If you are vegetarian (or a flexitarian like me), and you love dumplings, then you’ll be very familiar with the feeling of missing out when all you can find are dumplings filled with meat. This’s why we’re so pleased to share with you this dumpling recipe filled with shiitake and tofu.
As an Asian, dumplings and bao are some of my favourite comfort food. We love it to steam, boiled, pan-fried, any other methods we find it interesting. They are necessary for my everyday meals. I crave them at least a few times a month. They are one of the healthiest foods – you can eat (quite occasionally with). These are beautiful carbs I will never limit myself. Now, get ready to try out this quick and easy Shiitake Tofu Dumpling!
Dried or Fresh Shiitake Mushroom?
The shiitake mushroom is a favourite of those who prefer a meaty, rich-flavoured mushroom. Originating from Asian Dried shiitake mushrooms and fresh shiitake mushrooms have very different aromas and flavours. Dried shiitake mushroom has a much stronger aroma and flavour compared to fresh shiitake mushroom. Thus the dried shiitake mushroom will always be our go-to if we have one.
How do you choose a “good quality” dried shiitake mushroom? The good quality dried shiitake mushrooms have a big, round, and thick cap. The texture should be tender with a strong fragrance. If you can touch the shiitake mushroom before you buy it, the good quality shiitake mushroom should be dry, crispy and light.
Making of the Fillings
We find that a lot of vegetarian dumplings at the stores aren’t meaty enough for us. The meat dumpling texture is much better than the filling that is just a gooey pile of mashed vegetables. That’s why we filled these dumplings with tofu and shitake mushrooms, which adds that meaty flavour and texture back in.
While making the filling is usually the easiest part of the whole dumpling process as you just have to mix all the ingredients together, but this is not the case for this dumpling. As firm tofu and vegetables have a higher content of water which is not what we wanted in our dumplings. Thus the steps below made was to reduce the water content in it at the same time adding more flavour to the filling.
How to deal of the Tofu?
- Choosing the right tofu; extra-firm is what you’ll need. It has a heartier, denser texture and less water content than other types of tofu, which worked out perfectly.
- Removing the water content in the tofu; wrap the tofu with paper towel, with heavy object lying on top. Let the tofu sit 20 to 30 minutes, to let the water drain from it, and you will have a much drier tofu.
- refer to the Soy and Scallion Tofu Bowl for a detailed explaination of preparing the tofu.
Preparation of Shiitake Mushroom?
- Soak in the water for rehydration; rinse with the cold water first then rehydrate by soaking in cold water for around 3 hours or overnight before cooking. Softening the shiitake mushroom in water will make it easier to cut into the shapes you want and also make it easier to cook.
- Chopping the mushroom in to small diced; squeeze the access water out from the soaked mushroom. Remove the stalk of the mushroom and diced it.
Making of your fillings
- Cook the ingredients; will cook the prepared vegetable ingredients ahead, as the tofu and mushroom contain lots of moisture, we don’t want wet fillings. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil in a pan over medium heat. Add in the tofu and mushroom following by the garlic and ginger and cook till the mixture is slightly drier. Toss it occasionally and breaking tofu apart with a wooden spoon. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and let them cool for 10 minutes.
- Combine the ingridents; transfer the cooled ingridents into a bowl, add in scillion ansd season it with soy sauce, sesame oil, and salt. Stir all the ingredients to combine. And now you are all prepared for wrapping them.
Wrapping of the dumpling
There are many ways to fold a dumpling and this time we tried a new method. However, if you want to try our method we have shared a detailed record of how you could wrap your dumpling thus we include links to avoid repetition. How to fold the dumplings?
Making a C using your index finger and thumb, allowing the dumpling to seat on top. Then you will scoop your filling placing it in the middle of the fingers. Seal the middle of the dumpling skin, now you will have two holes at the sides. Fold the access side of the dumpling towards the middle of the dumpling, repeat the other side. Remember not to overfill your dumpling as it will be hard to seal. Use water if your dumpling skin is on the drier side, it will make the process easier.
How to make your own chilli oil?
Personally, the spicy soy sauce is my favourite and that’s how we make all my dumpling sauces. But feel free to explore other options. We also highly recommend adding a few drops of homemade chilli oil to your sauce if you like to spice things up, which is what we tried this time.
Making chilli or infused oil are actually pretty simple to make at home. You just have to give a little patience with the cooling time for the oil. 2 years ago we first tried to make Chilli oil at home but what is different along our way is to add in more herbs and spices making the oil fragrance and flavourful.
Storing of your dumpling
The best way to store dumplings is to freeze them right after wrapping. You don’t need to thaw them before cooking and they will turn out just as great.
On the other hand, if you’ve cooked all the dumplings, you can store them in the fridge for 2 to 3 days or freeze them for up to a month. You also can reheat them in the air-fryer to avoid using oil and still get crispy results. You can reheat them in a lightly greased pan on the stovetop as well.
Crave for other dumpling recipes
Dumplings are a reasonably healthy option – it’s the quantity you’re eating that you need to watch because it’s light to eat too many. Steamed dumplings are the best option in terms of fat content, with pan-fried the next best.
Tofu Dumpling with Fragrance Chilli Oil
2 tablespoons (25g) vegetable oil, divided
2 cups (142g) diced shiitake mushrooms
1 teaspoon finely minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon white pepper or black pepper
6 ounces (170g) extra-firm tofu, pressed to remove moisture
1/4 cup (25g) finely sliced scallions
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon (14g) water
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon finely minced fresh ginger
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and heat until shimmering. Add the mushrooms and garlic, season generously with the remaining salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms cook down and turn golden in spots, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the cabbage and wipe the skillet clean.
- Crumble the tofu until no pieces larger than peas remain. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the remaining tablespoon of oil, and heat until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook, stirring occasionally, until pieces begin to turn golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the scallions, soy sauce, water, sesame oil, sugar, and ginger. Add the mixture to the tofu and let cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the tofu absorbs the sauce.
- Add the tofu to the cabbage and mushrooms and mix until well combined. Set aside while you roll out the wrappers.
- Divide the dough into six pieces. Work with one piece at a time, keeping the remaining pieces covered or in a sealed container.
- To shape:
- Roll one piece of dough into a short cylinder about 1″ in diameter. Cut the dough into six to eight pieces (fewer for thicker skins and more for thinner ones).
- Use a small rolling pin, dowel, or pastry pin to roll each slice of dough into a circle about 3 1/2″ to 4″ in diameter. Try to make the edges a little thinner than the center. Flour generously and set aside, covered. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Place 2 to 3 teaspoons of filling in the center of a wrapper. Dampen one half of the wrapper’s edge. Fold the wrapper in half and press firmly along the edge to form a half-moon shape. You can cook the dumplings as is, or press the pointed corners together, like a pair of folded hands, to make a rosebud shape.
- Pan-fry or Steam it