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Vegetarian Dumplings

by Emma on December 19, 2011

in Side Dishes,Snacks

Dumplings. Potstickers. You say pot-A-to I say potato.

That doesn’t make any sense when you type it out rather than say it out loud. Huh. You learn something everyday.

Dude, I really love dumplings. Like so much. But I eat a mostly vegetarian diet and there just aren’t usually meatless dumplings on every take out menu. (Hey Springfield readers, if you know a place in town that does really good vegetarian dumplings PLEASE leave it in the comments below. I’d love to hear about them.)

But, luckily, it’s pretty easy (and inexpensive) to make your own. I had never thought to try making them with lentils until I read this post. But it totally makes sense. I adore a good lentil burger, as I find that lentils sometimes have this almost meaty quality to them. Unless you think that’s weird… then, never mind. So I tried out a version of Heidi’s potstickers and I have to say, I’m a believer.

The only thing I will caution you about is that it is a little tricky to get these to not stick to the pan while they steam. About half of mine stuck and then tore a little as I plated them. Still tasty, but that crispy little bottom of the dumpling is my favorite part so you don’t want to disturb that. Oh no. I would suggest trying to gently slide the pan back and forth over the burner while they steam, so they will keep moving a bit and hopefully not stick as much. Give it a try, see what you think.

Vegetarian Dumplings, makes about 30

Needed: 1 1/2 cups dry lentils, 4-5 green onions, a few pinches of salt, pepper, curry powder and cumin, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/3 cup water and wonton wrappers.

Cook your lentils according to the directions on the package. Drain and allow them to cool enough to handle. Finely chop the green onions. In a large bowl combine the lentils, onions, salt, pepper, curry powder and cumin. Taste it and see if it needs more spice or salt. As you stir, mash it up a bit so that’s a little more like a paste or batter.

Lightly flour your work surface and lay some of your wonton wrappers on top of the flour, I usually did 4-6 at a time. Fill with a small dollop of the lentils, use your fingers to apply a little water  to the edges of the wrapper and crimp them. You want to seal all the seams, otherwise they may open up as you cook them.

Once you have all the dumplings ready heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium/high heat. Add the dumplings and let them cook for 2-3 minutes until the bottoms begin to brown. Now carefully add the water and place a lid on top of the pan. You can turn the heat down to low, as the steam is what’s going to cook the dumplings the rest of the way. Keep the lid on for 5-6 minutes. Remove the lid and see if there’s any water left, if so just them cook a little longer until all the waters gone.

I served these with a sauce that was 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/2 tablespoon Sirach, you can add more Sirach if you like it spicy.

xo. Emma

{ 24 comments }

Chloe December 19, 2011 at 6:55 am

These look delish! I love lentils! That sounds amazing!

grace December 19, 2011 at 8:08 am

o yum. I bet these are good. I usually don’t eat dumplings/potstickers either but I would DEFINITELY try these

grace
http://herumbrella.com

The life after December 19, 2011 at 8:50 am

I love dumplings!! It is a pity we can’t see inside.

The Life After

Bella Blithely December 19, 2011 at 9:25 am

Holy cow! I could really go a plate of mushroom dumplings right about now!

irene wibowo December 19, 2011 at 9:33 am

looks delicious.. :) wanna try..http://lovesimplegreen.blogspot.com/

Tertia December 19, 2011 at 11:18 am

These look amazing!! I LOVE pork dumplings but I had never ever thought of doing veggie ones!! Lentils are nice. Dumplings are nice. Ummmmm… these should be just a little bit AMAZING!!
Do you know if it’s possible to make wonton wrappers? I mean, obviously it is otherwise they would not exist. But I mean, at home. Any ideas? :)
Tertia xx

Mama Smith December 19, 2011 at 12:51 pm

I love dumplings and have never been brave enough to try anything with those wonton papers which are intimidating for some reason. We have a great spot for veggie dumplings (Boston tho not Springfield!) but are trying to eat out less to save money so this would be a real treat- thanks.
projectlittlesmith.blogspot.com

Elaine December 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I did an air punch/ shouting of ‘yes!’ combo when i saw this, cant wait to try them! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

carrie @plums in the icebox December 19, 2011 at 4:20 pm

terrific recipe, emma! i will be trying this out ASAP.

Kacie @ A Collection of Passions December 19, 2011 at 6:27 pm

Yummmmmm. Those look so easy and healthy. I’m in love with typical meat dishes made vegetarian. My fave is my Veg. French Onion Soup: http://acollectionofpassions.com/blog/kacie-s-vegetarian-french-onion-soup which is typically made with beef broth.

I can’t wait to give these a try.
Kacie

Liana December 19, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Ah, this is so great. Not only do I like to try to do meatless things more often, but I always need the encouragement that wonton/eggroll/etc wrappers really aren’t that scary. Isn’t that crazy? I freeze up in the grocery store when I think about doing something like this and shuffle right to the freezer section for something less desirable.

But no, I can do this. (Thanks, Emma!)

Emma December 19, 2011 at 10:49 pm

Yes you can-do it! :)

katharine Camiili December 19, 2011 at 7:40 pm

thankyou.
these look amazing!
for some reason I thought they would be harder-

hannah alehandra December 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm

These are right up my street! I’m vegetarian and I love food like this. Shame that half of your dumplings stuck to the pan! Ain’t that just the way, haha.

http://hannahalehandra.blogspot.com/

shannon December 19, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Those look so yummy!

http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com/

Lauren Helen December 20, 2011 at 4:08 am

These look delicious – I agree with Liana on that those sorts of wrap are mad intimidating at the grocer! I always pass them by!

Jade December 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm

I love veggie dumplings made with TVP. You should try that as well. So good.

lizzy December 21, 2011 at 4:05 am

oh, this is happening. veggies everywhere thank you!

xoxo
lizzy
http://www.lizzypancakes.blogspot.com

Lesley December 22, 2011 at 3:36 am

These look delicious! I’m pinning it for later!

dianne December 26, 2011 at 7:03 am

Bummer about the sticking. My mom used to make vegetarian potstickers with rice noodles, crumbled tofu, napa cabbage and dried mushrooms. They held up pretty well with the crumbled tofu. Since I moved away from California, I can’t get ready-made potsticker wrappers so I have resorted to making my own dough (2:1 ratio of flour to cold water). I would highly recommend making your own ( if store bought is nowhere to be found) rather than using wonton wrappers because they’ll hold up better to the frying/ steaming treatment. And oil, that helps too ;)

dianne December 26, 2011 at 7:05 am

I mean, LOTs of oil (not deep fried, but fry an egg so it’s slippery).

Caroline December 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Hey Emma, I’m chinese and we do such dumplings at home sometimes.
What you can do, to prevent these dumplings from sticking is….
1) apply a little oil on the bottom of the pan before you place the dumplings.
2) chinese restaurants usually steam it in a round basket, with a piece of thin white cloth laid on the bottom before placing the dumplings.
3) you can also place some big leaves of vegetables at the bottom in place of the white cloth. that helps with the sticking too! (cabbages, lettuce should do the job!)

you can try it the next time you make them!
do let me know the outcome!

Caroline :)

Caroline December 26, 2011 at 4:20 pm

oh, otherwise you can boil the dumplings. it will turn out well too!
there are several ways to cook these dumplings, but steaming and boiling them are the healthier ways.

Talia March 1, 2012 at 5:32 am

I just started reading your blog and I love it! I read abeautifulmess all the time and decided to look at this one too! IT’S AMAZING. you girls inspire me!