steamed mushroom dumplings
dumplings, ravioli, potstickers, gyoza, spring rolls, summer rolls, tootsie rolls, i don't care what you call them, i just love little packets stuffed with minced bits of things, but i really don't eat them very often. they're frequently stuffed with mr. tasty pig, or ms. tangy cheese and when they're not, they've often had intimate realtions with a deepfryer leading to a delicious state of being that i appreciate but know better than to indulge in too frequently. sigh, it is a sad but very real state of affairs that the older you get, the less you can get away with in terms of reprecussion-free overindulgence. but there is a silver lining on every cloud, and i eagerly anticipate ascending my throne of cane-waving, male-nurse-bum pinching, triple plaid-wearing, cranky-old-lady-dom.
so i wanted dumplings. i wanted steamed dumplings. and these are what i made. the filling is quite tasty with a lot of rich tasting mushrooms and a good lively kick of ginger. the original recipe (which i can't credit because i've totally altered it and don't remember where i found it anyway) says to put the filling in raw, but i cooked everything down first, except the green onion, ginger and rice wine vinegar. these are about as tasty as meat and msg-free dumplings get, although i will be the first to admit that they do not give mr. swine much competition in the taste department. if memory serves correctly. but they're fun (okay, maybe tedious is more the word) to make and if you're a vegetarian they might be one of the only ways to get yourselves a truly vegetarian potsticker.
3 cups finely shredded cabbage, napa or green
4-5 good sized dried shitake mushrooms (reconstituted = 1/2 cup diced)
1 cup minced fresh button mushrooms
2 Tablespoons finley minced shallots or onion
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 teaspoons ginger, minced
2 Tablespoons green onion, diced
1-2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
24 egg free gyoza wrappers
saute everything except the ginger, green onion and rice wine vinegar until soft. remove from heat and mix in the remaining ingredients. adjust seasoning to taste. set aside to cool. lay out a gyoza wrapper and place one scant teaspoon full in the center. run a damp finger around half the outer edge of the wrapper and fold over, pinching the seams together as snugly around the filling as possible. you can crimp the edges like a fluted pie crust if you like. set aside and continue with the rest of the dumplings. when they are all constructed, bring a pot of water to a boil and place a steamer basket inside. grease or pan spray the insert to prevent sticking and lay the dumplings in one at a time so that they do not overlap. cover and steam for 10 - 15 minutes per batch. serve with ponzu or the dipping sauce of your choice. i usually throw together a sauce made of equal parts rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, a few drops of sesame oil and a squirt of sriracha.