Tag Archives: dumplings

Get Sum Dim Sum

I love dumplings; if you wrap some food in dough and bake, boil, or fry it I promise I will eat it. I guess that is really true for most people. Dumplings are popular all over the world and maybe most popular in China from what I understand from watching Anthony Bourdain travel there. Apparently they constantly eat dim sum from little carts which I think I first saw in Working Girl and now am always reminded of when I think about Dim Sum. If you haven’t seen Working Girl you totally should, it is the ultimate 80s quasi-feminist movie where through a series of misunderstandings and sheer gumption a woman earns the 80s American Dream: Harrison Ford and a corner office.

Get Sum Dim Sum is a fast food style spot across the street from Central Market on North Lamar and they are taking dumplings out of the dim sum cart and serving them all day. When you first walk in you pick out a menu and then write right on it with a little dry erase pen exactly what you want. They automatically have several combo options for $7.75 in case you don’t want to read the menu and always have vegetarian specials. Vegan items are clearly labeled and are represented in every part of the menu. I have been there a couple of times and for a fast casual place they really have a lot of options and the food is pretty good and a good deal as well.Recently I tried the lunch special with the rice soup. Everything comes out really quickly and the dumplings come in little bamboo steamer baskets. The rice soup was very comforting if plain and good for the rainy day we were having. The flat dumplings were my favorite.I think they were the “Vegetarian Dumplings” which are filled with Baby Bok Choy, Shitake Mushrooms, and Water Chestnuts in a Wheat Starch wrapper, but that might have been these.I know, right, this is the worst review ever, I was too busy thinking about Harrison Ford to take good notes. I know the steamed spinach dumplings were green and so good.They also have vegan sesame balls stuffed with red bean paste for dessert.The menu is rounded out with bao, buddha’s delight, seaweed wrapped tofu dumplings, and pot stickers and I am excited to try it all. You can also order ahead and pick up or have it delivered through Eat Out In and eat your dim sum at home with working girl and thinking about how you too can make waves and climb the corporate ladder with Dim Sum. 

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Thanksgiving Dumplings

We had the best Thanksgiving Dinner ever! I have been working on a recipe for seitan dumplings all week but they didn’t come together perfectly until the actual meal, they were awesome and everyone really liked them more than I thought possible! Here is a picture of one of the earlier versions before I realized that I should wrap them in cheesecloth.The version on thanksgiving was stuffed with a cornbread chorizo dressing that I just loved. I made the stock the day before I made the dumplings so that I would have more time and also because I learned that it is really important to use COLD stock when making seitan. If you want to make this recipe, you could use powdered broth cubes mixed with water but the roasted vegetable stock made a big difference in the final taste of the seitan. I made the dressing while I made the stock and refrigerated overnight. It is easy to make the dressing while stock is simmering because than you can easily add the liquid whatever amount of liquid you need.I didn’t put specific quantities of everything for the stock because I didn’t measure. It will work out regardless, you don’t need to add everything on this list if you don’t have it.
Roasted Vegetable Stock
2 leeks, edges cut off and split in half
2 onions, quartered
3 carrots, halved
3 parsnips, halved
4 stalks celery
bay leaves
thyme sprigs
sage leaves
peppercorns
white wine
soy sauce
water
parsley
vegetable odds and ends (onion skins, garlic tops etc)

Lay the vegetables on a greased cookie sheet. Spray with olive oil and top with thyme sprigs, salt, and sage leaves and place in the oven at 350 degrees for about a half hour until starting to brown. Put the vegetables in a pot along with the other ingredients and cover with water and add the other ingredients. Simmer for an hour and refrigerate over night.

If the cornbread isn’t a day old you can put the cubes in the oven and toast them for a half hour while roasting the vegetables

Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing
1 recipe of day old cornbread, cubed (I used a recipe from “The Dirty South” it was great!)
1 cup of vegan chorizo
1 TBSP oil
2 onions, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
4 TBSP garlic
1 roasted skinned and seeded poblano, chopped
1 TBSP fresh cuban oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp paprika
1 TBSP ground flaxseed mixed with 3 TBSP water
~1/2 cup of vegetable stock

Saute the chorizo in a large saute pan and cook about five minutes, until it changes color. Add the oil, onion, and celery and cook until the vegetables are soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and poblano and stir for about a minute and then add the cornbread, tossing the mixture to get it covered. Add stock if necessary to stop the cornbread from sticking and keep the whole thing from drying out. Once the mixture looks softened and like dressing add the herbs, salt if necessary, and the flax-egg.

Thanksgiving Dumplings
Yields 12 dumplings

3 Cups Vital Wheat Gluten
1/4 Cup almond meal
1/4 Cup Nutritional Yeast
6 Cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 Cup olive oil
2 cups stock + 4 cups for baking
Preheat oven to 350. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add the oil and 2 cups of stock and mix with your hands and knead until the gluten becomes activated and stringy. Separate into 12 small balls. Using either a tortilla press or two pieces of parchment paper and a rolling pin, squash the ball of gluten flat. This can be kind of difficult because the gluten isn’t going to want to stretch out. The best way I have found is to press it flat for a minute, and then put something heavy on top of it while you prepare the cheesecloth and the stuffing. Cut a square of cheesecloth that has at least two or three layers folded and is about 6X6 inches and lay it flat. Grab a handful of stuffing and roll it into a ball, about the size of a golf ball, and keep it in one hand when you remove the weight or tortilla press off the flattened gluten. Quickly place the stuffing in the middle of the round and grab the edges surrounding the stuffing with the gluten. Form a ball with your hand, part of the stuffing will probably be uncovered where the edges meet, but that is just fine. You don’t want overlap because than you will have a really thick piece of gluten. Put the opening side down on the square of cheesecloth grab the four corners and twist them together and tie off tightly with a piece of string. Place all 12 balls in a roasting pan, I squeezed them into an 9X9 pan, and cover them completely with stock. Cover with foil or a lid and bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours. Unwrap the dumplings and enjoy!

For the rest of the meal, we made jalapeno gravy with roasted poblanos, holiday cranberry sauce, and the mac daddy from the Veganomicon, roasted garlic mashed potatoes,  pumpernickle apple-sage dressing, agave-miso glazed brussels sprouts with red onions,

and my friend Andrea brought a Sri Lankan Sweet Potatoe casserole that was so good.

When we finally got everything to the table it seemed like more food than we could possibly eat, like a cartoon!

The dogs took their places under the table, ready to get any food that dropped to the floor.

and then I put way too much food on my plate

this is where I realized that I would never have to eat again

But then Giovanni busted out the garam masala pumpkin cupcakes while we were playing trivial pursuit and I spent the rest of the night laying around drinking cider. It was the perfect day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tortilla Ball Soup

Pretend I became world-famous, say for convincing former president George W. Bush to go vegan which led to him renouncing his war mongering past and convincing all the republicans to go vegan. Eventually, terms were argued, legislation was passed, and everyone realized that animal cruelty was wrong and they wanted to thank me for starting the chain of events that led to animal liberation by having a wonderful dinner. I think they would come up with something exactly like this. I love Mexican food, dumplings, and soups; they are three of my most favorite things to eat. But my relationship with olives is paramount. I mean, I keep an emergency olive at all times. Maybe when I am world-famous everyone will!

Last week I made Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumpling. I really liked the idea of it, but the dumplings were a little boring. I wanted to put something inside them that was salty or spicy and all these ideas were rattling around my head. And then it hit me, as usual, the answer to my culinary quandary was olives, in this case, jalapeño stuffed olives. I liked the dumplings in the black bean soup I made, but it seemed like they would go better with something else. Tofu Mom put them in Lentil Stew which seemed like a good idea but since the dumplings were so thick I thought a thin soup would be better. That is when I realized that tortilla soup was the perfect answer! This is the first time I ever made it. Usually, it is the one vegan soup that I can always find so I never thought to make it at home. I should have made it sooner, I liked my version a lot better than Mr. Natural’s and Kerbey Lanes and it was really fast and easy. I also made a lot so we would have leftovers. I wrote down the recipe but there are two caveats, there was extreme olive going on in here. If you are not a fan you could try just the pickled jalapeño which I think would work out well. I didn’t make the broth very spicy since there is jalapeño in the dumplings and it was spicy enough for me. If you love spice, add a couple jalapeños to the broth early on, the more seeds you leave in the spicier it will be.

Tortilla Ball Soup

For the Dumplings

Mix
1 Cup of Instant Masa Flour
1 Cup of Broth or water
1 Tablespoon of salt if using water
knead for 5 minutes and then let sit for an hour

For the Soup

Roast 1 Poblano in the oven or on the stove, then remove the charred skin, seeds, and stem

Chop 1 yellow onion, 4 cloves of garlic, and 2 carrots.

Heat 1 Tablespoon cooking oil in a soup pot

Saute onion, garlic & carrots until brown, about 5 minutes

Add a cup of Corn, the poblano, 1 Tablespoon of ancho chile powder, and 1 tsp cumin

Stir for a minute and add 8 cups of broth, 1 tsp of celery salt, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1/8 tsp cayenne, 2 cups of soy curls (or beans) and 1 14oz can of tomatoes, roughly chopped

Cook for 10 minutes

Form the dumplings, take about a heaping tablespoon of the masa dough and flatten in your hand. Put the olive in the middle and roll the sides around it until the olive is all sealed up. Then, carefully roll the dough a little between your hands so that it is a circle and then place in the soup. Repeat until you have used all the dough. Then carefully stir the soup making sure to not tear the dumplings and cook for 10 more minutes. Add salt & pepper. Serve in bowls and top with green onions, cilantro, and nutritional yeast, if you like. Enjoy!

Black Bean Soup with Masa Dumplings (Frijoles Negros con Chochoyotes)

I saw this recipe on Saveur and thought it sounded really interesting, especially since I already had the ingredients on hand. I have never seen masa dumpling before, all you have to do is roll up the dough and toss it in the soup for the last ten minutes.  I love black bean soup and I also like to put greens in everything that I cook so I was really excited to make it. Overall, I changed some aspects but I still wish I would have done more, it wasn’t the best soup ever. It took what seemed like a lifetime for my beans to cook so by the time I was making the soup I was so hungry.  I think next time I would add a can of diced tomatoes and some agave nectar because it needed a little sweetness. Also my peppers weren’t very hot and I think a couple poblanos would have added a lot to the taste. I also think the dumpling should have had more salt and perhaps been made with the soaking water from the peppers. It was really healthy and made quite a bit so I hope to try it again. Here is how I made it last night.

Simmer until beans are almost done

2 cups dried black beans
4 cups of water
1 tsp epazote
2 bay leaves

Knead for 5 minutes and then let sit for an hour

1 1⁄3 cups white masa harina
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1 cup of water

Soak

2 dried chipotle chiles
1 dried ancho chile

once soft remove seeds and stems and Process with

1 white onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped

Saute the chile and onion mix for five minutes & add it to the beans.

Add

1 bunch swiss chard
1 tsp adobo sauce
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp of green salsa

Roll bits of masa dough into balls and toss into soup. Cover them all with soup and cook for 10 more minutes. Salt to taste & enjoy

Vegetable Love – You sexy mother dumpling

Is food sexy? Should food be sexy? If cooking for someone is love and love is sex does that mean that cooking for someone is seduction? Here is what prince has to say about it:
(you should listen to the song while you read this post, but I didn’t want to force you to)

We need to talk about things
Tell me what cha do, tell me what cha eat
I might cook for you
See it really don’t matter ’cause it’s all about me and you
Ain’t no one else around
I’m even with the blindfold, gagged and bound
I don’t mind
See this ain’t about sex
It’s all about love being in charge of this life
And the next
Why all the cosmic talk?
I just want you smarter than I’ll ever be
When we take that walk

Come here baby, yeah
You sexy motherfucker

These are the questions that were circling my mind last night as I made the sexiest food I could think of.  Susan over at Fat Free Vegan is having a Vegetable Love contest. The idea was to make a sexy dish for Valentine’s day and just the idea of it sent my head spinning. My first thought was asparagus and then quickly followed by mangoes. I thought about Oysters, I remember Dan Fielding was always seducing his conquests with oysters on Night Court but obviously they fall into the not vegan category. I knew I wanted to make some sort of dumpling as well so that the meal would be squishy and bursting with flavor but it also had to be spicy so I decided to stuff my dumplings with some sort of mango Thai fry. I thought about making a seitan sausage but I quickly decided that would be too much work and it would overpower the filling. I didn’t want to use tofu because that is such an easy way out! Then, inspiration hit me in such a way that if I were a cartoon a light bulb would have burst over my head: Oyster Mushrooms! It occurred to me to wrap the dumpling like a giant tortellini around an asparagus and finish them off on a bed of coconut rice. I went to the store thinking about how I was going to create something that could truly be called food porn. 

Making the meal was certainly a labor of love but once I tasted it and Dan said, “I can’t believe you came up with this whole dish” I knew it was all worth it. This was one of the best meals I have ever made.

Asparagus Mango Dumplings with Coconut Basil Rice

For the Dumpling Wrappers:
2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup of boiling water

Add the water to a bowl with the flour and mix together with a wooden spoon. If it is too sticky you can add more flour a tablespoon at a time. If it is too dry you can add more water a tablespoon at a time. Knead for 10 minutes until a hole poked in the dough fills back in. Let it rest in a covered bowl for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:
*save your onion, garlic, scallion, and cilantro scraps for the steaming water
1 red onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon of coriander seeds
1/2 teaspoon of curry powder
5 garlic cloves, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger, chopped
2 red chili peppers, chopped
1/2 lbs of oyster mushrooms, separated into smaller pieces
1/2 cup of mango pineapple juice (or one or the other)
1 mango, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Heat a bit of oil or broth in a large skillet or wok on high heat. Once hot, add the onion and sauté for about three minutes. Add the spices wait a minute, stir, and then add garlic, chilies, and ginger. Stir for another minute then add the mushrooms and stir fry for another 3 minutes. Deglaze the bottom of the pan with the juice and add the mango. Sauté for another minute or two then add the scallions and cilantro and remove from the heat.

For the Rice
1 teaspoon of coconut butter
4 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/4 cup of basil, reserve some for plating and chop the rest
1 cup of rice
2 cups of water
1 teaspoon of Vegeta or broth powder

Melt the coconut butter over medium heat making sure that it doesn’t burn. Add the garlic and scallion and sauté for about three minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, the rice, and the basil and cook another minute. Finally, add the water and the broth powder, mix well, reduce heat to low, cover and steam rice for about 30 minutes.

To Assemble
6 asparagus, end removed
red cabbage leaves to line the steamer
2 limes, quartered

Fill your steamer pot with water, the leftover trimmings, and the limes. Line your steamer tray with red cabbage leaves. I have a bamboo steamer that has two layers, you could use a steamer insert though and just do three at a time putting them upright and then keeping them warm in the oven. Roll out your dough into a rope and tear of fist sized portion. Roll the dough into a ball and then press it together between to parchment sheet. Roll it into a thin flat disc, about 7 inches in diameter. Scoop two tablespoons of filling into the middle of the disc and then seal into a half moon shape. Place the asparagus with the bottom in the middle of the dumpling and fold the two corners over it and seal the edges with water if necessary. Repeat until you have 6 for two people. I made extra dumplings with the leftover filling for later and just folded them into half moons without the asparagus. Bring the steamer water to a boil and place the dumpling in the tray. Alternate the trays after about 5 minutes of cooking. Remove the dumpling with tongs and if the rice isn’t ready put them in a warmed oven until you are ready. For plating I put the steamed red cabbage leaves and some basil leaves on the bottom of the bowl, I molded the rice into a smaller bowl and inverted it in the center of the dish. I topped arranged the dumplings on top, and sprinkled some sesame seeds and a mix of soy sauce, lime, and siracha. Enjoy!


Veggie Heaven – Austin Vegetarian Restaurant

One of the cookbooks I got for Christmas is Brian Yarvin’s A World of Dumplings. So far it seems like a great book although I have only made one recipe so I can’t say for sure. It is broken into sections by region and every area of the world is covered. Best of all, it is really vegan friendly for a non-veg cookbook. Although a lot of the wrappers have eggs in them Yarvin usually points out what vegan wrappers would work instead and offers many vegetable fillings.  The downside to the book is that I have been reading it a lot and I get so hungry for dumplings that it is hard to be pleased by non-stuffed-in-dough food. It is time consuming to make dumplings every day so sometimes you have to go to Veggie Heaven where they will make one for you. We had a steamed bun and pot stickers!

Veggie Heaven is a restaurant that has reached near mythical status with some of its devotees. It is a tiny place by UT campus with maybe 15 tables all scrunched together and a menu that has probably a hundred options on its numerous pages. Although the service isn’t their strong suit if you are looking for numerous options from Protein 2000 to Hawaii taro to the lucky seven Veggie Heaven is the way to go. You can even get a T-shirt. It could take years to try everything. They even have vegan Bubble Tea and Thai Iced Tea!

This time I tried the “Beef” bowl and it was really good. I have never had noodles from there before but I will seek them out from now on. The bowl included udon noodles in a brothy sauce with many different kinds of vegetables and a very unusual but really tasty beef substitute in addition to some fried tofu. It was so good and dare I say; somewhat healthy for restaurant food.