Ultimate Guide to Vegan Soup Dumplings: Recipe & Serving Tips

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Written By Haryana’s Restaurant

Authentic Indian Food – Classic Indian Cuisine in Terrace BC

Imagine biting into a delicate dumpling, only to be greeted by a burst of rich, savory broth that dances across your palate. Traditionally filled with meat, soup dumplings have been a favorite in Chinese cuisine for centuries. But what if you’re embracing a plant-based lifestyle? Enter vegan soup dumplings, a delightful twist on the classic that promises all the flavor without any animal products.

Ingredients

Transitioning from the traditional to a plant-based version, here’s what you’ll need to create your vegan soup dumplings packed with delightful flavors.

For the Dumpling Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup boiling water

For the Soup Filling

  • 1/4 cup shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup carrot, finely grated
  • 1/4 cup green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 tablespoons green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons agar agar flakes, dissolved in 1/4 cup hot vegetable broth

For the Other Ingredients

  • 4 cups water
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, whole
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • Salt, to taste

Equipment Needed

To make these delightful vegan soup dumplings, having the right equipment will ensure your cooking process is efficient and enjoyable. Gather these tools before you start to streamline your cooking experience.

Special Dumpling Steamers

A crucial tool for this recipe is a dumpling steamer, preferably made of bamboo. Bamboo steamers are traditional and ideal because they allow steam to circulate freely, ensuring your dumplings cook evenly and maintain their shape without becoming soggy. Ensure the steamer fits your pot or wok perfectly and has multiple tiers so you can cook several batches at once if needed.

Rolling Pins and Cutters

For rolling out the dough to the perfect thinness, a good-quality rolling pin is essential. Choose a pin that feels comfortable in your hands—either wood or silicone works well. Additionally, you’ll need a round cutter—about 3 to 4 inches in diameter—to create uniformly shaped dumpling wrappers. If you don’t have a cutter, a standard glass or empty can of the right size can be a great alternative.

Instructions

Now that you’ve gathered your ingredients and equipment, let’s start crafting your delicious vegan soup dumplings. Follow these steps carefully for the best results.

Prepare the Vegetable Broth

  1. Begin by washing and chopping your vegetables—shiitake mushrooms, carrot, and cabbage—into small pieces to maximize their flavor release.
  2. In a large pot, combine 4 cups of water with the chopped vegetables, adding 1 inch of sliced ginger and a few sprigs of green onions.
  3. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  4. Strain the broth through a fine mesh sieve, pressing on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Set aside the clear broth and discard the solids.
  5. Stir in 2 tablespoons of soy sauce to the broth to enhance its savory depth. Allow the broth to cool before using it in the dumpling filling.

Make the Dough

  1. In a large bowl, mix 2 cups of all-purpose flour with 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  2. Gradually add about 3/4 cup of boiling water while stirring continuously with a fork. When the water is roughly incorporated, start kneading the dough with your hands.
  3. Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. If the dough is sticky, add a little more flour as needed.
  4. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. This resting period helps relax the gluten, making the dough easier to roll out later.

Preparing Agar Agar Mixture and Vegetables

  1. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup of the cooled vegetable broth with 1 tablespoon of agar agar powder. This mixture will help create the gelatin-like texture typical of soup dumplings when cooled.
  2. Heat the mixture in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until the agar agar completely dissolves and the mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  3. Once the mixture has cooled and begun to set, finely chop the remaining vegetables (shiitake mushrooms, carrot, cabbage) that you prepared for the broth.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix the chopped vegetables with the agar mixture, adding salt and pepper to taste. Ensure the filling is thoroughly combined.
  5. Refrigerate the filling for about 30 minutes, or until set, to simplify the stuffing process into the dumpling wrappers.

Assembling the Dumplings

Now that you have your flavorful vegan filling and dough ready, let’s get into the shaping and cooking of your dumplings, turning what you’ve prepared into delectable bites.

Rolling and Cutting the Dough

Begin by sprinkling a clean surface with a bit of flour to prevent sticking. Take the dough you’ve previously prepared and roll it out until it is thin, aiming for about 1/16 of an inch in thickness. Use a round cutter or a standard glass with a diameter of about 3 inches to cut circles from the dough. Ensure to keep the remaining dough covered with a damp cloth to prevent it from drying out while you work with individual pieces.

Filling and Sealing the Dumplings

Take one of your cut dough circles and gently place it in the palm of your hand. Scoop about a teaspoon of your chilled vegetable and agar mixture into the center of the dough circle. Carefully, bring the edges of the dough together, pinching to seal and creating your dumpling. Make sure the seal is tight to contain the broth as it liquifies during cooking. Continue this process until all your filling and dough are used up.

To ensure the dumplings don’t open during steaming, you can give an extra pinch and twist at the top, or use a small dab of water to help seal the edges if needed. Once all the dumplings are prepared, they’re ready to be cooked according to your preferred method, whether that’s steaming, boiling, or pan-frying.

Cooking

Now that your vegan soup dumplings are skillfully assembled, it’s time to bring them to life with the perfect cooking method.

Steaming the Dumplings

Steaming is the ideal method to cook your vegan soup dumplings to ensure they are tender and the broth inside becomes delightfully warm and liquid. Follow these detailed steps to achieve the best results:

  1. Prepare Your Steamer: Fill your steamer pot with about two inches of water, ensuring that the water does not touch the bottom of the steamer basket. Bring the water to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Line the Steamer Basket: To prevent the dumplings from sticking, line the bottom of your steamer basket with parchment paper. You can also use cabbage leaves as a natural alternative.
  3. Arrange the Dumplings: Place the dumplings in the steamer basket, leaving at least an inch of space between each one to allow for expansion during steaming.
  4. Cover and Steam: Cover the steamer with its lid. Steam the dumplings for about 10-12 minutes or until they are translucent and the dough is slightly puffy. This indicates that the broth inside is piping hot.
  5. Check for Doneness: Carefully open the lid after the steaming time has elapsed to avoid a rush of steam. Use a spatula to gently lift one dumpling and check the bottom. It should be tender but not falling apart, and the filling should be visibly steaming hot.
  6. Serve Immediately: Remove the dumplings carefully using a slotted spoon or tongs. Serve them hot, ideally with a side of soy sauce mixed with freshly chopped ginger for dipping.

The artfully steamed dumplings, with their translucent wrappers revealing a tempting preview of the vegetable and agar broth filling, provide a satisfying, savory bite that’s both comforting and bursting with rich flavors. Enjoy the delicate, melt-in-your-mouth texture as the broth inside coats your palate with delightful warmth and seasonings.

Serving Suggestions

Serve your vegan soup dumplings hot and fresh for the best dining experience. Explore these suggested accompaniments to elevate the flavors of your dumplings.

Recommended Dipping Sauces

Enhance the deliciousness of your vegan soup dumplings with these savory dipping sauces:

  • Soy-Sesame Sauce: Mix 4 tablespoons of soy sauce with 1 tablespoon of sesame oil. Add half a teaspoon of grated ginger for a spicy kick.
  • Chili Oil Sauce: Combine 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of Chinese black vinegar, and 1-2 teaspoons of chili oil, depending on your spice preference. This sauce adds a fiery contrast to the subtle flavors of the dumplings.
  • Garlic Ginger Sauce: Prepare this sauce by mixing 3 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of finely chopped garlic, 1 tablespoon of grated ginger, and 2 teaspoons of sugar to balance the tanginess.

These dipping sauces can be adjusted according to personal taste and can be prepared while the dumplings are steaming.

Garnishes

A few simple garnishes can make your vegan soup dumplings visually appealing and even more flavorful:

  • Scallions: Slice scallions thinly and sprinkle them over the steamed dumplings before serving. They add a crisp, oniony freshness.
  • Cilantro: Chop some fresh cilantro and scatter it on top of the dumplings for an earthy aroma and vibrant color.
  • Sesame Seeds: Toast sesame seeds lightly and sprinkle them over your dumplings to add a subtle nutty taste and a delightful crunch.

These garnishes not only enhance taste but also add to the visual appeal, making your meal both enticing and delicious.

Conclusion

Ready to dive into the delightful world of vegan soup dumplings? With the recipe and tips you’ve just explored, you’re all set to impress friends and family with your culinary skills. Remember, the magic is in the details—from the savory broth to the delicate dough. Whether it’s a cozy dinner or a special occasion, these dumplings promise to be a crowd-pleaser. So why wait? Get your steamer ready and enjoy the delicious journey of homemade vegan soup dumplings. Happy cooking!

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