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Looking for a recipe for leek or other veggie dumplings

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Hi All

I'm having people over this weekend for a chinese dumpling making workshop...I have made pork/leek/scallion dumplings several times now and I think I've mastered the filling for it....but I have some vegetarian friends coming and I'd like to make a great vegetable dumpling filling. I've read all sorts of recipes and am wondering if anyone has any good ones that have worked well. I really like leek dumplings, so I'd prefer a recipe that edges toward leeks, less toward cabbage. But anything's possible. What about adding bean thread or tofu? Also might be important to say here that I currently don't own a food processor or blender. Hmmm.

I am planning to use store-bought wrappers (although we might make some dough too) and then to boil the dumplings (or freeze them to boil in the future). So they are not potstickers. They'll be boiled, then perhaps fried afterwards if we don't eat them all first.

No matter what, I'll report back this weekend to say how it went! Thanks a lot

Dave MP

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  1. I don't have a precise recipe, but you could probably come up with something just as you've suggested - bean thread and small tofu chunks, and maybe black mushrooms for flavor. If you have problems with binding egg works just like with pork dumplings (if they're not vegan). Most basic dumpling recipes use leeks anyway - just make sure whether you use leeks or end up using cabbage that you dice and then squeeze out the excess water. There's a dumpling place I know that has eggplant & carrots inside too.

    The pro of NOT having a food processor is that you get crispier results (inside) - food processors tend to pulp up the greens & create too much water. Good luck!! Sounds yummy!!

    I also suggest chili pepper flakes blanched (?) with hot sesame oil as a dipping sauce - YUM. Just heat oil & pour over flakes (but be careful of smoke & of course hot oil - they really sizzle so best to pour over the flakes outside).

    1. In Beijing many vegetarian dumplings are filled with scrambled egg - ie shredded carrot and egg, chopped chinese chive and egg. My favorite Buddhist restaurant uses fennel tops and minced mushroom - yummmm! Sorry I don't have any recipes, but perhaps these will give you some ideas.

      1. I just made 40 or so of these the other day. It wasn't a recipe, just thrown together after a trip to the local asian supermarket:
        a lot of leeks
        a lot of chinese chives(flat-leaf, but you can use the rounder flowering kind if they are available)
        a few fresh water chestnuts
        a thumb-sized piece of young ginger
        a little soy sauce
        a little rice wine
        a little rice vinegar

        I let it sit around for approximately an hour(as I made the dumpling skins) and then drained it before filling the dumplings.
        You could also omit the soy, wine and vinegar; drain the collected green liquid and add it to the dumpling dough(if you are making them yourself); then add the soy, wine and vinegar.
        They are very tasty, with a pungent leek flavor if cooked as potstickers and slightly more subtle in soup.
        have fun - I made about 100 dumplings myself on Monday and it was very meditative.

        1. Oh boy! For one 1 lb package of dough wrappers, I like to start with a base of green stuff, a combination of:

          Blanched bok choy or Thawed frozen spinach (1 box), squeezed.
          Chinese chives - a bunch ('gao choy' in Cantonese)
          Fresh cilantro - lots!
          (Trim off any tough stems that may break the wrapper.)

          Then I add flavor:

          Chinese Black mushrooms, a handful re-hydrated and stems trimmed, and chopped small.
          White pepper.
          Fresh ginger.
          Sesame oil, just a drop.
          (Lea & Perrins, just a drop)

          And then at least one crispy texture ingredient:
          Handful of reconstituted Wood ear mushrooms ('wun yee' in Cantonese) or
          the similar white cloud-shape kind (forgot the English name!)

          And then, depending on the mix, I add one moisture-absorbing ingredient:
          Bean thread noodles, barely softened in water, cut up with scissors.
          Dried wakame seaweed (not traditional Chinese, I know... but I throw it in dry, and it soaks up the excess water).

          Finally, the bonding agent:
          1 egg, beaten

          Have a great time!

            1. we like ginger-broccoli potstickers-- yes i know you're not making potstickers but the filling is the same: fresh ginger (lots), broccoli, scallions/shallots (you could use leeks, for sure), dash tamari, sesame oil stirfried; optional napa cabbage/bok choi, optional garlic, optional shred carrots, optional other veg/greens, optional tofu/seitan, optional prepared curry paste.
              don't overcook or it gets "cabbagey"-- chop everything evenly & small & most important have lots of fun.

              1. Thanks everyone for these great ideas....this is really helpful.

                The hot sesame oil idea for dipping sauce sounds good...I actually have some small, thai chili peppers that are about half-dried right now, sitting in my fruit bowl. I bet I could use those with some sesame oil.

                I was just staring at some fennel at the farmer's market yesterday but I didn't buy any cause I didn't know what I'd use it for. But that sounds really good. I might try it out if I can find some.

                Sounds like everyone agrees that it's important to squeeze out the liquid. I'll make sure to do that and to put in plenty of binding agents (eggs, and I think I'll use bean thread noodles). I might put in some bits of tofu too, also mushrooms, and I liked the water chestnut idea. I also like the scrambled egg idea.

                I remember having aushak at Helmand, an Afghan restaurant in Boston....they were awesome. I'll definitely try to make that at some point, though this weekend I think it will be chinese dumplings.

                Thanks again everyone, I'll report back this weekend.

                1. Thanks again for all the advice. Here's a link to my report about dumpling making:

                  http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

                  1. several days ago i made tofu mushrooms potstickers - unbelievably good:
                    http://tarelki.typepad.com/my_weblog/...

                    now the question: while having dim sum at Ping Pang Pong in Vegas we tried some dumplings that had nuts in the filling, maybe lotus seeds but most probably peanuts - any idea?