You don’t need to be from a certain country to savor the flavors of dumplings. This versatile dish is a trending main course meal. The fact that it isn’t complicated makes it pretty popular among foodies.
Just dough with a filling, folded in any specific shape, then fried, steamed, or boiled. The history of this simple dish is not confirmed, but it is said to have its roots in Northern China. According to some legends, these are thought to have been created during the Han Dynasty, which existed between 206 BC and 220 AD. Over time the recipe for dumplings became widespread among Chinese immigrants and has gradually gained fame (10).
This simple yet scrumptious dish has an extensive variety in terms of the dough and filling used. The dough can be made of bread, flour, or even potatoes. Meanwhile, the filling inside the dough can consist of meat, tofu, cheese, vegetables, or a combination of some of these. You can also eat dumplings as a sweet dish using a sweetened filling. Or, if you are a meat lover you can enjoy a delicious meaty dumpling. But, if you are a vegetarian, you can easily pick from the many vegetarian dumpling filling ideas.
How Dumplings Vary Around the World?
As the recipe for dumplings traveled worldwide, different nationalities changed its formula according to their tastes and gave it other names. Not many changes were made in Japan except for the’ gyoza’ shape. Also, its role as a main course dish in China shifted to a side dish in Japan.
In Korea, it came to be commonly known as ‘mandu’. Along with the change to a cylindrical shape, some additions were made to its filling, like kimchi and bean sprouts. Vegetarian dumpling filling tofu was also commonly used. A luxurious edition of dumplings with beef as filling was also created here.
This dish got its common name, momos, in Nepal. Using the same basics as with the original dumplings, it was eaten with fillings of meat, cheese, potatoes, and other local ingredients. A unique modification done here was the use of a variety of sauces to season it further. For example, dipping sauces were made with curry and local spices to bring out a new taste.
Similar alterations happened in other countries, bringing about the filled pasta in Italy, the pierogi in Poland, and the manti in Uzbekistan (6).
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What Is Veggie Gyoza Made Of?
A few minor changes in the Chinese recipe can make them vegan dumplings. As for the Gyozas, these are pan-fried and then steamed to ensure they are fully cooked. They are a crispy, delicious version of vegan dumplings and a healthy filling of vegetables.
You can use homemade gyoza wrappers or buy readymade ones. Note that the filling can vary according to one’s taste. Some examples that would bring out a savory flavor include carrots, cabbage, spring onions, mushrooms, and sometimes tofu. If needed, some other vegetables can also be added. Ginger, garlic, soy sauce, and vegan fish sauce can be added for seasoning (13).
These veggie gyozas are enjoyable, have a healthy and light filling, and are more delicious than they would seem.
What Are the Famous Vegan Dumpling Recipes?
Since vegan dumplings are a versatile dish, there are many examples of combining them with other foods to create a full meal. These include vegan dumpling pasta, vegan dumpling soup, and vegan dumplings for stew.
First, here’s a basic recipe for simple vegan dumplings: (12)
Vegan Dumplings – the Basic Recipe
Ingredients for Dumpling Wrappers
- 2.5 cups of flour
- 1 cup warm water
- ¼ tsp salt
Ingredients for Filling
- 1 medium cabbage
- 1 bunch of spinach
- 2 cups of Finely chopped tofu
- 15 dried mushrooms (soften them by soaking for about 20 mins in warm water)
- 2 chopped carrots
Ingredients for Seasoning
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 4 tbsp sesame oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp grated or powdered ginger
- 2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Mix all three ingredients of dumpling wrappers and knead them into a dough.
- Leave the dough for a minimum of 15 minutes to let it settle
- Roll out the dough and cut out circles from it with the help of a mug or any round cutter.
- Dust them with flour and place them aside.
- First, blanch spinach and cabbage in boiling water to prepare the filling for 5 to 20 seconds. Then, drain the water and let it cool.
- Meanwhile, mix chopped carrots, tofu, chopped and soaked mushrooms in a large bowl.
- After the blanched veggies have cooled down, chop them and squeeze out all the water. Then, add them to the mixing bowl.
- Add all the seasoning ingredients to the bowl and mix all the ingredients until combined well.
- Now, the filling is also ready, so you can wrap them with the dumpling wrappers that were previously made.
These dumplings can be pan-fried and steamed or boiled, too.
Moving a step forward, here’s a recipe for a mash-up dish, vegan dumpling soup: (14)
Vegan Dumpling Soup
Ingredients for Dumplings
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp salt
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- ¼ tsp cracked pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ cup warm water
Ingredients for the Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium-sized chopped white onion
- 2 chopped celery stalks
- 2 chopped carrots
- 5 stems of chopped green onion
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cracked pepper
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp vegetable stock paste
- 7 cups boiling water
- Combine flour and baking powder with salt, thyme, and pepper for dumplings. Then, pour olive oil and water slowly and mix well. Knead it into a dough, cover it, and let it rest for some time.
- Meanwhile, prepare the soup. Add olive oil to a pot on medium flame. Add onions. Add carrots, celery, and green onions when they have turned golden. Cook these for 7 to 8 minutes, but do not let them burn.
- Now add butter. When it has melted and is well mixed, add flour and let it blend well.
- Then add salt, pepper, and thyme. After this, increase the flame and add vegetable stock paste mixed with some boiling water.
- Stir well. When the water has decreased enough, add the 7 cups of boiling water and let the mixture boil.
- Let it cook for some while at low flame. Meanwhile, make small balls from the dough mixture and put them in soup.
- Then, let it cook for 5 minutes, and the delicious vegetable soup with vegan dumplings is ready.
What Is the Secret to Perfect Dumplings?
A perfect dumpling has a juicy filling, soft skin but crispy outer, and a good shape. To achieve these you must take note of some pointers while making the dumplings.
When kneading the dough, do not over-mix the ingredients. Mix them only till they are combined. Overmixing the dough would produce a denser dumpling. Adding vegan butter or plant milk to the dough makes the dumpling skin soft and moist. This will also help to hold the dumpling in its place (11).
When pan-frying the dumplings, ensure you do not overcook or burn them. It is recommended to use a non-stick pan. Also, use medium or medium-high flame to make crispy dumplings. High flame might burn the bottom of your dumplings.
Apart from this, when assembling the dumplings, cover those made. The skin might crack and dry, especially in a dry environment.
Last but not least, be careful that the water content in the filling is towards the lesser side, or you might end up with soggy dumplings, which no one likes.
Can We Freeze Dumplings?
Though making dumplings seems like an easy recipe, assembling dumplings might take up a lot of your time when needed in large amounts. You can save yourself from this hassle and serve dumplings on short notice by making a bulk of them at once and storing them in the freezer.
Here is a tip to freeze the dumplings properly, ensuring that they do not stick with each other or get their shapes distorted.
- First, lay a baking sheet or parchment paper on a tray and spread the dumplings in a single layer. They should not be too close to each other, or they might get stuck.
- Sprinkle some flour or cornstarch on them to avoid this.
- Then, place this tray in the freezer for approximately 60 minutes.
Afterward, put all the dumplings in a Ziploc or, better still, in an airtight container, and you can store them in your freezer for up to 3 months. When it needs to be cooked, you can cook them as they are frozen. Follow the usual way of cooking, though an extra minute or two might be required to have them heated and cooked properly.
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How Many Carbs Are In Vegan Dumplings?
Carbs or carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for our body. It is one of the essential macronutrients needed for the proper functioning of the body. However, this does not mean eating excess carbs in our meals means extra energy. Carbs are used to provide power only when the body requires it. Otherwise, these are stored up as glycogen or fats in the body (7).
Dumplings, if eaten in moderation, can be said not to be a high-carb meal. One serving of vegan dumplings is said to have about 41 grams of net carb. Besides this, there are around 7 grams of fiber, also a carb type that we do not digest or absorb. This means a vegan dumpling has 48 grams of total carbs (8). For most people, this amount of carbs is perfectly acceptable, and is even on the low side for a complete meal, unless they are on a very low-carb or restrictive diet.
Are Vegan Dumplings Healthy? – Their Nutritional Value
Technically speaking, vegan dumplings are healthy, especially if they are homemade. They have a filling of vegetables rich in many vitamins and minerals. Especially if you use heart-healthy oil to fry them; it is a completely healthy option.
In most vegan dumpling recipes, spinach and tofu are common ingredients. These two are rich in calcium and iron. They also have many other nutrients like magnesium, manganese, and protein. They help support heart health and may prevent some diseases as part of a healthy balanced diet (2) (1).
Similarly, carrot, a commonly used vegetable in vegan dumplings, has plenty of vitamin A and is good for vision. They also contain nutrients that are good for blood pressure and support immunity (4). Meanwhile, another ingredient, mushrooms, also brings about many benefits. They provide vitamin D and may support brain health (3).
Considering this, the filling in vegan dumplings provides many nutritional benefits, so it is more than just a meal. It won’t be an exaggeration to state that a normal vegan dumpling has a lot of nutritional value. They provide carbohydrates, proteins, fats, calcium, magnesium, and many other nutrients, depending on the fillings.
Note, there are 158 calories per 97 grams of vegan dumplings (9). Pairing these with some side dishes can create a balanced, low-calorie meal.
What is the difference between a dumpling and a gyoza?
There is no specific difference between dumplings and gyoza. They are more or less the same. Gyoza is actually what dumplings are called in Japan. However, minor differences exist, like the different shapes and cooking methods. Also, gyoza is usually served as a side dish, while dumplings can be a main course dish.
How long does it take to air fry vegan dumplings?
Vegan dumplings air fry the best when they are frozen. To do so, set the temperature of the air fryer to 375F or 190C. Then, put the dumplings in the air fryer basket and brush or spray them with oil. Put them in the air fryer for about 8 minutes. Leaving it there for two more minutes would give you crispier dumplings (5).
What makes dumplings gummy?
There can be two main reasons for your dumplings to end up with a gummy texture that surely isn’t pleasant. First, it might be because you overmixed the dough, making it tough and dense. Remember, the dough ingredients need to be mixed only until they have been combined, and not more than that. Secondly, this problem might occur also due to overfrying or oversteaming or over boiling the dumplings.
The Bottom Line
Dumplings are a popular dish that is said to have originated in China. As it became known worldwide, it got different names in different countries, like gyoza in Japan, mandu in Korea, and momos in Nepal. Like the variety of its names, this dish has diverse fillings that make one dumpling a separate dish. Depending on the filling, these could be used as a side dish, a main course dish, or even a dessert.
For vegetarian people, there is an option of vegan dumplings. This option also has various types depending on the filling combinations that can be used. These vegan dumplings can be eaten as they are and can be combined with any other dish, creating a completely new meal. For instance, vegan dumpling pasta, vegan dumpling soup, etc.
A plus point for this dish is that you do not have to worry too much about eating a balanced diet. Vegan dumplings have mainly vegetables as their ingredients and contain many helpful nutrients. They also have enough carbs to provide you with energy. Also, the calories in this originally Chinese food can be enough for a single meal to fulfill your calorie requirement.
With this in mind, you can go on to make a bulk of vegan dumplings, freeze them correctly, and then instantly enjoy a healthy and delicious meal whenever you want.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- 15 Reasons Why Spinach is Called a Superfood (2023, pharmacy. in)
- 5 Reasons to Eat More Tofu (2023, health.clevelandclinic.org)
- 7 health benefits of mushrooms (2022, uclahealth.org)
- 8 Health Benefits of Carrots (2023, health.com)
- AIR FRYER DUMPLINGS (2022, carmyy.com)
- Around the World in 8 Dumplings (2018, guide.michelin.com)
- Carbohydrates in the Diet (2021, extension.okstate.edu)
- Carbs in Macro Vegetarian Vegan Dumplings (N.A, carbmanager.com)
- Dumpling, Vegetable (N.A, nutritionvalue.org)
- From Jiaozi to Pierogi: Around the World in Dumplings (2022, kitchenstories.com)
- Homemade Chicken and Dumplings (2023, browneyedbaker.com)
- Mom’s special vegan dumplings (N.A, choochoocachew.com)
- VEGETABLE GYOZA (VEGAN & VEGETARIAN!) (2023, aimadeitforyou.com)
- Vegetable Soup with Vegan Dumplings (2023, foodbymaria.com)