Steamed vegetable dumplings are a delicious Chinese delicacy with a history that dates back to the Han Dynasty. These delicate dumplings are believed to have originated in the Northern parts of China and were initially known as “Jiaozi”. Traditional jiaozi were made with meat fillings and served during the winter solstice festival. However, as vegetarianism became more popular, more and more vegetables were added to the dumplings, creating the steamed vegetable dumplings we know and love today.
One of the highlights of this dish is the variety of fresh vegetables, including carrots, snow peas, and shiitake mushrooms, that are finely chopped and mixed with minced garlic, grated ginger, and soy sauce. The filling is then carefully wrapped in wonton wrappers and steamed to perfection.
Steaming is a traditional Chinese cooking technique that has been used for centuries. Steamed dishes are well known for being healthy, preserving the flavors of the ingredients and retaining most of their nutrients. Steaming is also a gentle cooking method that doesn’t require any oil, making it ideal for people who are watching their calorie intake.
Aside from being delicious, steamed vegetable dumplings are also a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a light snack, appetizer or main dish. They are perfect for entertaining guests or when you’re craving something light and refreshing.
So go ahead and whip up a batch of delicious steamed vegetable dumplings, and enjoy a traditional Chinese delicacy that has stood the test of time.
Ask the Chef: Pro Tips for making Steamed Vegetable Dumplings
Get the Chopping Right
Finely chop all the vegetables to avoid any big chunks of veggies in your dumplings that could result in an uneven texture. For the cabbage, you can also shred it to make it more manageable and help dry out the vegetable a bit.
Use a Damp Towel to Keep the Wrappers Moist
To avoid the wonton wrappers from drying out, cover the unused wrappers with a damp towel while working on the others. This will ensure they remain pliable and less likely to crack or tear when you’re filling and folding the dumplings.
Don’t Overfill the Dumplings
Be sure not to overfill the dumplings, as this can cause them to tear and break open while steaming. A teaspoon of filling is more than enough to fill each wrapper.
Arrange the Dumplings Properly in the Steamer
Be sure not to overcrowd the dumplings in the steamer basket, as this will result in an unevenly cooked batch. You can steam them in batches to ensure they cook evenly.
Preheat the Steamer
It’s recommended to preheat the steamer to prevent the dumplings from sticking. You can also spray the steamer basket with cooking spray before adding the dumplings.
Experiment with Different Dipping Sauces
The dumplings can be served with a variety of dipping sauces such as soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, and hoisin sauce. Be sure to choose a sauce that pairs well with the flavors of the dumpling filling.
Store Leftovers Carefully
Steamed dumplings can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat, steam them for 2-3 minutes or pan-fry them for 2-3 minutes on each side to achieve a crispy texture.