In our family cooking classes, this recipe is a chance for parents and children to show off the knife skills they have learned throughout the 6 week course. Families practice their mincing technique while preparing Vegetable Dumpling filling, including: carrots, shiitake mushrooms, spinach, ginger and leeks. This dumpling recipe is always a surprise class favorite, especially to those skeptical of mushrooms and tofu. Over 100 dumplings can be prepared in one class — first pan-frying them in a skillet, adding water, then covering the dumplings in order to steam them while still maintaining a crispy edge on one side. We serve these Vegetable Dumplings with a Ginger Dipping Sauce made with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and cilantro. Since this is the final class together, we also take the time to reflect on the recipes and ask participants which recipes were their favorite dishes to prepare.
Vegetable Dumplings with Ginger Dipping Sauce
Makes 60 pieces
1 pounds firm tofu, drained
1 ounce fresh ginger, minced
1 large bunch spinach (or 1 bag baby spinach leaves), minced
12 shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps minced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour, for dusting
60 fresh round dumpling wrappers
For Ginger Dipping Sauce
3 tablespoons oil
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 scallion, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 cup cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon dried chili flakes
½ cup soy sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Put 1 cup soy sauce in a small bowl. In a skillet over high heat, add the vegetable or canola oil and stir-fry the garlic, scallion, 1 tablespoon ginger, red chili flakes and cilantro until fragrant and lightly golden, about 2 minutes. Transfer to the soy sauce in the bowl. Set the herbal soy sauce dip aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the tofu, 1 tablespoon ginger, spinach, mushrooms, carrots, sesame oil and black pepper, and mix thoroughly.
Put water in a small bowl. Dust a plate with all-purpose flour. Put a wrapper on the palm of one hand. Dip the opposite pointer finger in the water and run it across the outer 1/2-inch edge of the wrapper. Put a heaping teaspoon of filling in the center of the wrapper and fold into a half-moon shape, sealing the wet edges together. Place the dumpling on the plate. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
- In a sauté pan, heat oil on medium high heat in a large pan. When the oil is hot, add the dumplings and and lightly pan fry the dumplings a few seconds on each side — long enough to have a crispy edge.
When the sides are crisp, cover the pan with a lid and steam the dumplings for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and check that most of the water has evaporated.
Continue cooking the dumplings until the bottoms are crispy again and any remaining water is gone. When the dumplings are cooked, use a slotted spoon to transfer the dumplings to a large bowl or plate. Serve with Ginger Dipping Sauce.