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Jiaozi Dumplings

Jiaozi Dumplings



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Squeeze out extra moisture from the cabbage with your hands.

In a deep bowl, combine the cabbage with the rest of the filling ingredients. Stir until you get a light mixture. Set aside.

Separate the dough into three pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece on a lightly floured surface until each piece is about 1/2-inch thick.

Using a 2-and-1/2-inch diameter cup, cut circles in each piece of dough to create individual dumplings.

Reroll scraps and repeat until all dough is used.

Working with one circle at a time, place a small amount of filling (about 1 full teaspoon) in the center of the circle.

Fold the dough over the filling, making a half-moon shape. Pinch edges to seal the dumpling.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add 1/4 teaspoon of salt and drop about half the dumplings into the pot. After 1 minute, stir the dumplings so they don’t stick to the bottom. Boil dumplings for 5 minutes, or until filling is completely cooked.

Remove the dumplings.

Add 1/2 cup cold water, a pinch more salt, and bring the pot to a boil again. Repeat boiling method for the rest of the dumplings.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.


Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子)

I don’t even know who I am anymore. These delicious homemade Chinese Vegetable Dumplings (Jiaozi / 餃子) — filled with sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives, shiitake mushrooms and tofu — are challenging all my fundamental, life-long dumpling beliefs! You see, I have always been very particular about dumplings. At minimum, the dumpling skin must have a nice chewiness and the filling flavourful and not too “loose” and with the proper mouth-feel when you bite into it. I grew up eating and making lots and lots of a classic Shanghai style dumpling filled with bok choy, ground pork and sometimes shrimp. In fact, the very first recipe I shared on this blog was my grandmother’s Shanghai wonton / dumpling recipe. All of my life, I considered that recipe superior to all other dumplings. Hands down, by a landslide, without a shred of doubt, forever and ever, amen. Veggie dumplings? Pssssssft. Not even a contender. Why bother? Never had a veggie dumpling that I loved and was worth the trouble. UNTIL NOW…

Yes, that firm belief has been shaken to its core. I am shook. For I now declare these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings equally as delicious as my beloved bok-choy-and-pork Shanghai dumplings. With the added virtue of being meatless and plant-based. How awesome is that? Very very. My daughters gobbled these up the three times I made them in the last two weeks (an upside of preparing for this blog post). They love ‘em. My meat-loving husband conceded that these were very tasty “for veggie dumplings” and that he would be fully happy to eat a meal of “mostly these veggie dumplings with a few of the meat ones” lol. That’s high praise, from him!

This is why I am so eager to share this recipe with you! I’m particularly excited because this recipe is unlike any of the other vegetarian dumplings I found on the internet, filling-wise. Most vegetable dumpling recipes I came across are filled with some combination of cabbage, carrots, mushrooms, and tofu. Don’t get me wrong - I love all of those ingredients a lot. But for dumplings, I definitely prefer the more vegetal flavour of dark leafy greens, over the sweetness of carrots or taste of cabbage (not least Napa cabbage, which despite being one of my fav asian veggies is, again, too sweet for my dumplings). Other snow pea leaves dumplings typically contained meat or shrimp. In this plant-based dumpling recipe, the combination of sautéed snow pea leaves, Chinese chives and shiitake mushrooms is so tasty together that very little else is needed besides some well-squeezed, extra-firm tofu to give the filling some body and substance, plus the simple seasonings of tamari, sesame oil, white pepper powder and kosher salt.

Snow pea leaves are also known as snow pea tips or snow pea sprouts. They are one of the best Chinese greens around, with a mild but lovely vegetal flavour and tender leaves and stalks. It is a bit on the pricier end as far as Chinese greens go. I get mine from a Korean supermarket for $6/lb, apparently grown in Mexico! Chinese supermarkets sell it a bit cheaper but I’ve noticed there tends to be more tough stalks that need to be pulled off, so, you kinda get what you pay for. Even at a premium, snow pea leaves are well-loved by Chinese and other East Asian people. My husband and girls would eat piles and piles of it, simply sautéed with garlic. Here in North America, I still find them fairly unrecognized and under-utilized outside of Chinese restaurants and asian households. If you can find it at your local Asian supermarket, definitely grab some for this recipe! If you are unable to get snow pea leaves, substitute (same weight) with another dark leafy Chinese green veggie such as baby bok choy, which is fairly accessible these days even at conventional grocery stores. (See the image under Method, “prepare the filling” section of this blog post for a look at what raw Snow Pea Leaves look like.)

Chinese chives is another asian vegetable (pictured above). They are different from the chives you get in the herb section used for garnish and finishing dishes. Chinese chives have long, tender blades that is green the entire length with slightly darker tips. Their flavour is leek-y and a bit garlicky, often compared with ramps. They add such a delicious and unique taste and aroma to the dumpling filling. Chinese chives are commonly available at asian supermarkets (I grab mine at the same Korean one where I get the snow pea leaves). However, if you can’t find Chinese chives, substitute scallions and some minced garlic in the recipe.

The ingredients in the filling really do make these Chinese Vegetable Dumplings stand out on their own. I might be a lot biased so please don’t take my word on it and try the recipe for yourself! Then tell me all about what you think of it!

NATURALLY-COLORED DUMPLING DOUGH:

I have some coloured dumpling dough ideas if you fancy a go!

WATERCOLOUR DOUGH - see my blog post here.

PINK TIE-DYE DOUGH - see my IG Story Highlight here.

DUMPLING FOLD VIDEO TUTORIALS:

CLASSIC PLEATS USING ROUND WRAPPER (as pictured in this post) - see my IG Reel here.

WONTON FOLD USING SQUARE WRAPPER) - see my IG Reel here.

RECIPE HEAD NOTES:

Scaling this recipe up or down: This recipe can be scaled up for more dumplings or down for fewer. I personally love bigger batches when it comes to dumplings because they keep well in the freezer for future enjoyment! Ideally, use a kitchen scale to weigh out the ingredients when scaling the recipe up or down, especially for the dough - it is the most accurate way.

A dry filling is key: There are so many different filling options for dumplings. Really the sky is the limit. But in my opinion, the best dumpling filling (regardless of the ingredients) is one that has a firm mouthfeel and isn’t flimsy and “loose” when you bite into it. To that end, especially with a vegetarian filling like this recipe involving leafy greens and tofu – two ingredients with a ton of moisture – properly squeezing out the excess water is CRUCIAL. I use a nutmilk bag for squeezing tofu but you can also use a cheesecloth, a thin kitchen towel or even a clean cotton t-shirt will do the job. For a 450g package of tofu, I squeezed out close to 3/4 C of liquid. For the cooked leafy greens, I simply grab with my hands and squeeze in batches over a large colander.

Homemade versus store-bought wrappers: Hey, no judgement if you’re short on time and need to use store-bought wrappers. I do it regularly, especially when I’m making 300-400 dumplings at a time! I will point out, that unfortunately most store-bought wrappers contain preservatives, even if they are kept and sold frozen. So annoying. I drive 20 minutes to a Japanese store to get my hands on frozen, preservative-free wrappers to keep in my freezer for future use. Defrost frozen wrappers overnight in the fridge. All that said, homemade wrappers as written in this recipe are rather easy to make. Only flour + water + time for the dough to relax. The dough is very easy to handle. And no yucky additives.

How to pleat dumplings like mine (see images and GIF in this blog post): There are a handful of ways to wrap dumplings - from a simple half-moon to fanciful pleats. Some require more practice than others. Here I’ll attempt to explain in words how to pleat the way I do it, with symmetrical pleats. Start by attaching opposing ends of the wrap (i.e. the 12 o’clock to the 6 o’clock part of the circle) and press gently, so it sticks together there at just that point, but leaving the rest of the edges not touching. From that center point, begin working outward to the left of the half-circle all the way to the outer end, folding a series of 3 to 5 slightly-overlapping pleats. Repeat the same pleats on the right side, from center point to the outer end. Note that when making each pleat, only one side (the outward facing side) of the wrapper is manipulated i.e. the side of the wrapper facing your body does not move. Fold a small pleat and press down to seal repeat with another pleat slightly overlapping the first and press down to seal. Do 3-5 of these depending how you’d like it to look. At the end, pinch flat to close. It sounds a little complicated trying to describe in words – have a look at the step-by-step images and GIF at the bottom of this blog post for the visual.

Boiling versus other method of cooking e.g. steaming or pan-frying: Use hot water instead of tepid water in the dough if you plan to steam or panfry the dumplings. Alternatively, if like me, you like both boiled and pan-fried, make the dough according to the recipe as written, with tepid water. When ready to cook, boil all the dumplings first. Strain well and panfry 3-4 minutes on each side with a bit of oil in a sauté pan on medium to medium-high heat. Best of both worlds!

Freezing the dumplings: Dumplings freeze so well and keep well frozen for up to a month or so. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set dumplings in a single layer, close together but not touching each other. Put in the freezer for about an hour, or until they are very firm. Gently place them in a ziptop bag, label how many, and store in the freezer for up to a month or so. When cooking frozen dumplings, there is no need to defrost them first. Cook them straight from the freezer. They take a few more minutes than fresh ones. Test to make sure filling is heated through and dough is translucent and no longer raw.