It’s Chinese New Year tomorrow and for the occasion, I prepared some delicious vegetarian dumplings. I did not make the pastry from scratch but bought dumpling wraps from the local Asian market, which can make your life so much easier!
This is actually my first Chinese recipe on the blog! I love Chinese food, but I am aware that there is still so much I need to try and discover. When I was younger I was so fascinated by the idea of eating food out of those classic Chinese food boxes, using chopsticks, as shown in the American movies.
I must admit that I was quite grown up when I first ate a Chinese meal with chopsticks! There were not so many Chinese restaurants where I grew up and I recall how clumsy I was when I first used the chopsticks! Now it is a completely different story!
For the filling, I used chestnut mushrooms and choi sum, but you can change these with other ingredients. White cabbage, Shitake mushrooms are quite common ingredients, or you can choose other veggies as well. For the non-vegetarian version you can substitute either mushrooms or choi sum with minced meat of your choice or raw prawns (finely chopped and you do not need to cook them, as they will cook while you cook the dumplings).
These dumplings can be steamed, boiled or pan fried. Enjoy!
Vegetarian Chinese Dumplings
Heat the oil in a large pan, add the onion and carrot and fry for 10 minutes on medium-high heat. Add the ginger and cook for 30 seconds, then stir in the mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the choi sum, spring onions, add a pinch of salt, then cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium-low heat for 10 minutes or until all the ingredients are cooked and soft. Add the cornflour and the soy sauce and mix well and cook on high heat until there is no liquid in the pan.
Once the vegetable mixture is cool enough, start assembling the dumplings. Place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each dumpling wrap and moisten the edges with water. Fold the dough in half and pinch together with your fingers. Pleat around the edge, pinching with your fingers to seal well. Set aside and repeat with the remaining wraps until you use all the filling.Keep the filled dumplings on a tray, covered with a damp tea towel to avoid them getting dry.
To steam the dumplings, heat some water in a pot (it should be half-filled with water). Place the dumpling in bamboo baskets lined with a baking sheet. Place the bamboo basket on top of the pot with boiling water and steam the dumplings for 15-20 minutes or until the dough is cooked through. Serve with some soy sauce on the side and chopped spring onion.Alternatively, you can boil the dumplings in boiling water for 10 minutes or until they start floating.