28. Vegan dim sum

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Feeling pretty tired as I write this. I was up late Monday night having snowboard lessons, up late last night having mega yummy vegan pizza with a bunch of fab girlfriends, and tonight we had a
late tea because I decided I simply HAD to have homemade dim sum.
 
If you’re not too bothered about authenticity, you can pretty much put anything in your dim sum. Tofu, veggies, seitan, beans… in fact I used all of these ingredients as I had a lot of stuff to use up.
 
I made three different types of dim sum as I couldn’t decide which type I wanted most. Deep fried, pot stickers or steamed? But this was fine as it allowed me to get creative and make up three different fillings.
 
I ended up going for deep fried rolls filled with seasoned veggies; peanut, spinach and tofu pot stickers; and seitan and black bean dumplings. If I had to pick an absolute favourite it would probably
be the veggie rolls, but I suspect that was something to do with the deep frying. They were lovely and crispy but the fat content means they are best enjoyed sparingly. My favourite filling was probably the peanut, spinach and tofu mixture. It was flavoursome and reminiscent of satay, which is always a hit in our house. I’m glad I decided to steam the seitan and black bean dim sum as the finished product reminded me of pork dumplings, which were always a firm favourite of mine before I gave up eating meat.
 
To be honest, you could mix and match any of the following fillings with any of the different cooking methods. It’s fun to experiment!
 
Dough

I used this recipe:

http://www.chow.com/recipes/28052-basic-dumpling-dough

I did run out of white flour and had to replace the last ½ cup with wholemeal. I think I got away with it although it did give darker dough.

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When ready to use, roll out the dough as thinly as possible (when you think you’ve got it thin enough, roll it some more! The thinner the better!) and then I used a pizza roller to cut out ~3”x3” squares. This amount of dough made around 20 dim sum.

Deep-fried, crispy veg rolls.7

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Ingredients:

¼ x cup chopped kale

¼  x cup grated carrot

¼ x cup shredded white cabbage

1 x tsp mirin

1 x tsp cornflour

1 x tsp Chinese five spice

1 x tsp sesame seeds

½ x tsp minced ginger

1 x tsp chopped coriander leaves

1 x tsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

Mix all of the above together in a bowl.

Take a heaped teaspoon of the filling and arrange along the edge of one of the dough squares.

Roll the dough up and tuck in the ends. (Mine were far from perfect looking but since it was only me and the hubby eating them, I wasn’t too bothered.)

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Drop into a deep fat fryer at 180oC for around 12 minutes, until golden brown. They should float when ready.

Drain and serve.

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Peanut, spinach and tofu

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Ingredients:

1/3 x cup peanuts

¼ x cup wilted spinach (try and squeeze out as much
liquid as possible)

1 x tsp minced garlic

¼ x tsp minced red chilli

Method:

Whizz up all of the above in a food processor until you get a coarse paste.

Using a teaspoonful of mixture per square of dough, make some parcels (Google “how to fold dim sum” if you’re struggling, there are many different methods).

Heat up a tablespoon of oil in a heavy non-stick pan and add the dumplings. Cover for a couple of minutes, then carefully add ½ a cup of water to the pan and re-cover.

Cook until the water has evaporated off (about 8 mins).

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This method creates a dumpling which is steamed and chewy on top, but crispy and delicious on the bottom. Serve crispy side up to prevent from going soggy.

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Seitan and black bean dumplings

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Ingredients:

? x cup chopped seitan (I used a some seitan that I had left over from making my BBQ ribs. I promised I would report back on how well it freezes… and I’m happy to announce that it freezes very well!)

1 x small chopped onion (fried)

? x cup black beans (I used tinned)

1 x tsp minced red chilli

¼ x tsp dried chilli flakes

1 x tsp dried sage (not very authentic but I find sage helps to give a “meaty” flavour)

½ x tsp smoked paprika

¼ x tsp minced garlic

¼ x minced ginger

Method:

Whizz everything together in a blender until a paste is formed.

Place a teaspoon of mixture onto the centre of each square of dough. Fold up the corners and mould into a little dumpling shape.

Put the dumplings into a steamer and cook gently for 18 – 20 minutes until the skins are translucent.

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Serve.

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I served the dim sum with a side of kale noodles and the following dips:

Sweet and sour: http://chinesefood.about.com/od/sauces/r/sweetandsour.htm

Tangy soy: http://www.chow.com/recipes/28053-tangy-soy-dipping-sauce
(Although I swapped chilli oil for minced chilli and added some thinly sliced raw onion)

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My husband must be kicking himself for promising to wash up, I think I must have used every pan and utensil in the house 😉 haha!
But I can’t feel too guilty, my comfy bed awaits…

 Flash-Gordonette…x

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