Crispy vegetable tofu dumplings are a simple Chinese recipe that is so fun to make! An irresistible vegetarian appetizer dipped in your favorite sauce.
Have you ever tried Chinese Dim Sum? If you haven’t, make sure that you go this weekend for an extraordinary culinary adventure! Dim sum is a brunch feast where servers push around hot steamer carts packed with heavenly savory dishes to tempt those excited taste buds. You can find small tapa style dishes to share like freshly made dumplings, noodles, and filled buns.
Growing up a large Chinese family, dim sum was our Sunday family ritual. As you can imagine, I’m obsessed with dumplings and love the chance to cook them at home. Usually, I make the dough from scratch and add a savory meat filling. However being strapped on time nowadays, I wanted to find a quick and easy vegetarian option.
These crispy vegetable tofu dumplings will make you swoon! They are so easy to prepare and a lot of fun to make together with your friends and family. Roll up those sleeves and let’s get ready to put those fingers to work!
Dumplings are all about customization. You can fill each wrapper with anything your heart desires. I like to create a combination of textures in the dumpling. I stir-fried some tender tofu with crunchy cabbage, carrots, and lots of aromatic flavors from ginger, garlic and onions.
A little bit of soy sauce and sesame oil adds some savory notes and traditional Chinese flavor. This tofu stir-fry is great as a hot dish on its own served on top of some steamed rice, or you can make it into some lettuce wraps. So versatile and tasty!
It’s time for the dumpling assembly line! I used wonton wrappers that I bought pre-made from the market. My store didn’t have round wrappers, so I used my 3 ½ inch round cutters to punch out circle shapes from square wontons.
Each wrapper gets filled with about 2 teaspoons of the tofu vegetable mixture, then sealed and pleated. Make sure to brush some water on the edges of the inside and outside of the wrapper to help it stick together to make the dumpling shapes. The thin wonton wrappers dry out quickly if left exposed to the air, so keep them covered with a plastic wrapper or a lightly damp paper towel as you are pleating.
Check out those plump little bite-sized dumplings!
Oh man, I can’t wait for you to devour them. You have two options for cooking. You can steam them for about 15 to 20 minutes, or you can pan-fry the bottoms and then steam to finish cooking in the same pan.
What will you choose?
I chose team crunchy! The contrast of half golden brown and crisp wonton bottoms and steamed tops is irresistible. You can now dip them in some classic soy sauce, hot mustard, or some spicy chili paste like in these photos.
Certain recipes really bring nostalgia and pure joy for me, and this is one of them! My uncle Brian told me that dim sum means “piece of your heart”, and making a simple thing like dumplings and sharing them with my family and readers allows me to share my love for cooking. If you want to try making homemade wrappers, check out my step-by-step potsticker guide!
What are your favorite dim sum or Chinese dishes that you look forward to eating?
How do I select the right wonton wrappers for dumplings?
You can find a larger variety of wonton wrappers at Asian grocery stores, such as thin, medium and thick wrappers. Try to select the medium to thick wrapper since they will hold a more dense filling and you will be shaping and frying them. I found the Dynasty brand at Albertsons, and that was a good thickness (not all packages will indicate). I used wonton wrappers because it contains eggs to make the wrapper richer, more malleable and have a more flavor (make sure to read the label). To check for freshness of the wontons, you can see if the wrappers easily separate in the package like shuffling cards, if they stick together not they may no longer be as fresh.