Supper Club: Vegan Dumplings

Supper Club is back! I’ve been cooking up a storm over here in the time away from the blog. It’s my way of relaxing and de-stressing from the work day. If you are new to the blog, Supper Club is our way of cooking our way around the world and learning about the culture at hand in the process.

When we travel, we go out of our way to find dumplings. We love them! My personal favorite are soup dumplings and there’s a spot in Hell’s Kitchen, in NYC that hands down has the best I’ve ever tasted. It never occurred to me that I could actually make these at home until I did make them at home and they were delicious. I’ve never seen a plate disappear faster than these did. I will say, they take a long time to make, so make sure to allow enough time. I adapted this recipe from Madeline Lu, and it’s shared here with her instructions, but with my changes.

You too can change what you put inside.

What you’ll need:

For the Dumpling Wrap:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • pinch of salt

For the Dumping Filling:

  • 1 medium-sized Red cabbage
  • 2 medium-sized carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tsp freshly grated garlic
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 of a medium-sized purple onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
  • pepper, to taste

In addition

  • 1/2 cup of sesame seeds, in a small bowl
  • 3 tbsp water, in a flat plate
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 tsp spring onions, finely chopped

Dipping Sauces:

  • Soy Sauce Dipping ( 1 tsp grated ginger, 1 tsp finely chopped spring onions, 3 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp sesame oil and 1/2 tsp sesame seeds)
  • Chili Garlic Sauce (store bought)
  • Chilli Oil (store bought)

How it’s made:

  1. To prepare the dough, put the flour in a medium bowl. Add the hot water in a steady stream, stirring with chopsticks until a raggy dough forms. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and knead until smooth, 10 minutes. Sprinkle the dough with flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand for 1 hour. Take the dough out and knead again for 5 minutes and then cover again with plastic wraps for 30 minutes. By then, the dough should be springy and soft.
  2. While the dough is resting, prepare the filling. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and chop the carrots, then put into a mixing bowl. Add 1 tbsp salt and mix well together. Set aside .
  3. Use another mixing bowl, add in the purple onion, ginger, garlic, and spring onion.
  4. Take the cabbage stripes and carrots out of the other mixing bowl and use two hands to squeeze out the excess water and then put into the mixing bowl with the other mix. Add 1 tsp of salt and some fresh pepper. Mix all ingredients together until well combined. Set aside.
  5. On a large chopping board or baking sheet, sprinkle with flour. Quarter the dough. On a floured work surface, roll each piece into a 12-inch rope. Cut each rope into 12 pieces and roll into balls; sprinkle with flour. Roll out 6 balls at a time to 3 1/2-inch rounds; brush off the excess flour. Spoon 2 teaspoons of the filling onto the center of each round wrap. Bring up the sides of the wrapper; press and pleat the edges to seal in the filling. Dip the bottom of dumpling in the plate water and then dip it in the bowl of sesame seeds, so the bottom of the dumpling is evenly covered with sesame seeds. Place the finished dumpling onto the chopping board or baking sheet.
  6. In a skillet over medium heat, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil. Arrange  the dumplings in the skillet, pleated edge up. Cook over high heat until the bottoms are lightly browned, 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook until the filling is cooked through, 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until the bottoms are well browned, 1 minute; transfer to a plate, sprinkle with more finely chopping spring onions, chili flakes, sesame seeds, sesame oil and soy sauce. Serve immediately.

We like to talk about the country that we are studying over the meal and while cooking.

Lessons to incorporate into your Supper Club:

  • Talk about a few things invented in China – See if you have any of these things around your home. Paper, the magnetic compass, fireworks, and silk were all invented in China. Put a few things on the table, including things not invented in China and see if your children can guess which once were invented in China.
  • Put out a map of China for place maps, then talk about which region dumplings come from. (Dumplings come from the North)
  • Talk about the Great Wall of China and how and why it was built. Really listen to your children on how they thought it was built, because 4,500 miles is so long. I’m sure it will be an interesting subject.
  • During dinner, listen to traditional chamber ensemble music from the Shanghai region. It’s really beautiful.
  • After dinner, have a C-pop dance party.