These vegetarian potstickers are stuffed with veggies and crumbled tofu that’s been pan-fried in a sweet, savoury and smoky sauce. These tasty dumplings make a great appetizer or a main dish when served over rice with seared bok choy.
I love dumplings of all sorts as can clearly be evidenced by my various recipes for vegan wonton soup and vegan potstickers. That old recipe for vegan potstickers was one of the first ones that I published on the blog and you can see just how far my dumpling wrapping skills (and photography) have come since then!
I’m not gonna lie; making vegetarian potstickers takes a bit of time and until you get the hang of the folding, they’re extremely fiddly. Fortunately, the pay off is totally worth it! Nothing is better than homemade, fresh potstickers cooked just how you like them – tender and crispy at the same time and not at all overly greasy. Plus, you’ll feel super accomplished!
To make vegetarian potstickers you’ll first need some wonton or dumpling wrappers. Most store-bought wonton wrappers have egg in them so I always make my own vegan wonton wrappers. It’s not as hard as it may seem, and if you have a pasta maker it’s relatively quick to roll out the dough.
First I mix up the dough and while it rests I make my filling. This time I’ve tried to emulate traditional pork potstickers by frying up some crumbled tofu in a smoky sauce similar to recipes for tofu bacon. Some chopped cabbage, grated carrot and green onion bulk up the filling.
While the tofu filling cools, I roll out and cut the wonton wrappers. Then it’s time to fill them! Now, I am by no means a dumpling folding expert, and there are different techniques for doing it, so I suggest you watch a video tutorial on how to fold dumplings and trust me when I say that it will get easier with a bit of practice!
This time I decided to make a bowl of it and serve my smoky tofu vegetarian potstickers over a bed of rice and alongside some seared bok choy and sliced radishes (for colour). Serving them like this is a great way to turn a dish that’s normally an appetizer into a full meal.
Since this recipe makes about 25 potstickers, you may have some leftover if you serve them bowl style. Luckily they can be frozen. Simply freeze them separated on a baking pan then pop them into a freezer bag once they’re frozen through. You can cook them directly from frozen although they will need a few more minutes of cooking time.
For the potstickers
- 2 cups (100 grams) shredded cabbage
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ tablespoon liquid smoke
- ½ cup (60 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 tablespoon grated garlic (these are quick garlicky so use less if you don’t like it so much)
- 225 grams (8 oz) extra-firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 25 wonton wrappers
- 1 small bok choy per bowl, halved
- 1 radish per bowl, thinly sliced
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup (60 ml) soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
- Water (to thin the sauce if it’s too salty)
- Place the cabbage in a colander and sprinkle over ½ teaspoon of the salt. Massage it gently for a few seconds until it begins to draw out the water. Set aside for about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, tomato paste, maple syrup, liquid smoke and water. Taste it and adjust the ingredients if necessary to get a good balance of sweet, salty and smoky.
- Crumble or mash the tofu with your fingers or a fork. Heat a pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil, the ginger and garlic. Fry for about 30 seconds or until soft and fragrant. Add the tofu and fry, stirring from time to time, until it’s crispy and golden brown in parts. Pour over the sauce and continue cooking, while stirring, until the sauce is absorbed. Stir through the sesame oil and place the tofu in a bowl to cool.
- At this point you can prepare the rice and garnishes if you’re serving the potstickers in a bowl. For the dipping sauce combine the soy sauce and rice vinegar. If your soy sauce is especially salty, add a dash of water.
- Once the tofu is cool, give the cabbage a good squeeze to get out as much water as possible and add it to the tofu along with the carrot and chopped green onion. Taste the filling and add ½ teaspoon of salt if you think it’s necessary. Place about 1 ½ teaspoons of this mixture in the centre of a wonton wrapper, dip your finger in water and run it along the edge of the wrapper and fold it up using the technique of your preference.
- Once all the potstickers are folded, heat a large pan over medium-high heat and add a tablespoon of oil. Place the potstickers inside and fry for a couple of minutes until they are golden brown on the bottom. Lower the heat to medium and pour in about ¼ cup (60 ml) water. Be very careful because it splatters so quickly cover the pan with a lid. Steam the dumplings for about 3 minutes if using fresh wrappers or 5 minutes for store-bought. Uncover the pan and allow any remaining water to evaporate and the bottoms to crisp up once again.
- If you’re serving them with bok choy, remove the potstickers from the pan and add the bok choy cut side down. Fry until seared then add a splash of water and the lid to steam for a few minutes until tender all the way through.
- Divide the rice between your serving bowls and top with the potstickers, bok choy, radish and sliced green onion. Serve the dipping sauce on the side.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 5
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 319 Total Fat: 10g Saturated Fat: 1g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 8g Sodium: 1869mg Carbohydrates: 45g Fiber: 5g Sugar: 7g Protein: 13g
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