Lacy Dumplings

These vegetarian dumplings are based on the ones at Mission Chinese restaurant in New York City. The recipe has been adapted by Olivia Simpson, who worked at Mission Chinese, and Donna Borooah for the home kitchen. Check out the video link at the bottom of the page to see our technique for crimping dumplings.  

For a real flavour boost, use rehydrated dried mushrooms instead of fresh in the dumpling mixture. They provide an umami kick and a more authentic Chinese flavour. The mixture tastes quite salty but once cooked it is balanced out by the wrapper. You can find dumpling wrappers in most supermarkets and in Asian grocery stores. Sometimes they are called gyoza wrappers.

Serve these with the lace intact by inverting the skillet onto a plate and breaking off the dumplings one by one as you eat them. Alternatively, arrange the individual dumplings on a serving platter with the lacy edges showing.

The best way to serve these is to invert the skillet onto a plate with the lace intact and break off the dumplings as you eat them.

Makes 32 dumplings

Sauce:
3 tbsp sambal oelek
4 tsp rice wine vinegar
2 tsp honey

6 cups water
1 tbsp turmeric
1 tbsp salt
½ cup tapioca pearls
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3 eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt
1/2 cup chopped shiitake mushrooms
¼ cup chopped coriander
1 tbsp fish sauce, or more to taste
32 round dumpling wrappers

Slurry:
½ cup vegetable stock or water
1 tbsp corn starch
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Vegetable oil for frying

Combine sambal oelek, vinegar and honey. Reserve.

Combine water, turmeric and salt in a medium saucepan and bring to boil. Stir in tapioca. Reduce heat to medium and cook until tapioca is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Heat oil in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Add eggs and cook, stirring constantly, until large curds form and eggs look almost dry, about 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Add cooked eggs, mushrooms, coriander and fish sauce to tapioca and stir together. Mixture will be very sticky.

Fill a small bowl with cold water. Lay one dumpling wrapper on a cutting board. If wrapper looks powdery, brush away excess starch. Dip your finger in water and trace around edge of wrapper. Place wrapper in one hand. Scoop a small mound of filling in centre of wrapper, about 1 ½ tsp. Fold edges up toward each other. With your free hand, crimp wrapper closed (see Tip below).

Continue with remaining wrappers and filling.

Combine stock, corn starch, and oil. Reserve.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick skillet over high heat. Add half the dumplings and cook until bottoms are golden brown, about 1 minute. Add half the slurry. Cover skillet and reduce heat to medium low. Cook for 3 minutes or until dumpling wrappers are translucent. Remove lid and cook until slurry has become a golden lace, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Repeat with remaining half of dumpling and slurry. Serve with sauce.


TIP How to crimp dumplings: Hold the dumpling in one hand. With your free hand, use your forefinger and thumb to create crimps on the side closest to you. Use the thumb on the hand holding the dumpling to press the crimp into the other side of the dough. Repeat until dumpling is sealed.

Watch the video