Saturday, January 3, 2009

Vegan Chinese Dumplings

I spent the better half of the morning grumbling to myself about how I'm not allowed (my own rule) to bake anything until that cake in the fridge is gone. I've been thinking about cookies, and had some really great ideas, but seriously? I can't make three dozen cookies for the two of us until that cake is gone, or else it won't get eaten, and I will be so bummed. 

So I was cruising around the internet (or, Google Reader) and saw Ellen over at I am Gluten Free had made some dumplings. Oooooh I love dumplings. I haven't made my own wrappers before, I've been meaning to make Kate's for a while but haven't gotten around to it (mostly because hers have gelatin and I rarely use gelatin). I've made dumplings from a mix from the Asian grocery store before, but never from scratch. Oh these were easy. I used the tofu filling Ellen made, it was delicious. You can also use pork (I usually do) with about the same mix of ingredients, plus a splash of fish sauce. 

Vegan Dumpling Wrappers

1/2 c tapioca starch
1/2 c fine rice flour
3/4 t xanthan gum
1 T oil
5-6 T cold water

Whisk together the starch, flour, and xanthan gum. Add the oil and then 5 T of the water. Mix by hand until everything comes together, adding more if needed. Sprinkle your work surface with sweet rice flour, roll into a ball, and cover with a damp paper towel. Follow Ellen's directions to make wrappers, or pinch off balls a bit smaller than a quarter and flatten in your palm, then add a teaspoon or so of filling and pinch closed. Steam in a bamboo steamer, or put dumplings in a pan and add enough water to go 1/4 of the way up the dumplings, cover, and cook over medium heat until water is evaporated, then add some oil to the pan (use a nonstick pan, I learned the hard way), shake around the dumplings to coat, and cook each side until browned. Serve with dipping sauce of your choice (see below for my choice).

Maked about a dozen dumplings, you can double (or triple or quadruple) the recipe, which I would recommend since you're going through all the effort of making dumplings, you might as well make a ton. Stick any extras in the freezer lined up on wax paper on a cookie sheet, freeze until hard, then stick in serving-size bags. Steam frozen dumplings a few minutes longer than fresh ones. 

Dipping Sauce for Dumplings
This is more a method than an actual recipe

1 part soy sauce
1 part rice vinegar
1 part chinese cooking wine
big plop of chili garlic sauce
a chopped up scallion or two
a light drizzle of sesame oil
1 minced garlic clove
a chunk of minced ginger

Whisk everything together, let sit an hour or so if you have time. Divide into small bowls for dipping dumplings in.


  1. Hey, yours look great! I've made Kate's with
    agar instead of gelatin
    and they came out phenomenal. I will have to try your method next time!

  2. Wow, it never even occurred to me that you can make the wrappers! Hmmm, easy you say? Happy New Year!

  3. Anonymous12:56 AM

    that first pic is very intriguing! happy new year!

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  5. Jill,

    Job well done! Your dumplings look fantastic! I will definitely try them without eggs next time. Thanks for the tweak!


  6. I so miss dumplings. These look really good. Do you know of a good substitute for the fine rice flour? Do you think sorghum would work? I can't eat rice either. I would love to have dumplings.

  7. I "adopted" you for November and made these!! Super yummy, thanks for sharing. Living Without Wheat: Adopt a Blogger - November

  8. Have you heard about Vietnamese Pho? It's a famous asian noodle. Found a product called Happy Pho by Star Anise FOods. It's High firbe and you can make it any way you want, have it in your cupboard and throw together a quick healthy meal with whatever found in your fridge: you can use it for Pho soup ( with the spice in it), pad thai, stir fry, salad, or as a side serving. Yum. I got mine off amazon. You should have a try

  9. Anonymous11:21 PM

    Thank you for posting this. I was excited and
    made this dumpling wrapper right away. But for some reason the wrappers kept on breaking. At 1st I used water to seal the edges and then gave up. There were a few that made it to the frying pan. It has a chewy texture compared to the wheat wrapper. I wonder if I did something wrong in the process...

  10. Yum! Thanks for posting this---sometimes it's hard to find dumpling wrappers without egg. I linked to you from my Fat Free Vegan Gyoza recipe:

    Thanks so much for this!!!