• Bok Choy and Shiitake Dumplings

    By Jeri Mobley-Arias

    Our freezer is never without a hefty bag of these beautiful dumplings. The flavor is outrageous; umami, sesame, and full of flavor.

    • These dumplings are a labor of love. Made of bok choy, shiitake mushrooms, wood ear mushrooms, shallots, garlic, ginger, green onions, sesame oil, and bean curd–the ingredients are a beautiful marriage of flavors, not to mention the umami flavor emanating from the shiitake mushrooms that is unreal!

      To make these dumplings, there are a series of steps that require fine chopping, but don’t let that deter you, as the reward of plush pillows of goodness supersedes the effort involved.

      Personally, I find it gratifying to eat something that requires an extra ounce of effort + love. Somehow, it just tastes better.

      When cooking the mixture, the addition of ingredients is incremental and done this way intentionally so as to give the flavors time to meld together.

      What's the perfect dipping sauce for dumplings?

      Part of the dumpling eating experience is the pairing of a solid dumpling dipping sauce. What makes this sauce unique is the Chinkiang Vinegar, a rice-based black vinegar widely used in Chinese cuisine.

      Making this dipping sauce is a quick assembly of chinkiang vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil and really adds to the dumpling eating experience. Additionally, chili oil makes for a great pairing, I love using my Shallot + Ginger Chili oil.

      How to pleat dumplings

      I have yet to share a video on my preferred folding technique, but as a great reference, Wei’s Red House Kitchen showcases great techniques.

      Bok Choy and Shiitake Dumpling Ingredients:

      Bean Curd is essentially pressed tofu and can be found in the shape of a small square or block either flavored or unflavored. It is typically used in Japanese, Korean, and Chinese cuisine and can be baked or fried and added to soups, vegetable dishes, stir-frys, eggrolls, and dumplings.

      For this recipe, you’ll need unflavored bean cured, which can be found at most Asian markets located in the tofu section.

      Wood Ear Mushrooms are chewy + slightly crunchy in texture, light tasting in flavor, black in color, and popular in Asian stir-fry dishes, soups, stews, and salads.

      Aside from the deliciousness aspect of this fungus, they also have exceptional health benefits. Wood ear mushrooms aid in digestive health–acting as a probiotic, are rich in antioxidants, promoting blood circulation, and immune boosting properties that block the growth of E. Coli and S. Aureus bacteria.

      Wood ear mushrooms can be found in the dehydrated mushroom section of Asian markets. The label will likely read “Wood Ear” or “Black Fungus”.

      Shiitake Mushrooms are prized for their robust flavor, range in color dark to light + grades ($$$) and are known for combating cancer, supporting heart health, and promoting immune health.

      You can find shiitake mushrooms in the produce section of Asian markets but for this recipe, it’s preferred to use the dried version, as the stock that is the byproduct of rehydrating the mushrooms contain a stock with umami-rich flavor that adds to the melodious flavor and aromatics of this dumpling recipe.

      Look for shiitake mushrooms in the dried section of Asian markets and be keen to lookout for features like fissures in the cap and blend of white and brown color.

      Dumpling Wrappers that are round in shape are the ideal wrapper for this dumpling recipe. These wrappers will be located in the refrigerated or frozen section of Asian markets.

      Aim for a thin wrapper that is 3 ½ to 4 inches in diameter and reads “Dumpling Wrapper Shanghai Style”. You will need ~25-30 wrappers for this recipe.

      Sesame Oil adds a delicious + toasted nutty flavor to eats. I use Ottogi (Korean) brand, which can be found at Asian markets. Another great brand is La Tourangelle.

      Chinkiang Vinegar a rice-based black vinegar widely used in Chinese cuisine and can be found in the vinegar section of Asian markets. I use Gold Plum brand Chinkiang Vinegar.

      Now that I've given you a breakdown of all the goodness within these dumplings, it's time to make Bok Choy and Shiitake Dumplings!

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  • Bok Choy and Shiitake Dumplings

    By Jeri Mobley-Arias

    Our freezer is never without a hefty bag of these beautiful dumplings. The flavor is outrageous; umami, sesame, and full of flavor.

    • Total Time:
    • Servings:

    Ingredients

    • 1 ½ tablespoon avocado oil
    • 2½ tablespoons garlic, minced
    • 2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
    • 4 oz beancurd, finely chopped
    • 1 pound baby bok choy, stems and leaves separated, finely chopped
    • 10 pieces dried wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated, finely chopped
    • 9 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms caps, rehydrated, finely chopped, 1 tablespoon stock reserved
    • ¼ cup green onion, white and green parts finely chopped
    • ½ cup shallots, finely chopped
    • 1¼ teaspoon kosher salt
    • ¼ teaspoon white pepper
    • 1½ teaspoon sesame oil
    • 25-30 dumpling wrappers

    Vinegar Sauce

    • 2 tablespoons Chiankiang vinegar
    • 1½ tablespoons light soy sauce
    • ½ teaspoons sesame oil
    • 1 teaspoons ginger, minced
    • 2 teaspoons chili oil (optional)

    Instructions

    Mushrooms

    1. Place wood ear and shiitake mushrooms in separate bowls. Add very hot (near boiling) water, enough to cover mushrooms and cover bowls with a lid or plate. Set aside to rehydrate for 30 minutes.
    2. Once rehydrated, finely chop wood ear mushrooms and set aside. Squeeze shiitake mushrooms to remove excess water, remove stems, finely chop and add to bowl containing wood ear mushrooms. Reserve 1 tablespoon of shiitake stock, set aside.

    Filling

    1. In a skillet, over medium-high heat add avocado oil. Add ginger and garlic and cook for 2 minutes or until fragrant. Lower heat to medium and add shallots. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until shallots are translucent.
    2. Add bok choy stems and cook for 3 minutes or until cooked through. Add shiitake, wood ear mushrooms, bean curd, and shiitake stock, and cook for 3 minutes. Add bok choy leaves and cook for 1 minute.
    3. Add kosher salt and white pepper, cook for one minute. Turn off heat and stir in green onions and sesame oil. Place in a mixing bowl, allow mixture to cool.
    4. Remove dumpling wrappers from package and place on a lightly floured surface. Keep covered with a dry towel.
    5. Remove one dumpling wrapper from the stack. Scoop 1 tablespoon of filling onto dumpling wrapper. I’ve provided a link on various folding techniques, by Wei's Red House Kitchen my personal favorite is at the 3:30 mark of the video.
    6. After folding, place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet. Once filled with dumplings, place in freezer. After a couple of hours, place in a reusable bag. If cooking immediately, see below for methods + instructions. Dumplings are will keep in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.

    To Store To avoid the dumplings from getting stuck to each other, I like to freeze dumplings on a baking sheet first and then place them in a reusable bag. Dumplings are good in the freezer for 4 up to weeks.

    To Cook There are a number of ways you can cook your dumplings. Depending on how I’m feeling, I either steam or pan fry them.

    Steam

    1. Line a bamboo steamer with perforated parchment paper or cabbage leaves.
    2. Place dumplings into steamer, giving each dumpling 1½ inches of space between each dumpling.
    3. Add 2 inches of water to a pan that’s wide enough to hold the bamboo steamer. Place the steamer into the pan and adjust flame to medium-high heat.
    4. Once water begins to boil, cook for 10 mins.
    5. Once cooked, remove steamer from pan, remove the lid and enjoy with chili oil or vinegar + soy sauce dip.

    Pan Fry

    1. Add 1 tbsp avocado oil to a pan over medium high heat. Once pan is hot, add dumplings, and placing each dumpling 1 ½ inches apart.
    2. Check the bottom of one dumpling, once you see a nice golden bottom (2-3 mins) add 3 tbsps of water to the pan and cover with lid.
    3. Once dumplings are cooked through (3-4 mins) plate the dumplings and enjoy immediately with chili oil or vinegar sauce

    Enjoy!

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