Sunday, September 02, 2007

Vegetarian Gyoza with Spicy Dipping Sauce

These were similar to the garlicky greens dumplings we made awhile ago but have a different filling: mushrooms! And until recently, he didn't like mushrooms! I'm working them into recipes, and he LOVED them in this one! He said he appreciated their "meatiness" and how they made these dumplings taste kind of like pork dumplings. Yay! He loved the recipe, and said it is a definite make again. Success!

I skipped the homemade dough and used wonton wrappers, I subbed coleslaw mix for cutting up the cabbage, and I made the wontons in a standard steamer over a double-boiler instead of a bamboo steamer with lettuce leaves.

Vegetarian Gyoza with Spicy Dipping Sauce
From CL, April 2004

Originating in China, where they are known as jai-ozi, or pot stickers, these ravioli-like dumplings are now equally popular in Japan. The traditional filling is pork and cabbage, but they're often stuffed with chicken, seafood, or vegetables. This recipe includes directions to make the wrappers, but in a pinch, you can use refrigerated wonton wrappers from the produce section.

1/3 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup water

Cooking spray
4 cups diced shiitake mushroom caps (about 3/4 pound)
4 cups finely chopped green cabbage
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
2 tablespoons mirin (sweet rice wine)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil
3 garlic cloves, minced

Remaining ingredients:
24 lettuce leaves
2 tablespoons peanut oil, divided

To prepare sauce, combine first 4 ingredients; set aside.

To prepare wrapper, lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour and water in a bowl. Turn dough out onto a floured surface; knead 5 minutes. Cover dough; let rest 30 minutes.

To prepare filling, heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; cook 3 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Add cabbage; cook 3 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in 2 tablespoons green onions and next 6 ingredients (2 tablespoons green onions through garlic); simmer 2 minutes. Remove from heat; set aside.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 1-inch-thick rope. Cut each rope into 12 equal pieces. Shape each dough piece into a ball. Roll each ball into a 4-inch circle on a floured surface (cover circles with a damp towel to prevent drying).

Working with 1 wrapper at a time, spoon 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture into center of wrapper. Fold in half. Fold top edge of wrapper at 1/2-inch intervals to form pleats, pressing against bottom edge to seal. Place dumplings, pleated sides down, on a large baking sheet dusted with flour; cover loosely with towel to prevent drying.

Line each tier of a 2-tiered (10-inch) bamboo steamer with 3 lettuce leaves. Arrange 6 dumplings, 1-inch apart, in each steamer basket. Stack tiers; cover with steamer lid. Add water to a large skillet to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil. Place steamer in pan, and steam dumplings 5 minutes. Remove dumplings from steamer. Repeat procedure with remaining lettuce and dumplings.

Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 12 dumplings; cook 1 1/2 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure 3 times with remaining oil and dumplings. Serve with sauce.

Yield: 12 servings

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