Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Ginger-Scented Vegetable Pot stickers/ Ginger-Sesame Dipping Sauce

When planning Saturday's meal, I thought that vegetable dumplings would make the perfect accompaniment to the Warm Vegetables with Cool Noodles. Well, they would have. But I made the classic mistake known to anyone with any specific dietary needs (be it vegetarian, no wheat, no dairy etc). I bought dumplings ... AND DIDN'T READ THE INGREDIENT LIST! I mean, there were a multitude of dumplings - some pork, some chicken, some shrimp and some vegetable. I grabbed a package of vegetable dumplings and kept going.

Boy was I bummed when I scanned the ingredients just before planning to prepare them. PORK FAT! Lurking in this particular brand of veggie dumplings - ack! And so, warm vegetables with cool noodles were served solo. And M. was told he had free reign on these particular dumplings (as he is not a vegetarian).

But when Monday rolled around, and the leftovers were looming - I still wanted dumplings. So, I purchased gyoza skins, grabbed my leftover grated carrots and my leftover shredded cabbage and found this recipe in Robin Robertson's Vegan Planet. But I modified it a touch, since the original recipe called for processing the ingredients uncooked. I simply sauteed them quickly before tossing them into the processer. Just my own personal preference.

Ginger-Scented Vegetable Pot Stickers
by Robin Robertson, Vegan Planet

1 cup minced napa cabbage (I used leftover shredded and left as such)
1 cup drained and crumbled extra-firm tofu (I cubed, since it was being processed anyways)
1/4 cup shredded carrots
1 clove garlic (I used 2)
9 tablespoons peeled and minced fresh ginger (I just used a lot)
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/2 tsp cornstarch
salt and pepper (which I now realize I forgot)
24 dumpling or wonton wrappers
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon tamari or other soy sauce (I threw in a splash too lazy to measure)
1 cup of water

My first step - saute ingredients briefly for a few minutes until fragrant.
1. In a food processor, combine the cabbage, tofu, carrots, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, cornstarch and salt/pepper to taste. Process until well combined.
1. Place 1 wonton wrapper on a work surface and spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling into the lower third of the wrapper. Maybe mine were small, but I found 1 T too much filling- and my yield was higher then 24. Fold wrapper over the filling to form a triangle (if using square) or a semi-circle (if using round). Moisten edges of the wrapper with water to seal. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
3.Heat 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium high heat. Placce half the dumplings in the pan and cook until golden. Do not crowd.
I used my own cooking technique of spraying skillet with cooking spray, adding a few dumplings (I froze most) and then browning for a minute or two. Then, I add some water to make sure dumplings heat through without adding to much oil. Then, as water dries, they brown nicely.

Ginger-Sesame Dipping Sauce
Didi Emmons - Vegetarian Planet

This sauce is a favorite in our house. Fairly easy to mix up, it generally makes enough to get through a batch of homemade dumplings.

Makes about 1 cup

1 teaspoon wasabi powder
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

In a small bowl, mix together the wasabi powder and water; let sit for a few minutes to allow the flavors to develop.
In a jar with a close-fitting lid, mix together the other ingredients. Add the wasabi mixture. Shake vigorously.

And the completed meal?

Not too shabby for leftovers at all!

Unfortunately, M. was unable to make it home for dinner as he had to work late. Very late as it turned out. Never fear! I didn't lack for a fine dinner companion....

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Stephanie (gertdog) said...

Wow, I wish my leftover meals looked like that!

What's the item on the plate on the left- in the back is the miso eggplant, middle are the dumplings, but what's in front? You know, in case I want to re-create the entire meal (I'm very tempted)!

helios said...

Ah! The mystery item is just some cubed and browned tofu tossed with some SoyVay Teryaki sauce. I forgot about it because its so quick and easy I don't even consider it cooking something. I wanted to get rid of the leftover tofu from making the dumplings, so I just cubed it, browned it in a nonstick skillet with some cooking spray and finished it off with some sauce. Mytery solved. :)