I have this weekend tradition with a close friend from college: every Sunday (except for race days), we get brunch together and try to find a new restaurant in NYC every time.
Lately, things have been kind of crazy for both of us. With us both being grad students, it isn’t always easy to make time for brunch. Add in our love for running races (and my new-found appreciation of duathlons) that tend to occur on the weekends, we’ve really been slacking off on our tradition. So to change it up a bit, we decided to cook together last night and, if I may say so, it was one of the best meals I’ve ever cooked. He’s vegetarian, so adding in the dairy-free limitation left us with mainly vegan recipes, but they turned out so amazingly, I wanted to share at least one with everyone!
We decided to make garlic eggplant with cashew nuts (he was in charge of that, so I won’t be posting that recipe here), and we served them with homemade spring vegetable dumplings. This is not quick recipe since chopping the vegetable and wrapping the dumplings did take a while, but other than time wise, it was a super easy recipe!
The great thing is you can use basically any veggies you want to – we opted for asparagus, mushrooms, and scallions, but I’m sure carrots, cabbage, broccoli, … would work just as well! The recipe made about 30 dumplings and we guestimated a lot and may have gone overboard on the ginger, but luckily we are both huge ginger fans (so you may want to scale down if that’s not the case for you). Anyways, long story short, here’s the recipe for our spring dumplings!
- 2 cups chopped mushrooms (we used shiitake and white button mushrooms)
- 1 cup chopped asparagus
- 1.5 cups soft tofu
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup chopped scallions
- 1/3 cup chopped ginger
- 1.5 tbsp sesame oil
- dumpling wrappers (we bought premade ones, but there are plenty of recipes online on how to make your own!)
- salt to taste
Chop up all the veggies and the tofu. Heat up about half of the sesame oil in a wok or large pan, add the garlic, ginger and scallions and stir fry for about a minute. Add the mushrooms and asparagus and continue to stir fry for about 3-5 minutes. Add the tofu and salt and cook until desired consistency is reached.
Let the veggie mix cool down and then pulse it a few times in a food processor (you don’t want to make a slush, so don’t overpulse it). Put some water in a bowl, lay out the dumpling wrappers and add about a teaspoon of the veggie mix to each wrapper. Wet your fingers with the water, trace along the out edge of the wrappers and close up the dumplings. Repeat until all of the filling is gone.
Heat up the rest of the sesame oil in a large pan, add as many dumplings and fry them for about 2 minutes. Add a small layer of water, cover, and let them steam for another 2-3 minutes.
We ate our dumplings with soy sauce and Sriracha which went perfectly with the ginger in the dumplings, but I’m sure a nice rice-wine vinegar/sesame oil/soy sauce mix would also taste delicious!