Jonny and I love gyoza and I’ve been meaning to try making something similar at home for a while now. A craving hit me this morning and since January is a meatless month I decided I’d try making a vegetarian version.
A search on the internet revealed that vegetarian gyoza recipes were out there but nothing was exactly how I wanted. So, I made a list of ingredients that showed up in most recipes and purchased the ones that Jonny and I actually like to eat. Then, with the recipe for potstickers from the Rebar Modern Food Cookbook as my guide, I made a filling to fit what I’d bought.
The end result was delicious (I had to kick Jonny out of the kitchen because he kept eating the filling) and cheap (about $8 dollars for the ingredients). We ate them for dinner and then ate the ones I’d set aside for lunch tomorrow too. The recipe makes between 50 and 60 dumplings (depending on your definition of a heaping teaspoon) so we have lots in the freezer for another dinner (soon!).
Vegetarian Potstickers (adapted from Rebar Modern Food Cookbook)
makes about 50 to 60 dumplings
1 block (350 g) tofu, drained (use firm or regular)
about 6 white mushrooms, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 of a small savoy or Chinese cabbage, finely chopped (approximately 1-2 cups)
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/4 – 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2-3 tbsp soya sauce
2-4 tbsp minced cilantro
1 package wonton wrappers (or gyoza wrappers if you can find them)
1 tbsp cornstarch
4 tbsp water
oil and water for cooking
In a bowl, crumble the tofu (I used my hands but a potato masher would work). In a large frying pan heat both oils and sauté ginger, garlic and red pepper flakes for about 1 minute. Add the crumbled tofu, cabbage, mushrooms (if using) and soy sauce (to taste). Cook until the cabbage and mushrooms are soft and most of the moisture is gone. Cool slightly and mix in the chopped cilantro.
In a small bowl, mix the water and cornstarch. Place a wonton wrapper on a clean work surface and spoon a heaping tsp of the filling into the center. Wet the edges of the wrapper with the cornstarch mixture and fold two points of the wrapper together to enclose the filling. Pinch the edges to seal well and crimp together to make a dumpling shape. Repeat until all the filling is used up. Dumplings can be placed on a cookie sheet, frozen and transferred to a bag for storage.
To eat, heat some oil in a heavy frying pan. Place potstickers into the oil and fry for about a minute until golden. Turn over (if they haven’t stuck!) and cook 1 minute more. Carefully add about 1/4 c of water to the pan and cover with a lid. The water will cause the oil to splatter, so have the lid ready to go! Steam the potstickers until the water is gone. Remove from the pan and drain on a paper towel. Serve warm with your favorite dipping sauce.
Note: Cilantro is not a typical seasoning in most of the gyoza recipes I looked at but we like the extra flavour. If you absolutely can’t stand cilantro (or are looking for simpler taste), the filling still tastes delicious without it. Same goes for the mushrooms – Jonny doesn’t eat them so I made half of the batch without and liked it just as well.
Additional Note: I cooked these from frozen the other day and they worked out much better! I used one pan with oil to cook them and a second pan of water to steam them.