is soft and flavors have combined well.
4. Remove from heat and add sesame oil, stir well to combine.
5. Place about 1 tablespoon of the cooked mixture onto each wonton wrapper. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and then spread it around the edge of the wrapper. Fold it in half and pinch to seal, making sure the edges are well pressed together and there aren't any gaps. If you want you can make a couple of pinches to make it prettier and more compact. I did that for about two of them but quickly realized we would not eat until midnight if I continued doing so.
6. Prepare approximately 1 C of filtered water and place next to the cooking area. Clean out the wok and then heat over medium high heat. Add about 1/2 tbs of cooking oil and place 8-10 dumplings in the wok. Cook for about 2 minutes until they are nice and golden brown, taking care not to burn them. Then carefully add about 1/4 C of water to the wok and immediately cover. This will finish the cooking process by steaming the dumplings. After 3-4 minutes, remove the dumplings from the wok and repeat until all of the dumplings have been cooked.
Plate and garish with sliced scallions and serve with your favorite dipping sauce. Enjoy!