A vegetarian version of Shumai, water chestnut dumplings
A new year has started and I feel that after the holidays with way too much of the good foods it is time to change the eating habits. Not too much but loosely this is what I had in mind. 1 day/week will be a fish day, 1 day/week or more will be vegetarian or vegan and one day there will be no restrictions at all. I will cut fat where I can without cutting it out and have no sugar in my black tea, I might give up the black tea for green and herbal as I find them easier to drink as they are.
Today was a vegetarian day and I wanted to make dumplings. This was an experiment as I have never done them without meat before but I was pretty sure it would work. I used tofu as a base as it carries and enhances flavors and it is very healthy, you can read more about the nutritional value here. The mentioning of tofu for dinner sometimes brings out that “really?!” look on M’s face so I tried to make it more interesting. I am not sure if it is correct to call them shumai but the shape is the same even if I need some more practice.
Water chestnut shumai
preparation time 10 minutes
cooking time 10 minutes
- 1 pack of goyoza wrappers
- 175 gr or 6 oz firm silken tofu
- 1 egg white
- 1 spring onion
- 1 tin of water chestnuts
- a piece of leek
- 1 chilli
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 piece of fresh ginger
- a good bunch of chives
- 1/2 – 1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
- 3-4 tbsp water
For the dipping sauce
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbs vegetable or rapseed oil
- 1/2 tbsp mirin
- the juice of 1/2 lime
- 1 piece of fresh ginger
- cress for garnish
Place the tofu in a blender together with garlic, the egg white and the sesame oil. Blend until smooth and then add the water chestnuts and just pulse, they will provide texture so don’t break them up too much. Chop the spring onion, the leek and the chilli fine and mix with the salt and the tofu mixture in a bowl.
De -frost the goyoza wrappers, you can re freeze the ones you don’t use, and place a teaspoon of filling on each wrapper. Form a ring with your index finger and thumb and place the wrapper in there. Gently shape the shumai and set side until you have done them all.
Heat a wok and add oil, I used rapeseed oil but vegetable oil is also good. When the oil is smoking add the shumai.
Let them fry to get a crispy base and then add 3-4 tbsp water and put the lid on. Let cook for 10 minutes, add a littler more water if necessary and let it cook without the lid the last minutes.
Whilst that is cooking mix the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Gently separate the shumai from each other if they stick together (or don’t insist on cooking them all together like myself) and serve.
They were delicious but a bit soft, I might need to add some corn flour or a stabilizer next time but I will make them again. They were quite filling and some fruit for dessert completed the meal. It was a great way to be vegetarian.