On a lazy Sunday, I want nothing more than to eat dim sum lying atop a blanket in a field of wildflowers. A few savory and sweet dumplings tucked into a picnic basket along with a large thermos of green tea, makes for me, a day to write about. Since I cannot stop the rain from falling or sponge dry the nearby soggy fields, having a dim sum picnic on the screened in porch is a very close second.
Look at these photographs of wildflower fields and soon enough warm air begins to circles against skin, flowers comb pink and yellow over green grasses, and ginger root lingers long after Napa cabbage, carrots, tofu, and caramelized onions are subdued. A few sips of green tea follow. Then a bite of sweet chocolate coconut dumplings. Coconut milk softens a pudding of made of chocolate and tiny red beans as they melt sweetly away. Tea again with another bite. Daisies fold beneath a blanket spread with dim sum. Sunday, in the rain.
Jen from use real butter chose Chinese dumplings/potstickers (aka gyoza in Japanese) for June’s Daring Cooks’ Challenge. I highly recommend reading Jen’s dumpling post for detailed instructions and photographs on how to make both dumpling dough and filling by hand.
I created a savory and sweet dumpling, both with hand rolled whole-wheat and egg less wrappers. Since I did not measure, I will approximate as close as I can for the following recipes.
Whole-Wheat Dumpling Wrappers
a few pinches sea salt
3/4 to 1 cup of cold water
Add flour and salt in a mixer with the dough hook or in a food processor. Add a little water at a time, until a ball of dough forms, while the machine is running. Knead the dough by hand for a few minutes on a lightly floured surface, the dough should no longer be sticky.
Shape the dough into a ball, lightly flour, and cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Knead the ball for a minute or two, then cut into four pieces. Roll each quarter into a 1-inch log, then cut into 1-inch pieces and roll each one from the center to form a 4-inch circle. Add more flour, if necessary. Roll, fill, seal, and pleat.
Tofu Vegetable Dumplings
1 box (12.3 ounces) Mori-Nu Silken Tofu, extra-firm (crumbled)
1 large sweet onion (slice into half-moons – I used Vidalia onions)
1 cup Napa cabbage (finely chopped)
1 large carrot (shredded)
3 medium garlic cloves (sliced thin)
1 (1-inch) ginger root nub (peeled and shredded)
a few drizzles of mirin (sweet rice wine)
a few drizzles of soy sauce (to taste)
several pinches of sea salt (to taste)
cracked pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon coconut oil
whole-wheat dumpling wrappers
Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add onions plus a pinch or two of salt and cook until caramelized. Add cabbage, carrots, garlic, ginger root, and tofu and saute until vegetables are tender. Season with a few drizzles of mirin, soy sauce, salt, and pepper. Place a few teaspoons of the filling in the center of the wonton wrapper, fold in half, and seal with a dot of water, and pleat dough on one side.
Place dumplings in a steamer basket on a leaf of cabbage and cook for 10 minutes or so. Serve with a side of soy sauce.
Chocolate Coconut Dumplings
2 cups of cooked adzuki beans (pureed)
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Lake Champlain)
1 cup coconut milk
1/3 cup shredded coconut (unsweetened)
1/3 cup pure maple syrup
3 tablespoons brown rice syrup
2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds (finely ground)
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 teaspoon kuzu root starch (mixed with 2 teaspoons of cold water)
a few drizzles of mirin (to taste)
a large pinch of sea salt
Heat in a large sauce pan over medium heat, add cooked beans, cocoa powder, coconut milk, shredded coconut, maple and rice syrup, ground sesame seeds, vanilla, and salt. Add a few drizzles of mirin, to taste. Mix kuzu root starch with cold water, then add to bean mixture. Stir constantly until a thick pudding forms. Place a few teaspoons of the filling in the center of the whole-wheat wonton wrapper, fold in half, and seal with a dot of water, and pleat dough on one side.
Place dumplings in a steamer basket on a leaf of cabbage and cook for 10 minutes or so. Serve with a dusting of cocoa powder and a drizzle of maple syrup.