A Recipe for Mushroom, Tofu & Pea Pan-Fried Dumplings (guotie 锅贴, literally potstickers in Mandarin), written for TOAST by Nina Powles.
(To make vegan dumplings, simply omit the beaten egg and oyster sauce, and replace with 1/2 tsbp extra soy sauce and Shaoxing rice wine.)
For the wrappers
Use one 200g pack of dumpling wrappers, found in the fridge and freezer section of East Asian supermarkets. Or make your own:
(makes about 25 dumplings)
2 cups dumpling flour, if you have it, or all-purpose flour
2/3 cup lukewarm water – this may vary, depending how dry/humid your climate is
In a large bowl, slowly combine the water with the flour. Draw together with your hands to make a smooth (but not sticky) dough. Knead for a few minutes, then cover and leave to rest for half an hour. The dough should be soft and pliable.
On a floured surface, divide the dough into four equal pieces and roll each piece into a long sausage about 2cm thick. Cut into 2cm gnocchi-like chunks.
Roll the chunk into a smooth ball, then flatten with your palm to make a disc. Using the very edge of a rolling pin, roll the disc into a 9cm diameter circle. You want the centre of the circle to be a bit thicker than the edges, since this is the part that holds the filling.
Lay the wrappers on a board and sprinkle with plenty of flour to prevent them sticking while you get on with chopping.
For the filling
100g mushrooms, finely chopped (fresh shiitake, oyster or brown mushrooms are best)
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 spring onion, finely chopped (green & white parts)
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 thumb-tip sized piece of ginger, finely chopped
150g silken tofu (about half a block)
1 egg, beaten
1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp sesame oil
A pinch of salt & white pepper
A pinch of Chinese five-spice powder
1 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil, for cooking
1 cup water, for cooking
1 tbsp soy sauce & 1/2 tsbp Chinkiang black vinegar, for dipping
Mix the chopped mushrooms, garlic, ginger, spring onion and silken tofu together in a large bowl. No need to chop the tofu; it will fall apart and bind everything together to form a paste.
Add the soy sauce, sesame oil, beaten egg, oyster sauce, five-spice powder, and salt and white pepper into the bowl, and mix.
To fold the dumplings, dip your index finger in a little cold water and brush your fingertip around the edge of the dumpling skin, making a glue. Place a teaspoon of filling in the middle. (Folding is easiest if you start with less filling than you think you need). Pinch the two sides of the wrapper together at the centre, in a half-moon shape. Pinch the sides together in two or three "pleats" – but it doesn't have to be pretty; it only has to be sealed.
If using homemade dumpling wrappers, pop each folded dumping on a well-floured surface, not touching each other, or they will start to stick together.
For pan-frying, you need a wok or heavy non-stick pan with a lid. Heat your wok on medium heat. Pour 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Prod the oil with the tip of a chopstick or wooden spoon – when bubbles appear, the oil is hot enough (this is a classic Chinese cooking trick).
Fry the dumplings in two batches. Place 10-12 dumplings snugly in the middle of the wok. Push them firmly down to flatten their bums; you want this flat surface to get lovely and crisp. Let them sizzle for 2 minutes then carefully pour over 1/2 cup of cold water, and swiftly clamp the lid down.
Leave the lid on as they steam for 5-6 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated.
Remove the lid and check whether the dumplings' bottoms are lovely and golden. They may need another 1-2 minutes.
Before the next batch, you may need to heat another 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil in the wok.
Serve with a little dipping sauce: mix 1 tbsp soy sauce mixed with 1/2 tsbp Chinkiang black vinegar, or any good chilli oil, such as Lao Gan Ma.
Words by Mina Holland. Photography by Elena Heatherwick.
This season, we have made a dress very similar to the one Nina mentions, in olive & spice. We have also created a new version of the dress with a v-neck and capped sleeves in slate blue and tobacco. You can find our collection of Coats & Jackets here.