This dish was made after taking inspiration from a colleague of mine P, who one day came bouncing to the office with the offer of homemade dumplings – and who was I to turn them down of course!. They were tasty – and hearty, so I thought to myself, why not I make it up and do it too? After all, it might be fun and can either go disastrously wrong, or beautifully right – 50/50% chance is good enough for me! And so, this dish of Easy Vegetarian Steamed Dumplings was born. I kid you not – It will take you 15 minutes to prepare and 10 minutes to steam – above all, it’s so healthy (of course this is dependent on how much light soya sauce you use too!!) and easy to make, making this an all-round tasty, healthy snack. You can also choose to add meat to it, making it a proper dinner (with rice and soup if you like)
And so, off we went to the local Chinese grocer – alas, Waitrose does not stock bamboo strips! Here is what we bought;
- 1 can bamboo strips
- 1 can water chestnuts (provided a lovely crunch!)
- Bunch of red chillies (give it that real extra kick!)
- Spring onion
- I bag of bean sprouts
- Some light soya sauce
- I packet of dumpling skins (and a small bowl of water handy to seal the skin together afterwards)
Now depending on how many dumplings you anticipate to make, measure out the appropriate ingredient quantities, adding more if you fancy one ingredient more than the other. 🙂 Chop the chillies and chestnuts into smaller pieces. You might want to chop the bamboo strips in half too – as we found this to be too long when we were eating the dumplings!
Throw all the ingredients in the pan – add some soya sauce to taste. Fry for about 10 minutes – the ingredients should ‘shrink’ a little, this will make it more manageable for when you have to put them into the dumpling skins for later! 🙂
Put the cooked ingredients to one side. Separate the dumpling skins out on a dry surface
Using a teaspoon, spoon a little of the cooked ingredients into the middle of the dumpling skin, be careful that you don’t put too much as you don’t want to risk breaking the dumpling skin when you steam it
Urghh – look at my sad attempt at the art of dumpling folding above – so embarrassing! 🙁
For this, I has to enlist the help of the better half, as I have terrible fat fingers and no sense of neatness when it comes to technical stuff like this. Hahahaha – check out my attempt above, then look at the better half’s attempt. Hang your head in shame woman – my mum would say! After you have filled the dumplings, in the middle, fold in half and press the sides together with the help of a little water, the water helps it stick together to seal it all in place 🙂
After you finish filling the lovely little parcels, slowly transport them onto the steamer – careful not to break the skins as they are very delicate. Steam for about 10 minutes
Serve up with chili sauce of your choice – we bought this gorgeous Vietnamese dipping sauce from Waitrose – perfect!
The verdict? This is actually *gasp* not a bad snack at all – we made fifteen – and had loads of filing leftover (no guesses on what we will be having for a snack today then eh!) ). The chilli gave it that extra kick and the saltiness from the soya sauce balanced it out so you didn’t burn your insides. The addition of the chestnuts and bamboo shoots gave it that extra crunch and the parsley and spring onions work surprisingly well together to give it that ‘clean’ taste. All in all, a great, quick, healthy snack – what’s not to love! For next time, we will be trying it with minced chicken/beef and buying larger dumpling skins, as I felt these were too small to hold a hearty amount of filling (ok yes, we are just being greedy and want more filling in our parcels – I won’t lie hahaha!!) . Look out for that post soon! 🙂 🙂
Happy cooking lovelies!