It is very difficult for us to find vegan dumplings here in Belgium, but it is in fact very simple to make them. I made my first dumpling at a very young age together with my parents. It is a very nice memory of the whole family sitting together and making nice food. Everybody is happy. It is so satisfying.
My parents said to me that you can wrap with raw foods, but it tastes much better before you cook them. Traditionally the most popular filling is with shiitake, cabbages and carrots for vegan dumplings. You need to cut them into very small pieces so that you can wrap them well. This time I am trying something new that I’ve never tried before. That’s with shiitake, broad bean shoots and bean curd.
Bean curd is very widely used in Taiwan. Taiwan is one of the first countries in the world developing vegetarian/vegan alternatives and meat/fish replacements. This is because there is a big group of Buddhists. Unfortunately it is still very difficult to find good quality bean curd here in Belgium. Bean curd is made from soy milk. After boiling soy milk the top skin can be processed as bean curd. It is widely adopted into a lot of vegan cuisine in Taiwan. If you think it is “cruel” to eat fake meat/chicken, you can try this. If you can’t find it, you can also use hard tofu.
So here is my recipe for vegan dumplings.
Dumpling(also called Gyoza) skin
Broad bean shoots/ or pea shoots/ or spinach or cabbage 300 grams (you would like to have ball head cabbage if you are in Europe.)
Half a package of bean curd
Dry Shiitake 7 pieces
Stir fry sauce (used to be called vegetarian oyster sauce on the package)
Step By Step
Take dumpling skin an hour before hand.
Soak shiitake in warm water for at least 10 minutes until it fully absorbs water.
Soak bean curd in warm water for also about 10 minutes, until it gets soft.
Cut your greens into small pieces. It has to be smaller than a normal dish.
Chop shiitake into small pieces, say about 0.3 x 0.3 cm.
Add oil to your wok or frying pan. Add a pinch of salt so that it can prevent you from being burnt.
Sautee shiitake until it has a nice smell.
Add bean curd to your wok/ frying pan. Stir them a bit.
Finally add your greens into your wok/ frying pan.
Stir them and then add the stir fry sauce.
And then put the resulting dumpling filler in a container. Now you can start to wrap your dumplings. Add about a coffee spoon which is 2 tbs. in the middle of the skin, and then wrap it in your own way. You can also find tools to help you with wrapping it.
After this step, you can cook dumplings in the boiling water, deep fried, or put in the oven or steam them. I find that steaming dumplings is a more reliable and desirable way to prevent them from getting broken during the process.
With this amount of ingredients, I got 32 dumplings in total.