Veggie Dumplings

8 Jul

IMG_7089

Let me be honest–I’ve never made dumplings in my life. In my twenty-one years, never have I sat down next to my mommy and helped her wrap the scrumptious, intricate crescents. Last weekend, after the Fourth of July madness, some of my ATS lovelies came over to help me wrap my very first dumplings. If you’re going to  make dumplings, I highly encourage you to do it with friends. It involves a lot of washing and shredding and dicing, which may drive the average person insane. The logical solution is to get someone else to do it.

Also, it takes five people one-fifth of the time to wrap nearly a 89 dumplings as it takes one person.

IMG_7066

Veggie Dumplings
From Angela, Stephie, Tiffy, Zach, and me.

Ingredients
1 pack silken tofu (two blocks)
1 small head napa cabbage
2 large eggs
5 dried shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated
2 blocks of dried vermicelli, rehydrated
2 packs dumpling wrappers
salt
white pepper

Smash the tofu with the flat side of your Asian butcher knife until it looks like cottage cheese. Set aside.

Wash and shred the napa cabbage. Avoid the small bitter leaves in the middle of the head. Toss the shreds with salt to remove the excess water and set aside to drain.

Beat the eggs and fry over a large skillet to create thin pancakes of egg. Shred into pieces about 2 inches long and set aside.

Remove the stems of the shiitake mushrooms and dice. Set aside.

Cut the vermicelli into short strands, at most 2 inches in length. Shorter strands will be easier to wrap, but if they’re too short, the strands will turn into mush. Not tasty.

IMG_7067

Take all of the shredded and diced ingredients that you set aside and dump them into the smushed tofu. Thoroughly combine. Don’t be a wuss–use your hands! At this point, you can add a little white pepper and salt to season the filling, but most people will be eating dumplings with soy sauce, which adds a significant amount of salty flavor.

IMG_7070

Now it’s time to wrap the dumplings. There are tons of different ways of wrapping them–you can just seal the edges together or pleat one edge. It takes some practice and a lot of patience to create a nice, pleated dumpling. When wrapping, keep in mind that any air in the middle of the wrapped dumplings will expand in the heat and give you a funny-looking bloated dumpling. No worries; you can just squeeze the air out with a spoon as you cook them, and the taste isn’t compromised. You may want to flour the plate or aluminum foil you’re placing the folded dumplings on so that they won’t stick to the surface.

IMG_7075

IMG_7076

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add a drop of sesame oil so that the dumplings don’t stick to each other. Add the dumplings and wait for the water to boil again. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for another 5 minutes or so, until the skin becomes soft and not too chewy.

Any leftover dumplings can be frozen in a ziploc bag for about a week.

IMG_7087

Length of Procrastination: About 3 hours
Ways to Prolong Procrastination: Make a delicious frozen treat for dessert while waiting for dinnertime. (Foreshadowing! DUN DUN DUNNN.)

Advertisements

5 Responses to “Veggie Dumplings”

  1. Andrew July 12, 2009 at 11:46 pm #

    Dude, very interesting…. you may have compelled me to try making veggie dumplings myself.

    Thanks for the interesting blog, you’ll be added to my regular rotation of ones to visit.

  2. Ty July 15, 2009 at 11:51 am #

    NNNNOOOMMMMMMMM

  3. Steven July 16, 2009 at 11:18 am #

    Christine & Bobby,
    You’ve really got me with this dumpling recipe!
    Finally I shall muster the bravery to attempt these little creatures.
    But you need to be nice….I might crack a beer open when they are done boiling!!

  4. curiouscooks February 4, 2010 at 11:06 am #

    Hey cookingtoprocrastinate! Great blog. My 5 roommates and I just started a brooklyn-based cooking blog about our kitchen triumphs too. I love how you concentrate on the activity of making dumplings. That’s exactly how it was for us. We also experimented with steaming, boiling and frying. Read about it here: http://curiouscooks.wordpress.com/2010/02/03/348/

    Along with starting our own food blog to procrastinate, we avidly read others. We’d love to link to you on our blog! Is that okay?

    • Christine February 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm #

      Wow…we’re so flattered that someone would want to link us! You are more than welcome to–thank you! :D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: