Mushroom Dumplings (Jiaozi)
Gung Hay Fat Choy! A common tradition to celebrate the Lunar New Year is to gather as a family to make dumplings. This version is a healthier and more sustainable alternative to some traditional varieties as the dumplings are steamed, not fried, and filled with veggies in place of meat. The mushrooms provide just as much great flavour and texture! Whether a long-standing tradition or a new experience, making an “assembly line” kind of dish that benefits from extra hands, is a great way to share cooking together.
1 Tbsp olive or other vegetable oil
1 lb (450 g) assorted fresh mushrooms, diced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Chinese or Napa cabbage, finely shredded
2 green onions, diced
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
2 Tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 egg, beaten
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
48 wonton wrappers (12-ounce package)
In a large skillet, heat oil on medium heat. Add mushrooms and leave them be for 5 minutes or until they release their juices. Add ginger and garlic and sauté another 3-5 minutes until most water is evaporated, then stir in the cabbage and remove from heat. Cool slightly. In a large bowl, combine the cooked mushroom and cabbage with the green onions, cilantro, soy sauce, sesame oil, egg and pepper. Mix well.
Arrange 6 wonton wrappers at a time on a flat surface (don’t lay them all out or they will dry out). Place approximately 1 tablespoon of mushroom mixture onto each wonton wrapper. Using water-moistened fingers, moisten the edges of wrapper and fold over, forming triangles. Roll up edges slightly to seal in filling. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
Coat a bamboo or metal steamer with cooking spray and arrange dumplings on top. Steam, covered, for 15 minutes, until cooked through. If you don’t have a steamer, you can use a non-stick frying pan that has a lid—put a very small amount of oil in the pan on medium low heat, add the dumplings then 1-2 Tbsp of water, then cover and steam. Serve warm with dipping sauce made with reduced-sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, minced garlic, honey and chili if desired.
By Nicole Fetterly, RD