Thursday, December 27, 2012

Steamed Tofu and Kale Dumplings

If there's one food I can't resist, it's dumplings a.k.a. pot stickers/gyozas/wontons.  They certainly require extra effort in the kitchen vs. a noodle stir-fry, but sometimes it's all about texture and presentation with food...and taste, of course!  You can conjure up any filling and these will turn out fabulous.  Trust me.  Anything wrapped in dough is awesome in my book. 

Makes about 25 dumplings
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 block tofu, finely chopped or crumbled
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 cup kale, finely chopped
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 package of vegan wonton/gyoza wrappers (or enough to make 25 dumplings)
Bamboo steamer (or other type of steamer)
Parchment paper
  1. Sauté the tofu in olive oil until nicely browned on all sides.
  2. Add the garlic, ginger, and kale and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. 
  3. Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, and red pepper flakes and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Have a small bowl of water handy, along with an empty plate for your finished dumplings.
  5. Place a small spoonful of the tofu mixture onto each wrapper.  Using your finger, moisten the edges of the wrapper with water, then fold in half and press to seal. Or you can pinch and twist the edges together to create tiny 'bags' (as pictured).  You can also go for the the traditional pleated fan potsticker shape.
  6. Using a bamboo steamer lined with parchment paper, steam the dumplings on medium/high heat for about about 10 minutes. 
  7. Serve immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
Note that if you shape these into tiny bags like I did, there will be a thick chunk of wrapper on top, which may require extra steaming time to fully soften.  It will also affect your desired filling-to-wrapper-chewing-ratio (if you have one!).  For the traditional pleated fan-shaped dumplings, check out this great instructional video.

You can also pan-fry these to your heart's content.  Or serve them with veggies and broth for wonton soup.  Or smother them with your favorite chili oil sauce.  Yup, dumplings can do it all.

Enjoy!  :)