These crispy vegan Fried Dumplings give a big crunch that is followed by a wonderful chewiness that comes from the wrapper. Their flavoursome filling consists of wonderfully fragrant vegetables, infused with garlic and ginger and tofu.
The Chinese name for these dumplings is ‘jiaozi’ and they can be eaten steamed or fried (the fried ones taste nicer in my opinion!). They are traditionally filled with minced pork and chives and are typically consumed during Spring Festival (Chinese New Year).
The tradition was to fill these with a 1 Yuan coin which would greet you (not so pleasantly!) in your first bite of these mouthful-sized dumplings, though this tradition is less common now due to fear of choking on the coin!
Questions about Fried Dumplings
How to make fried dumplings?
To make fried dumplings you will need pastry wrappers (made from flour and water), which can either be bought ready-made or you can make these at home yourself – though as you may have noticed, I skipped this step! The filling is composed of garlic, ginger, Chinese cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, red pepper, firm tofu, chives, soy sauce, toasted sesame oil, rice vinegar and maple syrup. All of these ingredients are quick fried until vegetables are tender. The filling must cool before being added to the wrapper. Using a tablespoon, spoon the mixture into the centre of a round pastry wrapper, fold over the edges and make small pleats, pressing firmly to ensure the edges have been sealed and nothing can leak out (though this happens sometimes so don’t worry too much!). Either boil or steam for 5 minutes then directly fry in a frying pan filled with a dash of oil to crisp up the outside of the dumpling. When the outside is crisp and golden, serve immediately – but be careful, it will be hot!
What is a potsticker?
A potsticker is another name for chinese dumplings or jiaozi. The reasoning behind this name is simply because the pastry wrapper has a tendence to stick to the pot in which it is steamed.
Can I steam dumplings instead of frying?
This recipe requires the dumplings to be steamed first before frying. Boiling can also be used as an alternative to steaming. After this process, the dumplings can be eaten. The frying just adds the crispiness to the outside so the choice is yours. If you prefer a lower fat option then the last stage of frying can be bypassed.
Can I use any filling for a fried dumpling?
The short answer is yes. However, the filling shouldn’t be too ‘wet’ as this will cause the pastry sheet to break and it should also be small enough to fit into the dumpling.
Can any type of dumpling wrapper be used to make fried dumplings?
The wrapper for this specific dumpling recipe requires thin round sheets of dough that are strong enough to withstand pleating, frying and boiling. There are recipes for various styles of dumpling, such as wontons which tend to be a little thicker or some similar to filo pastry. Ultimately, any of these can be used but the cooking method and time may need to be altered accordingly.
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Fried Dumplings Recipe
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger crushed
- 250 g firm tofu
- 1 medium red pepper diced
- 150 g mushrooms sliced thinly
- Handful chives chopped
- 100 g green cabbage thinly shredded
- 40 dumpling wrappers
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp tamari /soy sauce
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Rapeseed oil to cook
- Salt to taste
- Fry 1 tbsp rapeseed oil and add the ginger and garlic.
- Fry for 5 minutes.
- Add the cabbage, pepper, mushrooms and tofu and cook a further 5 minutes.
- Add the tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, maple syrup and chives and continue to fry another 5-10 minutes when vegetables are tender.
- Allow mix to cool.
- Fill the wonton wrappers with roughly 1 tbsp of filling in the centre of sheet, rub the edges with a little water and fold over to create a half moon shape and press, tucking the edges over on either side of the dumpling.
- Steam for 5-10 minutes then remove.
- Heat some rapeseed oil in a frying pan and add the dumplings.
- Fry on either side for 2 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
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