When I became a vegetarian in my teens, broccoli with garlic sauce was the only thing I would order from the Chinese food menu. While my family didn’t order out a lot, when we did, that was my standard go-to order.
Then I got to college. Ordering out became more frequent. And somewhere along the line, I discovered steamed vegetable dumplings. Then, everything changed. Dumplings were a revelation.
These Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
are flavorful filled pasta bites, stuffed with a cabbage mixture. You dip them in a soy sauce-based dipping sauce (I usually just use soy sauce, but gyoza dipping sauce is awesome with them too). I was head over heels for them.
Since then, steamed vegetable dumplings have remained a favorite of mine. How well a restaurant does them really tells you a lot about the kitchen there. And yes, I totally judge a restaurant based on their dumplings.
Until recently though, I had never made dumplings myself. After a cringe-worthy experience trying to make fried wontons at home, I was completely turned off and intimidated by making any savory dish that involves filling. And wrappers. But when Tablespoon’s Erin and I went back and forth on a topic for a post, steamed dumplings came up … and I was intrigued. The challenge of working with dumpling wrappers and creating a delicious dumpling sent me straight to the kitchen.
After multiple attempts, I developed this fabulous, fast, delicious Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
recipe. The filling starts with coleslaw mix -- the bagged mixture of cabbage and carrots found in the bagged lettuce area of the grocery store -- mixed with chopped beansprouts, scallions, soy sauce, sesame oil and ginger. Then the filling is briefly cooked before filling the dumplings.
To seal the dumplings, I stick to the a very plain method, sealing them up like a half-moon. But, you could totally pleat them in traditional dumpling fashion, if you want. Someday, I probably will too.
Anyway, then the dumplings are steamed until tender, and served. All in all, these can be made in 30 minutes or less. They really are that easy.
What’s your favorite take-out order? Sarah W. Caron (aka scaron) is a food writer, editor and blogger who writes about family-friendly foods and raising a healthy family at Sarah’s Cucina Bella.