Chinese New Year

Vegetarian steamed dumplings fun to make

 

Appetizer

VEGETARIAN STEAMED DUMPLINGS WITH SWEET-AND-SOUR SAUCE

Seasoned baked tofu is sold with the other refrigerated Asian items, usually in the grocer’s produce section.

For the dumplings:

12 ounces seasoned baked tofu, cut into cubes

6 scallions, ends trimmed

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, leaves and stems

1/2 cup finely grated carrots

1 whole egg or 2 egg whites, beaten

2 tablespoons hoisin sauce

2 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

1 teaspoon hot sauce

12-ounce package 3-inch square wonton wrappers

For the sweet-and-sour sauce:

1/2 cup rice vinegar (cider vinegar can be substituted)

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons apricot jam

2 tablespoons ketchup

2 teaspoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon hot sauce

1 tablespoon cornstarch

In a food processor, combine the tofu, scallions, garlic, cilantro, carrots, egg, hoisin, soy sauce, sesame oil and hot sauce. Pulse until the tofu is finely chopped, but not ground, about 10 1-second pulses.

One at a time, place 1 teaspoon of the mixture in the center of each wonton wrapper. Dunk your fingers in water, then use them to wet the edges of the wrapper. Gather the edges of the wrapper over the filling, pinching them together to form a small bundle. Repeat with the remaining filling and wrappers.

In a large saute pan, bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Set a bamboo or other steamer basket over the water, then lightly coat it with cooking spray.

Working in batches if necessary, arrange the dumplings in the steamer (they should not touch), then cover and steam for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the sweet-and-sour sauce. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, brown sugar, jam, ketchup, soy sauce and hot sauce. Bring to a simmer. In a small glass, mix the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water, then add to the saucepan. Simmer for another 2 minutes, or until slightly thickened.

Serve the dumplings with sweet-and-sour sauce on the side for dipping. Makes 48 dumplings.

Per dumpling: 50 calories; 10 calories from fat (20 percent of total calories); 1 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 9 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 4 g sugar; 2 g protein; 135 mg sodium.


AP Food Editor

Whether or not Chinese New Year marks a major event in your life, it’s easy to love many of the foods associated with it.

Dumplings are a traditional choice for the holiday, which this year begins Feb. 10. And while there are seemingly endless variations on the simple theme of stuffing rounds of dough with something savory and delicious, the basic steamed dumpling is among my favorites. Not the least because it is incredibly weeknight friendly.

I always start by using purchased wonton skins as the dough. These skins, which are available in various shapes and sizes, are widely available, inexpensive, need no prep, cook quickly and are easy to work with.

For the filling, you can use virtually anything you like. Seasoned ground meats (pork, poultry or even beef all work quite nicely) are wonderful, especially when combined with diced vegetables, such as carrots and onion. The only trick is to make certain the ingredients aren’t watery, as this will ruin the texture of the dumplings.

If your filling contains many vegetables, it’s a good idea to give them a quick stir-fry before adding them to the mixture. This helps remove excess water. For smaller amounts of vegetables, this isn’t necessary. You’ll also want to opt for lean ground meats for the same reason.

For this dumpling recipe, I decided to go vegetarian and used purchased seasoned and baked tofu in the filling. If you’d rather use meat, substitute an equal amount of diced or ground meat and skip the food processing step. You’ll also need to steam for a bit longer (use an instant thermometer to check the progress and ensure you hit a safe cooking temperature).

For this recipe, I use a simple fold-and-pinch method of forming the dumplings. It requires no special equipment or skill. But if you make a lot of dumplings, consider getting a dumpling press sold for just a few dollars at Asian markets. These clamshell-style presses neatly fold and crimp the dumplings into attractive packets.

Read more Food stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category