Jessica Nguyen's Simple Vegetable Dumpling Recipe
Welcome to Put on a Spread, a recipe series that takes you inside the kitchens – and dining rooms – of some of our favourite home cooks. For this instalment, The Makers alumni and CEO of 'chilli oil on everything', Jessica Nguyen, shares her deliciously simple recipe for vegetable dumplings.
Throwback ten years ago and it would have been impossible to imagine simple vegetables like mushrooms and carrots could mimic – or even replace – the same juicy and more-ish taste as meat. But times have indeed evolved, people are becoming more attuned with the power of vegetables, and countless recipes have proven these humble healthy foods have the potential to be just as, if not better, in taste. Just take Jessica Nguyen’s vegetable dumplings as a prime example.
Just like every other recipe the home cook has served up for us, these veggie dumplings not only taste amazing, but they look the part, too. The filling is well balanced with a variety of textures, and then seasoned to perfection with ginger, soy sauce and spring onions. What’s more, they’re incredibly easy to prepare and cook, and can be made ahead of time, frozen and then cooked when needed.
The dilemma with dumplings is that once you start eating, it's extremely difficult to stop. Luckily, each of these juicy morsels is packed to the brim with vegetables, so much so that you could almost call it a salad… just maybe.
Makes: 50 dumplings
- 1 carrot, finely grated
- 8 dried Chinese brown or Shiitake mushrooms, rehydrated and finely chopped
- 1 bunch enoki mushrooms, roughly chopped
- ½ Wombok/Chinese cabbage
- 150g taro, finely chopped
- 1 large piece of ginger, finely grated
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 egg, lightly whisked
- 2 tbsp cornflour
- 4 stalks spring onions, finely chopped
- 1 packet (500g) dumpling wrappers
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small bunch coriander, finely chopped, to serve
- 2 tbsp chilli oil, to serve
Combine carrot, mushrooms, cabbage, taro, ginger, sesame oil, 1 tbsp soy sauce, egg, 1 tbsp cornflour and 3 stalks spring onions in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste.
Separate the dumplings wrappers, covering with a tea towel so they don’t dry out.
Combine the remaining tbsp cornflour with 1 tbsp water and mix until you get a smooth paste.
Place a teaspoon of the vegetable mixture into the centre of a dumpling wrapper. Then dip your finger into the cornflour paste and outline the perimeter of the wrapper. This will help seal the dumplings shut. Fold your dumpling in half like a taco leaving the ends open and then slowly bring up each side and fold them over like an envelope. Pinch together to seal.
Heat a large pan with 1 tbsp vegetable oil and once hot, add in your dumplings and cook for 4 minutes until the bottoms are golden and starting to crisp up.
Meanwhile, boil a kettle and once the dumplings are golden, pour in enough water to cover the bottom of the pan (approx ½ cup). Cover the pan with a lid and allow to steam for a further 3 minutes. Dumplings should be cooked once the wrapper is glossy and soft.
Transfer dumplings to a plate, garnish with coriander, the remaining spring onion, the remaining soy sauce and chilli oil, with extras on the side for people to add to their liking.