One traditional Chinese food I am crazy about is Chinese dumplings. Dumplings are basically cooked balls of dough with fillings inside. Fillings are generally made of ground meat like pork, beef, chicken, fish or shrimp and chopped vegetables as well.There are various kinds of Chinese dumplings, depending on the way they are cooked.
Jiaozi(饺子) are boiled or steamed, while pot stickers (guotie 锅贴, gyoza) are fried in a small amount of oil before being slightly steamed. Pot stickers are also known as gyoza (Japanese form of pot stickers). Won tons are, like jiaozi, boiled and served in soup, but unlike jiaozi, wontons have a thinner skin and are somewhat smaller in size.
Chinese dumplings are also part of traditional dim sum and are very popular dishes, especially on festivals like the Chinese New Year or on occasions like family gatherings. Another great thing I absolutely love about these dumplings is that they are also perfect student food as these dumplings can be frozen, thus stored for a long time and cooked whenever needed. I’ve read lots of recipes using meat, especially pork for the filling, but there seems to be very few concerning vegetarian dumpling. Well, the following recipe is a simple Chinese vegetarian recipe for Chinese dumplings. Although the wrapping method and cooking way are different, the filling for all the various kinds of dumplings is same.
(Complete list of Chinese New Year Recipes)
Chinese dumplings, Vegetarian Pot stickers recipe
dumpling round wonton wrappers
3 black Chinese mushrooms, pre-soaked in warm water, washed several times and chopped into small cubes
1 carrot, grated
1 medium Napa cabbage, cut into thin strips
ginger, grated (finger size ginger)
3 branches of celery: stems cut, leaves chopped
4 branches of scallion (green onion)
1 tsp five spice powder
1 tbsp cornstarch diluted in about 200ml water
Making the filling
1.Pour 1 tablespoon of sesame oil in a hot pan.
2.When oil is hot, put the grated ginger and allow to stir-fry until a fragrant smell of ginger.
3.Add the cubed mushrooms and stir-fry until they shrink to a smaller size.
4.Add the grated carrot. Mix.
5.Add the five-spice powder and salt to taste. Mix.
6.Add the cut stems of celery (not the chopped celery leaves).
7.Add the Napa cabbage. Mix until cabbage wilts.
8.Add the celery leaves.
9.Add the cornstarch water and mix until the mixture tends to stick together.
10.The filling is ready for making the Chinese dumplings!
Making the pot stickers
You can find the wrapping method in this Youtube video. Below is the picture of the ones I made.
Cooking the pot stickers
Some recipes say to first steam the dumplings, then fry them. But, I always fry them directly and they come out really good.
1.Pour about 1 tablespoon oil in a frying pan. (no need for lots of oil, just a little)
2.When hot (but not smoking), add the dumplings and fry for about 1 minute, on medium heat. Fry the flat side part of the dumplings until golden brown and if you want, fry the other parts too as shown in the picture below.
3.Add about 1/4 cup of water and immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Let the dumplings steam for about 2-3 minutes.