Mushroom and tofu dumplings

Mushroom and tofu dumplings

Green Kitchen Travels

‘Wo bu chi rou,’ I said with my best Chinese accent, but all I got back was shaking heads. ‘I am a vegetarian,’ I said slowly, as if that would help. Still nothing.

A very kind blog reader had sent us a list of Chinese phrases for our trip to Beijing, but unfortunately none of them helped. Consequently, our five days in China weren’t as filled with delicious food as we had hoped. The only exception was when we found a dumpling restaurant with an owner who finally understood the word ‘vegetarian’. He came in with a full tray of shiitake-filled dumplings served with an ocean of different sauces and condiments. It was heaven. The easiest way to make gluten-free dumplings is to use rice paper wrappers instead of dumpling dough. They are very easy to handle and taste great. The rice paper dumplings can be steamed, fried or baked and the filling can of course be adapted to what you have available. — David


Quantity Ingredient
a knob cold-pressed coconut oil
1 onion, finely chopped
5 cm piece fresh ginger, finely chopped
a large handful shiitake mushrooms, coarsely chopped
or a large handful oyster mushrooms, coarsely chopped
1/4 cabbage, finely shredded
200g organic, gmo-free firm tofu, crumbled
rice paper wrappers

Soy dipping sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons organic, gmo-free soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon clear honey
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
a small piece fresh chilli, thinly sliced


Quantity Ingredient
1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
3/4 cabbage, cut in wedges
1 bok choy, cut in wedges
or 1 pak choi, cut in wedges

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
Dried plum sauce


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook for a few minutes until softened, but not browned. Add the remaining vegetables and cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Add the crumbled tofu and combine. Remove from the heat and set the filling aside.
  2. To make the dumplings, first set a bowl of hot water on the work surface. Dip a sheet of rice paper in the hot water for a few seconds, just so you can form it, but not too soft, and place on a plate. Add a spoonful of filling in the centre of the soft rice paper and close the dumpling by twisting the rice paper together until it forms a twisted top. Make all the dumplings before steaming. Prepare the soy dipping sauce by stirring together all the ingredients in a small bowl (and make the plum sauce, if not already made).
  3. Steam the dumplings in a steaming basket or metal colander with a lid over a pan of simmering water for a couple of minutes. If you have tiered steaming baskets, steam the vegetables at the same time. If not, steam the dumplings, then keep warm, covered, while you steam the vegetables. If you are not serving the dumplings right away, you might want to place them on a piece of baking parchment in the steaming basket to prevent them from sticking to the bottom and breaking when lifted.
  4. Serve with the 2 sauces.
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