Vegan Potstickers, from scratch!

Potstickers, from scratch // The Pancake PrincessSo, 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.

IMG_0011 IMG_0029 copy IMG_0037 IMG_0041 If the dough looks too craggy/feels too wet, add another handful of flour, then knead until smooth. I usually just knead it in the bowl, using an aggressive grabbing motion. IMG_0042 IMG_0051


Step 2: Cover and let rest while you make the filling: a blend of mostly tofu, kale and some aromatics that’s easily made in a food processor.IMG_0056 copy collage2 collagekalecollagetofu

Step 3: Roll out the dough. Dough should be pliable and springy after resting. Pinch off tablespoon-sized balls and roll into circles on a floured surface.IMG_0125IMG_0094IMG_0093 IMG_0100 IMG_0102

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.IMG_0121 IMG_0123 IMG_0126

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.IMG_0129 IMG_0134IMG_0137

Step 6: Eat!

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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.

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22 thoughts on “Vegan Potstickers, from scratch!

  1. Erin
    Thank you so much for this recipe! I love potstickers, but have been trying not to eat them since I'm trying to be a vegetarian. I usually cave, but this might just do the trick.
    1. erika Post author
      Erin, I mourned potstickers the day I became vegetarian. Then I discovered vegetarian potstickers and life got 898234x better. Hope you love these if you give them a try! :)
  2. Nancy @ gottagetbaked
    Erika, I'm in total awe! I've never attempted to make my own dumplings because they intimidate the heck out of me! Yours look amazing! I'm also totally impressed with all of these amazing step-by-step photos you took. Soooooo incredibly useful and they all look gorgeous and artistic too!
  3. Sabine
    I love dumplings in every way, and without following any special diet except for eating whatever I like, your version (more precisely the filling) is new to me, but sounds and looks incredibly delicious!
    1. erika Post author
      I couldn't agree more--before I went pescatarian, I would eat any and all dumplings! But I'm finding that vegetarian dumplings are just as delicious as the meat kind, which I'm super excited about. Thanks so much for stopping by, Sabine! :)
  4. Sarah @ SnixyKitchen
    Woah! I LOVE LOVE LOVE all these process photos, Erika! If you say I should take potstickers off my "best left to professionals" list then I believe it. I want to eat a dozen of these all at once. Dear readers making this: Invite me over too while you're at it, k??
  5. betty | le jus d'orange
    OMG ERIKA! My fav, EVER. I love dumplings because it's such a traditional, family thing. I still remember sneaking dumpling skins (I know, I was gross) when I was young while my parents and other Chinese grown-ups chatted and wrapped dumplings. These look so beautifully imperfect, in a way that only hand-made could be :).
  6. Kathryn
    These are amazing! I've always been way too scared to tackle dumplings at home but your step by step pictures make it look so much easier than I'd been fearing.
  7. Sophie
    Yeah girl!! These look so good! I always buy the wrappers and then make my own fillings, but I do want to have a dumpling party and do the whole mess from scratch and have friends to help, and then eat as many as we can! :) Bravo
    1. erika Post author
      Oh my gosh YES PLEEEASE have a dumpling party Sophie!!! And then instagram/blog/share the heck out of it!! That sounds like the most fun--why do you live so far away?! Thanks for the kind words and seriously, I used to always buy wrappers but making them yourself is SO worth it!
      1. Sophie
        Come back to visit Portland again soon and we shall make dumplings together. That sounds like heaven in my world :) Thanks girl! I love all foods that I can eat dozens of ;) Hahaha. Sorry not sorry.
  8. Ala
    Ohh I'm definitely saving this one, Erika! It's been way too long since I've caught up on blogs but I was just thinking of the kale tofu dumplings you had posted before--totally read my mind :) love the step-by-step!! Hope all is well, girl!
    1. erika Post author
      Thanks so much Ala, and thanks for the sweet tweet! Same here, I've been so bad about reading all my fav blogs, including yours! Hope all is well with you too!!
    1. erika Post author
      Totally understand! Making dumplings was baby steps for me...storebought wrappers make things so easy! Hope you love the filling, Lynn! <3

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