Vegetable Dumplings

My friends laughed out loud. My own parents declared me insane. Kyle’s jaw dropped and his eyes opened wide as he said… “awwwesome.”

I had decided that I was going to create homemade dumplings and there was no convincing me otherwise. I thought that making veggie dumplings was going to be the most quaint and wonderful thing. . . until I actually made them. One by one, I placed a minuscule amount of filling in the center of a tiny won ton wrapper and then, one by one, I sealed and pinched them together. They were difficult, delicate, and nearly bored me to tears. And then one by one, they started to fall apart.

No worries, this is not a sad tale. There is a light at the end of this tunnel of noodle monotony, because they did, in fact, work out. On more than one occasion, I successfully made delicious dumplings. All I’m saying is, it takes some practice. I present to you the first time (and second time) I made dumplings.

Spinach and Tofu Dumplings

According to my browser, I first bookmarked this recipe from Food & Wine at 2:00 PM on January 21, 2008. I have wanted to make homemade dumplings for three years! A few weeks ago, I went for it. It was pretty easy to make the filling, but folding the dumplings proved challenging.

I followed the directions for sealing the dumplings, but even with water it was difficult to get the edges to stick together. I think I also overstuffed the first round of dumplings, so some of the edges tore when I folded them. I think the main reason I was having trouble was that the dice on the tofu was too large, and the cubes were a tough shape to fit into the miniature wrappers. About halfway through, I decided to mash the tofu into the spinach filling, which made things a lot easier.

When all the dumplings were stuffed and sealed, I popped them into a large pot of boiling water, and then removed them with a slotted spoon to a colander, and finally to a wax paper lined baking sheet. A little messy, but not too bad, right?

Unfortunately, not all of the dumplings made it.

But man did they taste good cold, with a little soy sauce, over a salad the next day. As for the hot dumplings that didn’t fall apart, I served them with TJ’s Gyoza Dipping Sauce as an appetizer before stir-fry.

So what happened to the dumplings that exploded in the pot?

This.

Not a pretty sight, but they did serve as inspiration for my next attempt at dumplings: hot and sour vegetable won ton soup.

Recipe coming soon!

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