I first tried mushroom and tofu dumplings at the Bliss Organic cafe near the Adelaide Central Market. To say they were good is an understatement – I spent every bite trying to dissect each flavour that had been infused into them! All other dumplings I had seen had either been steamed or deep fried. I found a similar recipe in a great book one of my students, Jackie, gave me called “The Fresh Vegan Kitchen” by David and Charlotte Bailey. I love this method of shallow frying them in a pan then flash steaming them (hence the name “pot stickers”) as it gives them a wonderful crispy bottom contrasted against a chewy soft top. I now make the soft filling using the thermomix, but I’ve included the ol’ school method too. My family rates them 11.5/10.
Soy-Vinegar Dipping sauce
4 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp mirin
2 tsp sesame oil
3 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 green or red chilli, deseeded
4 Tbsp rice bran oil
1 garlic clove
15g fresh ginger
1 green or red chilli, deseeded
1 bunch spring onions
1 head broccoli (or 2 large carrots)
12 medium button mushrooms
350g firm tofu, roughly cubed
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
2 packs square dumpling skins (about 50 skins)
Soy-vinegar dipping sauce
Finely chop the shallot, chives and chilli (or blitz them in the thermomix 3 times for 3 seconds at speed 7, scraping the sides of the bowl in-between). Mix with the soy sauce, mirin, sesame oil and rice vinegar and set aside.
Dumpling Instructions for non-Therma users
Finely chop onion, garlic, peeled ginger and chilli. Heat 1 Tbsp of the rice bran oil in a pan and sauté all of the above for about 5 minutes.
If using broccoli (as I do), finely chop the flowerets and grate the stem as you’ll use it all. If using carrots finely grate them. Finely chop the spring onions and slice the mushrooms. Add these vegetables to the pan and cook for about 10 minutes. Crumble the tofu into the pan and cook a further 5 minutes, then stir in the soy and sesame oil. Leave until the stuffing is cool enough to handle.
Dumpling Instructions for Therma users
Place the broccoli (or carrot) and spring onions in the thermomix bowl and process twice at speed 7 for 3 seconds until finely chopped. Transfer to a dish and set aside. Add mushrooms to thermomix bowl and process at speed 4 for 5 seconds then set aside with broccoli and spring onions.
Add 1 Tbsp rice bran oil, onion, garlic, peeled ginger and chilli to thermomix bowl and process for 3 seconds on speed 7. Scrape the sides of the bowl with the spatula and repeat processing. Scrape the sides of the bowl again then cook at 95C for 5 minutes at speed 1.
Add the broccoli (or carrot), spring onion and mushrooms to the thermomix and cook 90C for a further 8 minutes at reverse speed 1. Add the cubed tofu and continue to cook for another 5 minutes at 90C, this time at normal speed 1.5 to crumble the tofu. Add the soy and sesame oil and mix at speed 1.5 for 30 seconds. Allow mixture to cool (thermomix light turns from red to green).
Assembling the Dumplings
Holding a dumpling skin in one hand, dip your index finger of the other hand in a little water and wet the top of the skin. Put about 1 heaped tsp of the dumpling filling into the middle of the skin, then pinch the corners together at the top to make a “money bag” shape. Repeat with the remaining skins.
In a large flat bottom fry pan with lid, heat the remaining 3 Tbsp of rice bran oil over a high flame. Add the dumplings and fry uncovered for about 3-5 minutes, until you see the bottoms turn golden.
Add 200mL of water and quickly cover the pan with the lid to steam the dumplings for 2 minutes. You’ll notice they seem to puff up a little. Remove the lid and continue to fry uncovered until all the water has evaporated. It’s best to turn the heat down to a medium-high setting here as the hot water may still splash. Gently lift the bottoms of the dumplings with a spatula and you can transfer them to some paper towel before placing them on a serving plate along with the dipping sauce.
Eat as soon as your hands can hold these hot little bags of vegan nom-nomness!