vegan tofu dumplings
Mains

Vegan Tofu Dumplings (Gyoza)

I’m a lover of all things dumplings, gyoza, potstickers, whatever you call these little gems. They’re simply wonderful to eat and to make 🙂

Now, I grew up in a fairly traditional home where we eat rice, Chinese (inspired) dishes most days. For example, things like dim sum, dumpling noodle soup, fried noodles, fried rice, stir-fried with oyster sauce, sweet and sour chicken (I used to be a carnivore!), stuffed tofu, braised pork, Peking duck and steamed fish, and herbal soup. Indeed, always start your meal with a Chinese herbal soup.

The Holy Trinity In Chinese Cooking

The holy trinity in Chinese cooking is garlic, ginger, and green onions/scallions. Therefore, they are not to be missed in most Chinese recipes and they make everything smell and taste fragrant. Oh, how I miss home-cooked meals from my mom and my “popo” (grandma from mom’s side in Chinese) Furthermore, we have this tradition to have weekly dinners on Saturdays at popo and kung kung’s (grandfather from mom’s side) place. Then, my grandparents who are now in their 80’s would at least prepare 5-6 dishes to impress the family. Truly, it was a feast every single time. (heart eyes)

Sample Menu At Popo and Kung Kung

A sample menu would look a bit like this.

  • Chinese herbal soup: red dates, goji berries, chicken stock, lotus roots, ginger, and dried longan. Very TCM proof (traditional Chinese medicine) to strengthen your “Qi”.
  • Stir fry cai sim vegetables with tofu in oyster sauce.
  • Steamed egg with minced pork.
  • Roast duck with braised potatoes (Kung kung’s specialty)
  • Stuffed bitter melon (fu ka in Hakka) 
  • Steamed fish covered with soy, ginger and green onions sauce.
  • Pickled red onions and madame Jeannette peppers (the most fragrant and spicy yellow pepper!)
  • Fluffy steamed rice to enjoy all this goodness with.

I would book a plane ticket to Amsterdam now (isn’t it for Covid..) just to enjoy these family dinners again…

However, since that’s not going to happen, I might as well make these easy vegan dumplings or gyoza (how do you call them?) in the comfort of my home to bring back those memories. 

In addition, this recipe requires tofu (a vegan favorite!) and if you happen to love tofu too I’ve got another must-try tofu recipe here.

Finally, I want to invite you to join me to make Vegan Tofu Dumplings, I promise not to make it complicated 🙂 You can make these on a Saturday afternoon with the family and have them on their own with soy sauce or add some noodles or warm fluffy rice to it. 

Vegan Tofu Dumplings Recipe

Makes about 30 

Ingredients:

Filling:

  • 300 gram napa cabbage, finely sliced
  • 300 gram firm tofu/tahu, crumbled
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1,5 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sake (substitute with rice wine or skip if you don’t have it)
  • 2 tsp mirin (substitute with 2 tsp rice vinegar and 1/2 tsp sugar)
  • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
  • 3 green onions, finely chopped

Dipping sauce:

  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) rice vinegar
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) soy sauce
  • 2 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha or chili sauce (optional)

Wrappers:

  • 30 dumpling (gyoza) wrappers (store-bought)
  • 2 tsp olive oil (to cook with)
  • 2 tsp sesame (to cook with)
  • 1/2 cup (125 ml) water (to cook with)

Method:

  1. For the filling, place the sliced cabbage in a colander and add some salt, and set aside for 30 minutes. Squeeze excess liquid out and mix the cabbage with the remaining ingredients for the filling.
  2. Then make the dipping sauce: mix all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Place a dumpling wrapper in the palm of your hand and add 2 teaspoons of filling in the center of the wrapper. Make the edges of the wrapper wet with some water and fold it into a half-moon shape. Add pleats on the round edge and squeeze at each plat to ensure it’s closed. As a result, each dumpling is closed without any opening, so the filling can’t fall out. Continue doing so until the filling is finished and add each dumpling on a foil-covered large plate. Meanwhile, refrigerate before you cook them.
  4. Heat 1 tsp oil in a large non-stick skillet or pan on high heat. Place the dumplings in a single layer with the flat side (bottom) in the skillet. Make sure not to overcrowd the pan, it’s ok to do it in 2 batches. Then, cook for 2 minutes or until the bottom of the dumplings turns golden brown. Mix 1/2 cup water with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and 2 teaspoons of sesame oil.
  5. Finally, cover the pan with a lid and cook on high heat until dumplings are absorbing all the moisture. However, make sure not to burn the dumplings or sticking too much to the pan. Transfer dumplings to a plate with 2 layers of kitchen towel to release excess oil. Serve with the dipping sauce, noodles, or rice!

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