Sunday, July 18, 2010


Just a quick note to say that I am on lock-down studying for the bar exam.  As soon as the exam is over, I'm heading to Southeast Asia for a month-long backpacking trip, so you might not hear from me for a while!   In the meantime, happy eating!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Surprise Dumplings

I didn't intend on making dumplings when I came up with this filling.  I had decided to make a salad wrap with roasted cauliflower, tofu, and red onions, but the liquid from the tofu (which I hadn't pressed) made the vegetables much softer than planned.  They were still firm enough for my salad wrap, which was actually rather good, but as I ate it I thought, "These would make great dumplings."

I had to beg Boyfriend to try these dumplings because I made the mistake of telling him they contained cauliflower.  Add that to the growing list of vegetables that Boyfriend thinks he doesn't like.  After he finally did try one, he said, "Yeah, you're right.  These are good.  I stand corrected."  When he asked, "Do you have more?" I knew these were winners.  And when I asked him how many he wanted, he said, "Eight."

These are NOT Asian dumplings.  Instead, they're flavored with rosemary and thyme.  The maple dipping sauce, which was improvised using a few kitchen staples, is sweet and compliments them well.  Boyfriend liked the dipping sauce so much he bragged about it to his friends: "And she made this dipping sauce for them.  And guess what the secret ingredient was!  Maple Syrup!"

Surprise Dumplings

Note: I don't actually know how many this recipe makes, since I used some of the veggies for my salad wrap, but I would guess it makes over 40 dumplings.

• 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
• 1 red onion, diced
• One 14-ounce block extra-firm tofu, cut into bite-sized cubes
• 2 tbsp olive oil
• 2 tbsp dried rosemary
• 2 tbsp dried thyme
• package of gyoza wrappers (I used vegetable gyoza wrappers)

Special tool: Dumpling press (You can make the dumplings by hand, but using a dumpling press is so much easier, and the dumplings end up looking beautiful!)

Put the cauliflower florets, red onions, and tofu cubes in a baking dish, and toss them with the olive oil, rosemary, and thyme.  Bake them at 425° for 1 hour, then remove from the oven.  (Watch out for the steam!)

Let the veggies and tofu cool, then pulse them in a food processor to make a coarse mixture.  Fill a small bowl with a bit of water to moisten your fingers.  Place a gyoza wrapper on a dumpling press, dip your finger in the water, and trace the perimeter of the gyoza wrapper with your finger.  (Getting the edge of the wrapper wet helps the wrapper stick together.)  Place about one tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper, and then close the dumpling with the dumpling press.  Continue until you have used up all of the filling.

You can freeze the dumplings for later use, or go ahead and cook them according to the directions on the gyoza wrapper package.  Serve them with the Maple Dipping Sauce.

Maple Dipping Sauce

• 1 tbsp rice vinegar
• 1 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce or tamari
• 1 tbsp medium maple syrup

Mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, and use as a dipping sauce.

My dumpling-making set-up