Typical Chinese Vegetarian Dumplings

(makes about 15)


15 round dumpling wrappers
2 cups shredded napa cabbage, squeezed or pressed to release water (see below)
½ cup shredded carrots
1 cup firm seasoned tofu, minced
2-3 scallions, both green and white parts, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
salt and black pepper to taste


Release enough liquid from the shredded cabbage by squeezing in handfuls firmly for a few minutes. Alternately, you can place cabbage in a colander or wrap it in cheesecloth and place something heavy on top of it; let it sit for 15 minutes to drain.

In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the dumpling wrappers. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as desired. Follow directions for folding and pan-frying dumplings. Serve with soy sauce mixed with a splash of rice vinegar if desired.

How to Fold the Dumplings

Placing a round dumpling skin flat on your hand, drop a tablespoon of filling into its center. Dip your finger into a small bowl of water and trace the edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half and make a pinch at the top; next, bring a piece of the edge about half an inch to the right of the pinch over to the pinch. (This will cause the wrapper to fold diagonally on the right hand side of the dumpling.) Bring a piece of the edge half an inch to the left over to the pinch next. Pinch the pieces you brought to the center shut and continue to seal the edges to the left and right until the dumpling is fully sealed. Place it down seal side-up; it should be shaped like a crescent from an aerial view.

How to Pan-Fry Dumplings

This technique is really a combination of steaming/boiling and frying the dumplings, to give its bottom a crispy, golden texture and to cook the noodle and filling through with the help of boiling water and steam. Nonstick pans work best in this situation.

Heat the oil in a large skillet that comes with a lid. Once the oil is hot, line the dumplings in a circle around the edge of the pan. Fill the center with as many dumplings as will fit – do not squash them against one another too much. Let cook on high for about 2 minutes. Add enough water to the pan to cover about one quarter of the height of the dumplings, reduce heat to medium, and cover. Let cook covered for about 4 minutes. Lift cover, and cook until all the water has evaporated. Remove the potstickers from the pan with a spatula (they will stick).

Recipe Property of Cathy Erway, author & food blogger
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