We’ve got a recipe for the vegetarian gyoza dumplings of your dreams… I know, SAY MORE NOW! These vegan potsticker dumplings use veggies you probably already have, a few seasonings and spices, and a touch of patience to pleat ’em up! Let’s do this.
Prepare the filling:
- Chop onion and carrot, mince garlic.
- Heat a medium-large sized skillet to medium heat, add chili oil.
- Sautee onion, garlic, and carrot until soft and translucent- about 5-7 minutes. Once onion and carrot are soft, add diced cabbage and cook an additional 5-7 minutes.
- While the vegetable mixture is sauteeing, prepare the liquid we’ll use to cook the lentils. Add all ingredients together and use a whisk to mix well, making sure the miso is incorporated.
- The vegetable (onion/carrot/cabbage) mixture should be nicely caramelized, use the broth to deglaze the pan (fancy term for pour it in and stir it around) then add the lentils.
- Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to a simmer. Simmer 20-25 minutes until the lentils are tender.
- After the lentils are tender, turn off the heat and add chopped cilantro and minced ginger.
- At this point I conduct some ‘quality checking.’ Taste your filling- add more umami, more spice, more salt or more acid if needed.
- I personally set the filling aside to cool before wrapping the potstickers. You can begin to wrap them immediately however the wrappers are prone to stretching and tearing. If this is your first time making gyoza dumplings, I would wait a couple hours until the filling cools, or wrap the next day.
Wrapping your dumplings:
You’ll need a small dish of water, a spoon, and a large flat surface to place all your finished dumplings.
- Hold one dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand, usually your secondary hand. (I’m right handed and I place the wrapper in my left hand).
- Dip your index finger in the water and coat the perimeter of the circular wrapper, the side facing up.
- Place 1 tablespoon of the filling into the center of the dumping.
- Using the hand the dumpling is in, pinch the dumpling together in the center- usually this uses your thumb and middle finger. Seal this first bit tightly together.
- Using the opposite hand, start from the center outward pinch and fold the dumpling together. This will be two different operations, center to the right-end of the dumpling and center to the left-end of the dumpling.
- After you have your potsticker pleated and sealed, you can apply a bit more water with your finger to any areas that aren’t sticking properly. They don’t look pretty as your are learning, but they taste great!
- You can cook these immediately or freeze for later.
- Heat a heavy bottom skillet or cast iron to medium heat with 1 tablspoon of oil. (I like sesame oil here)
- When the pan is hot, place your first round of potstickers in the pan. Place them flat side down and be sure they aren’t touching.
- Leave dumplings to sear and get a nice golden crunch, about 3 minutes. You can tip a couple over and check for golden-brown crusts to be sure the sear is done!
- After 3 minutes, add 1/3c water to the center of the pan and immeditately place a tight-fitting lid on.
- Steam for about 2 minutes, or until water is evaporated.
- Use a thin, flexible spatula to remove the dumplings with one swift lift! You can place on a tea towel to absorb excess oil before serving, or place directly on a plate.
- Serve with your favorite dipping sauce and enjoy!
** To freeze these gyoza dumplings, place dumplings not touching, on a parchment lined baking sheet until frozen. Once frozen you can remove and store in your containter of choice.
** If you’re after function and frustrated with beauty, you can 100% do a simple fold to seal these. Simply follow steps 1-4 of the folding process, then instead of pleating just squeeze the wrapper together with your thumb and index finger. No sexy pleats, but this will get potstickers on your plate. I probably folded 200 potstickers before I could easily pleat and wrap these- it takes practice!
** Another option is to roll out the potsticker wrappers with a rolling pin. I don’t usually do this but it does give you more wrapper to work with as you are learning! I find this method more difficult as the wrappers are thinner and more prone to tearing when rolled out…. But, when I recruit my husband to help me wrap dumplings, he always uses a rolling pin. It’s personal (and hand size?) perference!
** If your potstickers don’t look fully cooked after steaming, you can add another 2 tablespoons water and steam an additional 2 minutes. This can often be the case when cooking frozen potstickers. I’ve found that a 1/3 cup water steam followed by a 2 tablespoon water steam results in better potstickers. Here’s why: If you add too much water up front, the potstickers will simmer for a bit v. steaming thus loosing their crunchy underside. Recap: 2 shorter batches of steaming work better than 1 longer simmer/steam.
** I know it’s tempting to put as much filling as possible into every precious dumping but let me tell you- the more filling you add to your dumplings, the harder they are to wrap. Start small and add more filling when the wrapping process gets easier for you!
** Where I live, the most available package of dumpling wrappers / wonton wrappers is a package of 48 round potsticker wrappers. I tried to craft this recipe to perfectly use 48 round wrappers. If you have leftover filling (which I had several times in recipe testing this) you can cook up some rice or quinoa and you’ve got a certified stir fry!