Vegetable and Tofu Potstickers with a Spicy Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce

At the last kitchen I worked at, we’d frequently call up the dishwasher while he was on his way to work and tell him to pick us up some mixed veg Chinese dumplings from a place on Dundas and Spadina simply called ‘The Dumpling House.’ Well, either dumplings or some curried chickpea doubles from a West Indian bakery in Kensington. Whatever we were in the mood for. I kind of miss that workplace… Even if I did cut the tip of my thumb off there. But that’s a story for another time (ask me in person some time, I like telling it). Anyway, those were great dumplings. These potstickers are my attempt at loosely recreating those tasty treats.

‘Potsticker’ refers to the method in which the dumplings (or gyoza) are cooked. I like the potsticker method for two reasons: 1) they combine the best of the steamed and pan-fried versions in one method of cooking, and 2) they’re really, really fun to make. This recipe is fairly labour intensive when you factor in the time it takes to wrap each dumpling. Although, considering that we’re using pre-made wonton wrappers as opposed to making our own dough, it’s not that bad. Anyway, it’s totally worth the time. Invite some friends and/or loved ones over and have dumpling party! I know that’s what I’d do! Also, the dumpling filling for this recipe is pretty versatile. I mean, you could just as easily make spring rolls with it… or even throw it on top of some rice or noodles for a tasty meal in a bowl.

Ingredients:
Canola oil
5 oz. extra-firm tofu, crumbled (about half a package)
1/2 medium onion, diced
1″ cube ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
5 fresh shiitake mushroom caps, cleaned and minced
1 medium carrot, peeled and minced
1/2 stalk celery, minced
1 cup cabbage, shredded and minced
1 cup bean sprouts
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 tsp miso
1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (or your own favourite hot chili sauce)
1/4 cup low-sodium or homemade vegetable stock
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
18 to 20 round wonton or gyoza wrappers

Instructions:
1. Heat 1 teaspoon of canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the tofu and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring often, until golden and slightly crispy. Remove from skillet and set aside.
2. In another large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium heat. Add the onion, ginger, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring often.
3. Add the carrot, celery, and shredded cabbage. Sauté for another 4 minutes, stirring often.
4. Add the bean sprouts, reserved tofu, soy sauce, miso, sambal oelek, vegetable broth, and black pepper to taste. Cook for another 3 minutes or so, until the vegetable broth has reduced a bit. Season to taste with a pinch of sea salt, if needed.
5. Remove skillet from heat and let the mixture cool for a about 10 minutes. Put about 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of the wrapper and, using your finger, wet the edges with a bit of water from the bowl. Fold the wrapper in half and seal around the edges, making sure you push out all the air. Pinch the edges over to make creases. Or, you could just watch this video for a good, straight forward explanation (albeit not vegan) on how to wrap a dumpling. Yeah, do that. But, don’t make non-vegan dumplings… I’ll know.
6. Heat a tiny bit of canola oil in a non-stick skillet over medium/medium-high heat. Once hot, add about 7 or 8 dumplings (arranged like in the picture at the bottom). Cook for a few minutes, until the bottom is nice and crispy brown. You can lift them a bit while cooking to peek at how brown the bottom is getting, so as not to burn them.
7. Once the bottoms are crispy, add about 1/2 cup of warm water to the pan and turn the heat up to high. Cover with a lid right away. Let the water boil away for about 5 or 6 minutes. Remove lid. Turn heat down to medium and if there’s still a bit of water hanging out in the pan, just let it boil away.
8. When the pan is totally dry, slide them out and serve with the dipping sauce below. If done correctly and the dumplings were sealed properly without any air pockets, they should look like shrink wrapped little packages.
Makes: about 18 to 20 dumplings


For the Spicy Ginger-Soy Dipping Sauce:

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon good quality soy sauce
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon organic cane sugar
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
1/4 teaspoon ginger, freshly grated or finely minced

Instructions:
1. Whisk together until sugar is dissolved.

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Welcome!

My name is Ross. I'm a food loving vegan and these are some of my recipes. I'm also the owner of Hot Beans vegan takeout in Kensington Market, Toronto. Check out my 'about' page for more info. Enjoy!

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All images and recipes (unless otherwise noted) Copyright © Ross Corder and Vegan Eats Blog, 2009-2013. All rights reserved. Please do not re-post or otherwise duplicate without permission. Thanks! Also, the "gluten-free" recipe tag is meant primarily for cataloging purposes and does not necessarily ensure that the recipe is completely gluten-free. Be careful to read the labels of any pre-packaged products to ensure that they are indeed gluten-free!

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