Spinach Dumplings with Dipping Sauce
The Chinese New Year celebration is beginning! While searching for a menu of what is usually served, dumplings caught my eye. Aren’t they a favorite to most of us? You can fill them with vegetables, meat, or even something sweet for dessert. And the sauces for dipping often make the dumplings twice as good.
The idea for using spinach and tofu came from a recipe I saw in Food and Wine Magazine. Spinach in a recipe always makes me stop and look. It is so good added to most dishes. Since many of us are trying to eat less meat, the tofu appealed too. Even if you aren’t crazy about tofu, in a dumpling I bet you will enjoy it.
The first time I made wontons it looked a little intimidating. It seems like a lot of steps that could be very time consuming. My first adventure can be seen in the recipe Vegetarian Wontons. Turns out they are fun and easy to make. I’v listed a lot of steps so you know exactly what to do, but you simply mix up the ingredients you want in your dumplings, scoop a small amount onto the wrapper and seal them up.
They are also very forgiving. If a spot tears, it can be resealed with a dampened finger. You can shape them however you like. Last time I made little envelopes. This time, some triangles and some dumplings by pulling in all four corners.
It doesn’t take that long to make them up, and it only takes minutes to cook them. The key is not too put too much on each wrapper. One other tip is to keep a damp paper towel over the unused wrappers. If they dry out they are harder to work with. Give it a try. If you have kids, let them help. They will enjoy the process too. You might find yourself making them quite often after you’ve made a batch once.
Serves: 24 to 30 wontons
- 4 cups fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- ¼ package extra firm tofu, in ¼ inch squares
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 1½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil (or equivalent)
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon Wasabi powder (optional)
- wonton wrappers
- ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
- Assemble ingredients
- Mix dipping sauce by combining the ¼ cup soy sauce, the rice vinegar and sesame seeds.
- Refrigerate or set aside while preparing wontons.
- Cook spinach in microwave for 1 minute or in boiling water for 3o seconds.
- Drain in colander and dry as thoroughly as possible.
- Mix together oil, soy sauce and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add a few drops of water if necessary.
- Combine spinach, tofu, onion, and the mixture of oil, soy sauce and cornstarch.
- Stir well, until all is coated.
- Spread a sheet of wax or parchment paper on the counter.
- Have a small bowl of water handy.
- Bring a good sized sauce pan of water to a boil while preparing wontons.
- Place wonton wrappers on paper, as many as will fit.
- Scoop 1 to 2 teaspoons of the mixture onto each wonton.
- Using your fingers dipped in the bowl of water, lightly moisten edges of wontons.
- Fold over, squeezing the edges together as you do.
- To make dumpling shape, bring each corner together, sealing dampened edges as you do,
- Squeeze snuggly in the center.
- When you have 8 to 12 ready, getting set into boiling water.
- Cook for 3 to 4 minutes while you make the rest.
- Remove each with a slotted spoon, set in colander to drain.
- While they drain, put the remaining wontons in the boiling water.
- When drained, place on a platter.
- Repeat with the rest.