Finding a meatless substitute for Chinese pork dumplings is difficult to achieve. That is, until now…
I’ve taken a tip from 22 Days Nutrition founder Marco Borges on using walnuts as a meat substitute (check out his famous Beyonce-approved taco recipe here). I have improvised on his recipe and added mushrooms and quinoa. I season it with Chinese flavorings and throw the mixture into a dumpling wrapper. The result? A delicious and savory meatless dumpling, full of plant based protein.
This recipe is more about the filling than the wrapper. So I’ll address the wrapper first (to get it out of the way). You have two choices: buy pre-made Chinese dumpling wrappers or make them yourself. Pre-made Chinese dumpling wrappers are available at most grocery stores in the ethnic section. While they are not as springy as fresh-made wrappers, they make the recipe much easier. For this blog post, I made my own dumpling wrappers from scratch using flour, water and some arduous kneading and rolling (they weren't the prettiest but they were sure fun!). The best instructional video on how to do this is by Tom Lin on YouTube. But again, buying pre-made dumpling wrappers will make things much easier.
Ingredients (for the filling only – makes 12 dumplings)
1/4 cup of cooked Toasted Quinoa
1/4 cup of mushrooms
1/2 cup of pre-toasted walnuts (cook raw walnuts on medium heat over the stove for 3-4 minutes until toasty)
2 tbspn of soy sauce
1 tbspn of sesame oil
1 sprig of spring onion
1 clove of garlic
1/2 inch cube of fresh ginger, pealed
Pulse all ingredients carefully in a food processor until the mixture is roughly chopped. Do not blend into a paste. Using a knife, spread approximately 1 tspn of filling into dumpling wrapper. Pinch sides of dumpling wrapper to seal. Repeat until all dumplings are done.
To cook dumplings, either boil them in water (and a dash of cooking oil and salt) for 5 minutes. Or fry for 3 minutes in 2 tbspn of cooking oil. Add 1 cup of water to frying pan to finish cooking. Wait until water has fully evaporated and dumplings start to really crisp. Serve with dipping sauce of 3 parts soy sauce, 1 part sesame oil, some fresh sesame seeds and thinly chopped spring onion.