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.