Like pasta, dumplings are a a comfort to make as much as to eat, a perfect family food suiting chopsticks or little hands. These little parcels are a great way of using up leftovers – shredded meat or flakes of seafood mixed with some chopped vegetables and herbs.
This recipe is for one of our favourite vegetarian dumplings. We use butternut squash, roasted and spiced with gochujang – a Korean red pepper seasoning. The resulting vegetable has a slightly sweet flavour with a slow-growing but definite kick of heat. Into this mix, we dispense some extra umami flavouring with soy sauce, a touch of mirin, garlic and slivers of cooked mushroom.
Rather like origami, there are many ways to fold and seal dumplings. We used round dumpling wrappers, gathering folds of the wrapper together to seal it around the filling like a drawstring purse.
Other ideas for home made dumpling fillings that we have tried
– Shredded Kale, Carrot and Broccoli with black sesame, soy and ginger.
– shredded duck or chicken (we would suggest cooking the meat low and slow either poaching, slow cooker or sous vide).
– Prawns with lime, coriander, chilli flakes and soy (we chop raw prawns and mix them with seasonings, and unlike meat fillings, here we put the filling in uncooked, the dumpling cooking time being sufficient to cook the prawn).
The best thing to do is get 2 or 3 fillings planned, and have a couple of hours at the weekend to stuff and seal a big batch of dumplings. They freeze well and here is a good bit of advice on reheating them without having them fall apart.
Cook them by steaming, boiling or pan-frying. Serve alongside a simple soy-sauce based dipping sauce. Or you could add them as a garnish for a noodle and miso soup.
- 1 small winter squash, peeled and sliced
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- half teaspoon gojuchang paste
- 250g brown cap mushrooms sliced
- half teaspoon rice wine (mirin)
- half teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 shallot, chopped finely
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
- 1 cube of fresh ginger (half an inch - 1cm cubed) chopped finely
- half teaspoon cornstarch
- Dumpling wrappers (30-36)
- 2 tablespoons water
- Black sesame seeds for garnish
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 cube ginger (1cm/half inch) chopped finely
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Preheat oven to 200 Deg C
- Rub half a teaspoon olive oil and the gojuchang paste over the squash and place it in a pan
- Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes (until the squash is soft)
- Once cooked, remove and mash the squash
- Heat a half teaspoon of olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat and add the chopped onion.
- Cook till softened and translucent.
- Tip the chopped garlic into the pan and cook for a few minutes then add the mushrooms
- Stir and cook till the mushrooms release their water and shrivel in size.
- Add the ginger, rice wine and soy sauce.
- then mix the mushrooms (which should now be a dry mixture) into the mashed squash, add the cornflour and mix it all together well.
- Now open your packet of dumpling wrappers and keep them covered with a damp tea towel.
- Working one wrapper at a time, put just under a tablespoon of filling into the centre of each wrapper.
- Dip your finger in a bowl of water then run this around the edge of the dumpling wrapper
- Create pleats to draw the dumpling pastry together around the filling, and twist it to seal the dumpling shut
- Keep the dumplings on a greaseproof lined baking tray.
- If you want you can freeze the dumplings in the tray and then cook them later.
- Alternatively cook them fresh by boiling them for a few minutes in simmering water till they rise to the top and are translucent. Carefully lift them out with a slotted spoon
- Serve garnished with black sesame seeds.
- For the dipping sauce, mix the soy, ginger, chilli and honey together and pour into small serving bowls.
Here are some lovely prawn gyoza from Emily
And we love the look of these tofu and kimchi dumplings over at the Kitchn