So, dumplings: probably one of the foods you figured you shouldn’t ever bother trying to make from scratch–up there with fresh pasta, homemade pizza dough, or maybe baklava. Better left to the professionals/take out…
…until you try it yourself. Freshly fried potstickers with uber-chewy, doughy skins are one of life’s great pleasures waiting for you in your kitchen. This is my urge to you to make some of your own! While I’m no Molly or Cynthia when it comes to rolling out the dumpling wrappers, let me assure that if this dumpling noob could manage homemade dumplings, you can too. They’ll taste incredible no matter how badly the wrapping process goes. And bonus: these dumplings happen to be 100% vegan–perfect for all your vegetarian friends who thought they would never be able to eat potstickers again (i.e. me. Invite me over.).
Warning: this is a particularly long, photo-heavy post since I wanted to document the step-by-step process. You’re about to be bombarded with pictures of my beautiful new OXO saute pan (which was so perfect for making dumplings because the surface area is huge–ideal for great big batches). Feel free to skip to the end for the recipe, which is really just a slight variation on this recipe (where I explain the difference between dumplings and potstickers, if you want the technical definition).
Step 1: Make the dough. It’s an easy 3-ingredient dough: water (1/2 cup boiling, 1/2 cup cold), flour, salt.
Step 4: Fill and fold dumplings. Add about a tablespoon of filling (depending on the size of your wrapper) to the middle. Dab water around half of the wrapper’s edge, then fold the wrapper into a half-moon shape and pinch closed.
Step 5: Cook the dumplings. Homemade dumplings require a two-step cooking process: a short bath in a salted pot of boiling water to take the raw dough edge off, then a brief saute in a hot, oiled pan to get a golden-brown, crispy exterior. Boil the dumplings for 2-3 minutes, or until they start to bob to the surface, then transfer to a hot frying pan to cook for another 2 minutes on each side.
Step 6: Eat!
Vegan Dumplings, from scratch!
- For the dough:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour plus more for rolling (can sub 1 cup whole wheat flour, but you may have to add a tiny bit more water)
- 1.5 teaspoons kosher salt if using table salt, cut amount in half
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup cold water
- For the filling:
- 1 16 oz block firm tofu
- 2 cups kale snugly packed
- 1/3 cup roughly chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon ginger fresh, not powdered
- 2 small garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- filling makes enough for a double batch of wrappers as written above. You can either freeze the filling or make dumpling dip with baos with the remaining filling
- Begin pressing tofu while you make the dough (see above for a photo of how I press tofu). This step helps reduce the moisture in your filling, so it's not technically required, but a good idea.
- Make the dough first, following Molly's recipe.
- Rinse and dry kale, then chop roughly.
- Add the onion, ginger and garlic to a food processor and blend until the mixture verges on forming a rough paste (alternatively, mince everything by hand). Add the kale and pulse until incorporated with no large chunks remaining. Add the tofu and pulse until roughly incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and blend until desired consistency, using a spatula to scrape down the sides and incorporate everything evenly.
- Fill a small bowl with water and flour a clean surface for rolling your dough. Roll tablespoon-sized balls of dough into a circle, then place a rounded ½ tablespoon of filling in the middle Use your finger to dab water around half of the wrapper’s edge and fold over to form a half moon; pinch the edges to seal.
- Once all the dumplings are prepared, you can either (1) boil all the dumplings, and then fry them or (2) do them simultaneously.
- To boil and fry simultaneously:
- Set a pot of salted water to boil over medium heat and a frying pan over medium heat. Once boiling, add a few dumplings to the pot (don't overcrowd the water) and boil for 2-3 minutes, until dumpling skin starts to look translucent and no longer raw.
- As soon as dumplings are done boiling, add a bit of sesame or olive oil to the frying pan and transfer the dumplings to the pan--they should start to sizzle when they hit the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until a golden crust starts to develop on the bottom. Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes, so a crust forms on the other side. Eat IMMEDIATELY.