Dumplings

Dumplings

Dumplings are little luxuries: tiny parcels that need to be individually filled and wrapped, and literally get gobbled down in two bites if you’re with company, in one if you’re on your own. An extravagance.

Having to make the wrappers for these does add another layer of faff to the process, but it all depends on how desperate you are. In my case, very.

The dough isn’t as elastic as normal wrappers, so you can’t go as thin with them, and they’re more susceptible to breaking, so handle with care whilst wrapping.

Because they’re made with nut flour they’re not as pillowy as the real thing, so the steamed part will less silky. However, the bottom part will get a nice dark golden, crunchy finish that compensates for it.

The filling ingredients below are just a vegetarian-friendly and a non- option base on what I had at home. Pretty much anything you have at home will work as a filling. Note they cook in under 10min, so keep that in mind when deciding if you want to pre-cook the filling or not. I find vegetables generally are better if pre-cooked.

I like to dip my dumplings into any sauce I find, from peanut-ey ones to chilly oil, but the below is a twist on the more typical dumpling sauce.

They take a time to make, but they freeze very well, so you might as well make a double batch and keep them in the freezer. Just take out of the freezer 30min or so before cooking.

Ingredients

Wrappers

  • 90g almond flour
  • 10g coconut flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1.5 tsp psyllium
  • 1 egg
  • 30ml water (approx.)

Cabbage Filling

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small piece of (1cm) finely chopped
  • 2 spring onions finely sliced
  • 1 or 2 cabbage leaves very finely shredded
  • 3 or 4 oyster mushrooms finely chopped
  • splash of tamari
  • oil & salt

Prawn Filling

  • 1 spring onion finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small piece of (1cm) finely chopped
  • 8 raw prawns, shelled roughly chopped
  • splash of tamari
  • 1/2 tsp coconut flour
  • salt to taste

Dipping Sauce

  • 4 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1/4 tsp xylitol

Method

Wrappers

Mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl.

Add the egg into the bowl, and use fork to beat the egg and incorporate it into the dry ingredients. The mix will be broken and not all of the dry ingredients will be compact.

Start to add water, a few drops at a time. At this stage I find it useful to switch to a spatula to really start to push the dough into itself – like a sort of kneading.

You want to add just enough water for it to come together, but not be tacky or sticky to touch.

Once the dough comes together, place it back in the bowl and let rest, covered, while you prepare the filling.

Cabbage Filling

Heat a bit of oil in a pan, and add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute or so until fragrant.

Add the shredded cabbage and mushrooms and cook over high heat until the cabbage and mushrooms have wilted and softened.

Add the splash of tamari, adjust the salt, and cook until all the liquid is reduced.

Set aside to cool before assembling

Prawn Filling

Place all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times until everything is broken into small pieces and amalgamates into a paste.

Set aside

Dipping sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

If my soy sauce is too dark I sometimes add a splash of water to soften the sauce slightly.

Rolling the Dough

Once the filling is prepared and cooling, you can roll the wrappers.

Divide the dough into 12 equal sized pieces, then roll each piece in your hand to create as perfect a sphere as possible.

One by one, place the spheres between parchment paper and use a tortilla press (this is magic) or a rolling pin (I’m terrible at it), to flatten each sphere into a 1mm thick (or so) disk. Try to keep them as round as possible, as it makes folding them easier.

Place the disks onto parchment paper covered with a kitchen towel whilst you prepare the rest before you start to assemble.

Assembling The Dumplings

I’m not going to attempt to explain how to fold the dumplings here, because it would be like the blind guiding the blind. Epicurious has a very well written and easy to follow guide which I could never improve on. If you’re not brave enough but have a pierogi or empanada folding too, that works too.

Know that you’ll need to work one by one now, and that the triangle fold worked best for me, not just for folding but also during cooking.

Bear in mind this dough doesn’t have gluten and it doesn’t have starches, so you’ll struggle to do the most satisfying “gently pull and pinch” technique to seal the dumplings – it’s still possible but not as neat.

Even if they don’t look pretty, they’ll be delicious, so don’t despair!

Also, unlike the traditional wrappers, you don’t need to wet the edges to seal the dumplings – just pinching will do the job.

You’ll want to scoop around 1 heaped teaspoon of the filling into each wrapper, but ensure you have a good 5mm all around to allow you to create the pinch.

Beware, though, that if you get any filling on the edges, these won’t stick to each other so the dumplings won’t be sealed. Better to err on the side of caution and use less filling.

As you make each dumpling, set them onto parchment paper (covered with a kitchen towel) whilst you finish the rest.

Once all are done you can choose to cook or freeze them.

Cooking

Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan for which you have a lid.

When the oil is hot, carefully place the dumplings in the pan, put the lid on and cook over medium-low heat for 3-4min until the bottoms are a light golden colour.

Pour around 50ml of water into the pan and quickly put the lid back on (it will splatter). Let the dumplings steam for 4-5min. If after this time there is still a bit of water left in the pan, take the lid off and cook for a few minutes to evaporate.

Best enjoyed immediately after cooked, dunked generously in the sauce

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