I decided to be a little creative in the kitchen these past few days. (Yes, I’m finally out of my slump!) I’ve been experimenting with different finger foods and munchies to figure out exactly what I want to make for the bridal shower this weekend. One of my all time favorite cuisines is anything Asian-inspired. My hands down favorite is Thai; but I also love Japanese and Vietnamese. Most Asian restaurants have some variety of dumplings or pot stickers on the menu, which I have loved since I was a little girl. But I never order them anymore because they almost always have meat, or at least eggs in the ingredients. Here is a fabulous recipe for vegan pot stickers, that took me two tries to perfect, but I think I finally got all of the kinks straightened out. It’s a little bit of an adaption to my eggplant stuffed mushroom recipe, but in my opinion, better! I haven’t found any pre-packaged vegan wonton wrappers yet, so if you want a fully vegan recipe you’ll have to make your own. It’s actually a breeze and there are only about 4 ingredients. I’ve linked up with an easy wonton wrapper recipe, but if you are on a time crunch and eggs don’t bother you, there are plenty of pre-packaged dumpling wrappers in the market.
1/2 c. chopped yellow squash
1/2 c. chopped zucchini
1 c. chopped eggplant (I used a white eggplant)
5 lg. stalks of asparagus, chopped fine
1/2 c. chopped button mushrooms
1 lg. leek, chopped fine
5 lg. whole cloves of garlic
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 tbs. hot chili sesame oil (or you can use regular sesame oil)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 c. nutritional yeast
2/3 c. whole wheat bread crumbs
1 tbs. soy sauce
wonton wrappers (pre packaged, or here’s a recipe for homemade vegan wonton wrappers)
1/4 c. tamari
1 tbs. brown sugar
1/2 tbs. garlic, minces
1 tbs. freshly grated ginger
1 tbs. water
pinch of sesame seeds
chopped green onions (garnish)
1. Wash, prep and chop all your veggies. Add 1 1/2 tbs. olive oil to large skillet and saute eggplant, zucchini, squash, mushrooms, asparagus and garlic on med/high heat.
2. Add sesame oil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Cook for about 15 minutes or until veggies are full softened. Add about 2 tbs. water and cook for another few minutes until water is absorbed.
3. Remove from heat and set aside. Cook leeks separately in 1/2 tbs. of olive oil until fully softened and slightly browned. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. Put first batch of veggies in large mixing bowl. Add soy sauce, nutritional yeast and bread crumbs.
5. Use an emersion blender to fully blend and incorporate ingredients. After blended, stir in leeks with a large spoon. (**A food processor may also be used for this process. Add leeks after blended, to retain texture).
6. Lay wonton wrappers onto flat surface. Spoon stuffing into the middle. Wet finger tips with water and touch edges of wrapper. Fold wrapper inwards, into desired shape, and press edges together firmly.
I used a pinwheel shape for this batch of dumplings, but there are a number of shapes that you can use.
7. Lay out dumplings in a large, lightly greased, non-stick skillet. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until bottoms have slightly browned. You may actually skip this browning step if you like and throw your dumplings right into the steamer. I experimented with cooking methods and my favorite end results were the dumplings that were both pan-fried and steamed.
8. After bottoms have browned, place dumplings into steamer basket and cover with a tight fitting lid. Steam for about 5 minutes until wrappers are slightly transparent and dumplings are completely soft. Remove carefully with tongs.
9. Combine all dipping sauce ingredients and whisk together. Top with green onions and sesame seeds for garnish.
Mmmmmm these are so good. This recipe seems like a lot of work but I’d say the entire process was less than an hour. Plus, if you are making them for a party, you can always make the stuffing ahead of time and the dumplings on the day of the party. Heck, make the dumplings during the party! Everyone will love to watch and probably get involved! I actually had them for dinner last night and tonight. They are kind of heavy on the garlic, so if you are sensitive to garlic you might want to use a bit less. I however, love garlic, so I tend to have a heavy hand with the stuff ;)
Tomorrow I’ll be shopping for the last bits of bridal shower decorations! Everything is coming together perfectly and I can’t WAIT until this weekend. The bride stopped over tonight to look everything over and I think she approves :) I’m still trying to figure out exactly what games we’ll be playing. I’d like to do some fun stuff, without being too corny. i.e there will be no dressing each other up in toilet paper bridal dresses. I think I’d have to be drunk to actually enjoy doing that… ha! Did I just say that?
If you have any fun bridal shower game ideas, PLEASE share!!