From Chef Alan Zox www.zoxkitchen.com, here’s a wonderful dumpling recipe without your traditional animal protein that combines frying and steaming with tofu and quinoa. One egg plus potato starch should hold it all together. The aromatics will enhance the flavor. These dumpling are fun to make with friends and family.
Chef Zox’s Vegetarian Gyoza Dumplings
1 package firm tofu
1/2 cup red quinoa
1/2 head savoy cabbage, rough chopped
1 egg, whisked for 15 seconds
4 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1 tbsp ginger, diced
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sake
1 tbsp potato starch
1 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
2 dried shiitake mushrooms, pulverized
40 gyoza wrappers (aka pot-sticker wrappers)
3 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp rice vinegar
Juice of ½ lime
Chili oil to taste
1. Freeze the tofu overnight. Defrost, dice, thoroughly wash, squeeze out the water and place in a large bowl. Wash quinoa and cook it in 1 cup of water. When cooked, add quinoa to the bowl with the tofu.
2. Steam the cabbage for 2 minutes. Drain and run under cold water so it’s cool enough to handle. Shake out the excess water without squeezing. Mince the cabbage and add it to the bowl with the tofu and quinoa. Add whipped egg, scallions, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, soy sauce, sake, potato starch, salt, pepper and pulverized shiitake mushrooms to the bowl. Mix everything together with your hands, using a kneading action to bring the mixture together.
3. If your wrapper is too thick, roll it out for 15 seconds.
4. To assemble dumplings, place one wrapper in the palm of your left hand if you are right-handed. Then place a teaspoon or less of the filling into the center of the wrapper. Dip the fingers of your right hand into a bowl of water and place wet fingers over wrapper to wet the entire rim. This is what seals the mixture in place. Continue holding the dumpling in your left hand and fold the wrapper in half, but don’t seal the edges yet. Pinch the left edge shut and hold it shut with your left thumb and forefinger. Fold a pleat with your right thumb and forefinger. Pinch the pleat shut with your left thumb and forefinger. Continue with remaining wrappers and vegetable mixture.
5. Add the 3 tablespoons of oil to a nonstick skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Fry without touching until the gyoza are just starting to turn tan on the bottom. With a lid at the ready, add ¼ cup of water to the pan and immediately cover the pan with the lid. Let the gyoza steam for 2 minutes. If the water runs out before the 2 minutes are up, crack open the lid and add a little bit more.
6. After steaming, remove the lid and let the remaining water burn off. Let the gyoza fry in the remaining oil until the bottoms are golden brown and crispy. Plate the crispy side up so they don’t get soggy.
7. Create a sauce for these beauties by combining soy sauce, rice vinegar and lime juice; add chili oil to taste. Enjoy.