Crispy Vegetable Tofu Dumplings

4.87 from 67 votes
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Crispy vegetable tofu dumplings are a simple Chinese recipe that is so fun to make! An irresistible vegetarian appetizer dipped in your favorite sauce.

pan fried crispy vegetable tofu dumplings

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.

Vegetables and diced tofu cooking in a wok

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 used my wok to stir-fry tofu with crunchy cabbage, carrots, and lots of aromatic flavors from ginger, garlic, and onions.

compilation of two photos showing one with potsticker open and the other thats been wrapped

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.

crispy vegetable tofu dumplings on a white plate

Each wrapper gets filled with about 2 teaspoons of the tofu stir-fry 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.

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. 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.

vegetable dumpling that has been split in half revealing the tofu filling

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.

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.

Crispy Vegetable Tofu Dumplings

Crispy vegetable tofu dumplings are a simple Chinese recipe that is so fun to make! An irresistible vegetarian appetizer dipped in your favorite sauce.
4.87 from 67 votes
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Servings 40 dumplings
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients  

  • 40 wonton wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
  • ½ cup yellow onion, minced
  • 2 cups shiitake mushrooms, or brown mushrooms, chopped (about 7 ounces)
  • 1 cup red cabbage, finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrots, finely shredded, roughly chopped to smaller pieces
  • 1 cup tofu, diced, extra firm, ¼-inch cubes
  • ½ cup green onions, finely sliced
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, or tamari

Instructions 

Filling

  • Heat a large wok or skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil and allow it to heat, then add the ginger and saute for 30 seconds.
  • Add the onions and stir-fry for about 2 minutes, until softened. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes until tender and moisture has been removed.
  • Add cabbage and carrots and cook 2 minutes, until just tender. Add tofu and gently stir-fry for 1 minute.
  • Turn off heat and add green onions, black pepper, sesame oil, and soy sauce. Stir to combine, taste and season with more salt and pepper as needed. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Assembly

  • If you purchased square wonton wrappers, use a 3 ½-inch round cutter to cut out a circle shape in the wrapper. Repeat with remaining wrappers. Keep covered with a damp paper towel or plastic wrap to prevent them from drying out.
  • Use a brush or your fingers to moisten the edges of one side of the wrapper lightly with water. Add about 2 teaspoons of filling to the wrapper.
  • Fold the sides together a press to create a semi-circle shape, press out any air and ensure that it sticks together. Moisten the edges on both sides of the dumpling lightly with water.
  • Create about 5 to 6 pleats along the edges, folding and pressing from left to right. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.

Cooking

  • Heat a nonstick pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and heat. Carefully add about 10 dumplings or what can fit without overcrowding, and fry for 2 minutes until the bottoms are golden brown.
  • Reduce the heat to medium-low. Very carefully, pour in ¼ cup water into the side of the pan. The oil may splatter so do this slowly and do not hold onto the handle of the pan.
  • Immediately cover (I used a pan similar in size and covered as tightly as possible), and allow dumplings to steam until the water evaporates, about 3 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and turn up the heat to medium-high. Fry for 2 more minutes, until bottoms are brown and crisp.
  • Work in batches, adding another tablespoon of oil and ¼ cup water for each batch.
  • Dip in your favorite sauce like soy or chili.

Notes

  • Once you've grated the carrots, chop them up into smaller pieces so it's easier to fill and pleat the dumpling.

Nutrition Facts

Serves: 40 dumplings
Calories 42kcal (2%)Carbohydrates 5g (2%)Protein 1g (2%)Fat 2g (3%)Saturated Fat 0.2g (1%)Polyunsaturated Fat 1gMonounsaturated Fat 0.5gCholesterol 1mgSodium 142mg (6%)Potassium 32mg (1%)Fiber 0.5g (2%)Sugar 1g (1%)Vitamin A 550IU (11%)Vitamin C 2.5mg (3%)Calcium 10mg (1%)Iron 0.4mg (2%)

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000-calorie diet. All nutritional information is based on estimated third-party calculations. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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42 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Dottie Brown says

    I have a love hate relationship with Tofu. If I don’t know it’s in a recipe I eat it and never notice it. However if I use it, or know it’s included in a recipe….well BLAH describes how I feel. Is there any alternative to use instead. Thankyou for a great place to find oriental recipes and directions.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Dottie! You can increase the number of other vegetables like mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots for the one cup of tofu.

  2. HannahsAnime says

    Amazing recipe! I have used it about 10 times, and it always turns out amazing! The only thing is that there will probably be more filling than expected, so get more wrappers than you think you’ll need!

  3. Emilie says

    Hi,
    I was wondering if I could freeze them after assembling? (before cooking) The recipe makes quite a lot for one person so I would halve it and freeze some for another time… is it doable or not recommended?
    Thank you!

  4. Jaci says

    Hello!!! This recipe is on my dinner docket for the week. I was wondering if it’s possible to prepare the dumplings a day in advance and then cook them the next day? Or would they get weird from doing so?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      As long as you completely cool the filling, you can definitely make them a day for two ahead of time, them cook them when you’re ready. let me know how it turns out!

  5. naz says

    These are a great recipe and easy to adapt. I used less mushroom, more cabbage and substituted water chestnuts for carrot. Really tasty. Ill make them again

  6. Inga says

    Was looking for a tofu recipe that wasn’t just “cut up in cubes and fry” and this was perfect! I improvised a little with the ingredients but the taste was still amazing.
    Thank you for this awesome recipe!

  7. sonya says

    These were delicious!! I thought they were going to be difficult but it was pretty straight forward to cook and assemble. Thank you!

  8. Ronald F. Seto says

    I have been making dim sum for years now. I think my dim sum is better than any you can find in any restaurant, except for the dim sum parlors in San Francisco where I have spent around 20 years. I miss the San Fran restaurant scene, but I can recreate the dim sum morsels at my new home in Mississippi. I find the restaurants are stingy with ingredients in their dim sum. Mine are packed full of all top ingredients. I am lucky to have some good oriental food suppliers down here in Ms. although some more exotic ingredients that I found in San Fran are not available here. I have always loved tofu and have several tubs of it in my refrigerator. You have inspired me to make a tofu dish today. I plan to stir fry cubes of tofu, breaded in corn starch, egg dip and panko crumbs. I’ll let you know how it turns out. Thank you for providing a service to us “wanabe” chefs.

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