Last summer, my sister and I both experienced a bizarrely sudden and intense craving for Chinese-style dumplings. I had some experience using wonton wrappers, so we concocted our own vegetarian pot stickers and gorged on them.
A few weeks ago, my sister, again struck with dumpling desire, actually went through the trouble of creating a private Facebook event for she and I to make more delicious dumplings. Complete with videos. She wanted them that badly.
Provisions were purchased and we spent the first half of an evening in my kitchen stuffing wontons full of veggies and frying, then steaming them to perfection. The second half we spent rolling around on the couch and floor, stuffed and feeling sorry for ourselves.
Homemade Dumplings (Pot Stickers)
for the dumplings
1 package wonton wrappers (usually available in the tofu section of most grocers)
10-15 brown mushrooms
2-3 large handfuls of spinach
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
one egg white
for the dipping sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp white or rice vinegar, depending on preference
1/2 tsp brown sugar
chili flakes or sriracha hot sauce, to taste
1. In a large frying pan or wok, heat a small amount of vegetable oil on medium heat.
2. Chop the fresh ginger and garlic into small pieces. When the oil is hot, add them to the pan and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Wash and chop the carrots, mushrooms, and spinach into very small pieces. You want the vegetables pieces to be just a bit bigger than the garlic and ginger, so that the stuffing mixture is uniform. Add the vegetables to the oil and spices and stir fry for 10 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft.
4. As the vegetable mixture cooks, prepare your dumpling assembly station. You will need a flat surface, such as a cutting board, as well as an egg white and a small pastry brush.
5. Allow the vegetables to cool slightly before beginning the stuffing process.
6. To fill your dumplings, place wonton wrappers in a single layer on your surface. Spoon 1 1/2 tsp of the vegetable mixture into the centre of the wrapper, then brush all four edges of the wonton with egg white. Gather the four corners of the wonton wrapper over the centre of the stuffing and press all edges of the wonton together, in order to seal the dumpling. Be gentle, as the wontons may be softened by the warm vegetable mixture and may tear.
7. You can assemble all of your dumplings and then cook them in batches, or you can assemble the next round of dumplings as you cook one batch.
8. Either way, to cook the dumplings, place a generous amount of vegetable oil in a large pot (the more surface area, the better) and heat on medium heat. Place the dumplings in one layer on the oiled surface and fry for about 5 minutes, until the bottom of the dumplings are golden. Then, add 1 cup of water to the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and cover the pot. Allow the dumplings to steam for about 7 minutes.
9. As the dumplings fry, mix all of the ingredients for your dipping sauce together in a bowl. Taste and adjust quantities of ingredients as you wish.
10. Remove the dumplings from the pot with a spatula or flipper. Eat the dumplings while they are nice and hot!
11. Look like this: