永次 and I love dumplings(ぎょうざ) even though they can sometimes take quite a while to make. Since we no longer consume dairy products(乳製品), finding pre-made dumpling wrappers without egg(鶏卵) in them proved to be quite a challenge! It seemed every where we went and every package we turned over had it in the ingredients. I know you can make your own dumpling wrappers, but I just hadn’t added it to my to-do list because it would make dumplings even longer to make! Well I’m happy to report that not only did we find dairy free dumpling wrappers (at the Asian market instead of the local grocery store) but this way is so much faster! I threw a block of tofu(豆腐) and a handful of my favorite veggies(蔬菜), some seasonings and let her rip! I cooked it all on the stove for about five minutes and was ready to make my dumplings! We pan-fried half and then steamed half in our bamboo(竹) steamer, they were delicious! Enjoy.
1 block of tofu (This makes an enormous amount, you will have leftovers! Cut it in half if need be!)
1/2 – 1 cup of favorite assorted veggies (I used about ten baby carrots, ten broccoli pieces, a celery stalk, you get the idea. Just what I had lying around that need to be used before going off!)
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
2 Tbsp soy sauce or vegetarian oyster sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 Tbsp orange juice
1 tsp basil
1 tsp sea salt
oil for your pan
Making the innards
1. Take out the block of tofu and drain all the water. Press it firmly between your hands and push together as hard as you can, squeezing out all the excess water. Then slice your tofu block in half. (You can also quarter it, and one quarter is equal one serving.) The recipe is for a whole block, even if you save the rest for reheating later.)
2. If you’re using a food processor, combine the veggies and tofu well and pulse until crumbled (purée is fine too)! If cooking by hand, cube your tofu block into small squares and place into a medium sized bowl. Using a fork, mash up most of the tofu until it resembles scrambled eggs. Leaving a few (or many) cubes still in tact is preferable. Chop your veggies into tiny bits and combine!
3. Preheat your large skillet or pan over medium heat and add just enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the tofu & veggie mixture to the pan and spread it out evenly. Now add 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast and stir until well combined, spreading it back out when you’re done. Then add the second Tbsp and stir. After adding the final Tbsp, let it sit for a moment on the pan while the nutritional yeast melts.
5. Add the onion and garlic powder, and then the orange juice and stir until combined, cooking over medium heat. For the next ingredients we don’t measure them out, we simply make sure the tofu is spread evenly among the pan and then do a light to medium layer of coverage over the entire pan. First is basil. We just do one layer of basil over the tofu and then stir it until it’s combined. Then we do one sprinkled layer of salt, stir, let it sit for a few more minutes and then it’s done! Once the tofu hits the pan it takes us about 5-7 minutes to go through the whole process of adding the ingredients while it cooks.
Making the dumplings: After you’ve made the guts for your dumplings , scoop out a spoonful into your first dumpling wrapper. Dip your fingertip in water and run it along the outside of the wrapper and then fold the dumpling in half so the ends touch and seal together. You can make fancy dumpling lines with a fork if you don’t have a dumpling maker. Repeat until you’ve used all your wrappers, and then you’re ready to cook!
Cooking via Boiling: Place your dumplings into a bamboo steamer (or any steamer) lined with wax paper. Boil a pot of water and places your steamer on top and let steam for 10-15 minutes!
Cooking via Pan Fry: You’re innards are already cooked, and there’s no meat in it so you don’t have to worry about making sure it’s cooked all the way through, so really you’re just heating it up and cooking the wrappers. Put a little oil in your pan, add the dumplings, and cook on medium heat about three minutes per side. Dumplings are ready when they are golden brown!
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