Try these Steamed Veggie Dumplings. Made with cabbage, mushrooms, and carrots, they’re easy to make and packed with flavour and texture.
I can’t think of anything that’s equally therapeutic to make as it is delicious to eat.
That is for the exception of steamed dumplings. It’s one of those foods that I am continuously drawn to making over, and over again.
I’ve been making steamed dumplings for a number of years. Often with a variety of fillings ranging from vegetables, to tofu, to paneer, and even to noodles.
I’ve always served these dumplings with a range of condiments, that honestly brings them to life with vibrancy and even more flavour.
Similar to many others my freezer is also filled with packs of dumplings, both homemade and shop bought.
I’ve lost track of the number of occasions where these have made for the perfect quick dinner after work. Or even for a sneaky midnight meal when the hunger and cravings (always) seem to kick in.
Steamed Veggie Dumplings
These steamed veggie dumplings in particular are my favourite ones. I’ve eaten countless numbers of dumplings in my time with all combinations of fillings.
It’s often the first thing I look for on menus as I love seeing how different chefs and restaurants prepare their dumplings.
It’s a personal dish and everyone has their own preferences. When you really think about it, every vegetable dumpling you’ll have eaten has always tasted different from another.
And I love that.
In all honestly you can use any vegetables you like or whichever you have on hand when making these. However I always go for my favourite combination of cabbage, shallots, carrots, mushrooms and spring onions.
But the filling has to be well seasoned, and I’ll run through the seasonings further down. It’s an easy recipe with only a handful of ingredients.
You could easily substitute ingredients into the filling, or leave out whatever you’re not keen on. It’s very versatile, anything goes!
My rule of thumb is that if the mixture tastes good on its own, it’ll taste great inside a dumpling.
The best part of a dish like this is that you can be as wild and creative as you like. If you’re fairly new to dumpling making and don’t feel ready to get too adventurous yet.
Then I’d recommend following this recipe first. Get yourself used to the process before you embark on your very own dumpling journey.
What are dumplings? Where do they come from?
Dumplings are essentially a name for a dish where the filling is encased in some form of dough. This can be any filling, and there are a huge variety that exist.
When we think of the term ‘dumpling’ our first thought often goes to Chinese jiaozi, Japanese gyoza, Chinese wontons, or Bao zi. Just to name a few.
However the term also encompasses so much more, from Italian ravioli and tortellini, to Polish pierogi, Indian samosas, Turkish manti, Nepalese momos, Nepalese yomari, and so many more.
It’s hard to say where dumplings originated or how they came to be. It’s possibly more likely that that each region shared the same thought process in order to extend their food and make it more satiating.
After all, wrapping filling in dough then steaming/boiling/frying it can totally transform it. This method also turns it into a meal.
Different types of steamed dumplings
There are quite a few dumplings mentioned above! Huge regional variations exist within the dumpling world. However I want to focus more on a few different varieties of steamed dumplings, as after all this a steamed veggie dumpling recipe.
Some of the most common steamed dumplings exist from East Asia. Many of these dumplings are not limited to one style of cooking, they can often be boiled, fried, or steamed and fried.
Each has its merits and provides a different texture to the final dumpling. Some examples of the steamed varieties would be Chinese jiazo, Japanese Gyoza, wontons, and Bao zi (just to name a few).
If you were to ever go for Dim Sum, you would experience a variety of steamed dumplings. Dim Sum is often broken down into fried, steamed, and sweet.
The steamed variety often includes har gow, siu mai, xia long bao, char siu bao, and cheung fun. There is so much variety to explore. It’s a beautiful cuisine and dim sum is always a wonderful and delicious experience.
There are also a few varieties of wrappers that exist for dumplings. These are each made from different doughs, which can be wheat based or starch based.
The wrapper that is utilised in this recipe is a wheat based one. You can either purchase pre-made wrappers from any East Asian specialty supermarket, or alternatively make your own.
I usually make my own wrappers so I’ll include my wrapper recipe and method on here too.
A wheat based wrapper is usually just plain/all purpose flour combined with water. However adding in extra starch in the form of corn flour, rice flour or tapioca flour can help to add a little chew to the final result.
I always add extra starch as I love the texture it provides. There are plenty of other recipes available online for dumpling wrappers if you want to try something different.
Different ways of cooking dumplings
These dumplings, though steamed in this recipe, can be cooked in other methods too. They can also be boiled as well as pan fried. The pan frying method is more of a half pan fry and half steam, but it creates a perfectly crispy bottom for the dumplings.
It adds a lovely texture! Each method changes the texture of the final dumpling.
Boiling the dumpling softens the wrapper the most, to create an almost melt-in-the-mouth like texture. However take care not to over boil them as they can end up falling apart.
This is the most simple method that does not require and additional equipment.
For steaming, a bamboo steamed is the easiest and traditional method. However any steamer will work.
Steaming the dumplings ensures that they do not get too soft or soggy. But they retain some texture and bite in the wrappers whilst also having a lovely subtle chew. This is my preferred method 90% of the time.
To pan fry simply heat oil in a wide pan and assemble your dumplings. Once the bottom of the dumpling has browned to your preference, add a good splash of water (enough to cover the base of the pan) and place a lid.
Allow to steam within the pan until all the water has evaporated. This method gives you the crispy base as well as a soft and chewy texture everywhere else.
Best of both worlds. It can be a bit messy as the water will splatter once it’s poured into the pan. So just be careful and remember to immediately place the lid on.
What you’ll need for these Steamed Veggie Dumplings
For this recipe you’ll need:
(The full recipe card and measurements is at the end of the blogpost)
- Shallots – you can substitute for a white onion if you wish. Shallots are milder and provide a little more sweetness hence these are usually my preference
- Shiitake mushroom – this is my favourite mushroom to use for dumplings as it provides plenty of umami and has a really pronounced flavour. You definitely want a stronger mushroom in order to ensure the flavour carries through along with all the other ingredients
- Spring onion greens (scallions for US readers) – garlic chives also work wonderfully. However spring onions are more readily accessible.
- Light soy sauce
- Sugar – a small amount, just to help balance out all the flavours
- White pepper
- Toasted sesame oil – just to give it a nutty finish
- Corn flour (corn starch for US readers)
- Neutral flavoured cooking oil – e.g. sunflower/vegetable/rapeseed/peanut
How to make these Steamed Veggie Dumplings (photos)
Let’s start by making the dumpling dough
1) Mix together the flours and then add boiling water. Initially mix with a fork until it’s cool enough to handle
2) Start kneading by hand
3+4) It will be a shaggy dough initially, but refrain from adding more water as it will hydrate and smooth out whilst kneading
5) Rest for 30 minutes
6) Cut a small piece of dough away and dust with corn/rice flour
7) Begin to roll by hand
8) Then place it through a pasta machine for even thickness. This step is optional and you can roll them all by hand, however this method is far quicker
9) Cut into even circles with a cookie cutter around 2.5″ in diameter. Ensure you leave the wrappers covered with clingfilm or a damp cloth to prevent them from drying out
Next let’s make the filling
1+2) Sauté the garlic and shallots in the oil for around 1-2 minutes. Or until the shallots have become translucent
3) Add in all the vegetables. I tend to pulse the cabbage and carrots in a food processor. I chop the mushrooms by hand as they tend to turn into mush in a food processor quite quickly
4) Continue to sauté for around 4-5 minutes, then add in the seasonings and sauces
5) Add in the spring onions and toasted sesame oil
6) Finally add in the cornflour and mix
7) Leave the mix aside to cool completely
8) Place a heaped tsp of mix in the centre of a wrapper
9) Fold the wrapper into any shape you like. I always do symmetrical pleats, however you can keep it simple if you wish!
10) Place the dumplings into a steamer
11) Place the steamer over a wok of boiling water. Steam for around 12 minutes on medium high heat
12) Enjoy your steamed veggie dumplings
How to make these Steamed Veggie Dumplings (video)
If you’d like to try a different flavour of steamed dumplings
I would highly recommend trying out my Shiitake Mushroom Dumplings if you’re as mushroom obsessed as I am. They’re delicious, umami rich, and very ‘mushroom-y’.
They’re just as easy to make and one of my favourite dumplings. I regularly serve another version of them on my private dining events. It’s been a huge hit with clients!
I’ve also got these Sweetcorn Dumplings that are delicious too! The texture and flavour of these is so unique. I’d definitely recommend them too.
How to serve these Steamed Veggie Dumplings
The accompaniments bring dumplings to life with a punch of flavour and vibrancy. I’d recommend making a batch of my Chilli Oil, it’s my favourite pairing.
Alternatively you could serve it with a chilli vinegar, for which I’ll be sharing my recipe shortly. I’ve served these dumplings with a chilli vinegar as it’s got a good balance of heat, acidity, saltiness and sweetness.
It’s rather addictive.
If you enjoyed this recipe
Please do let me know! Leave a review and a rating below, I’d love to know how you got on.
Until then, happy cooking!
Steamed Veggie Dumplings
- Rolling Pin
- Pasta roller
- 2.5″ cookie cutter
- Food processor
For the wrappers:
- 250 g plain flour
- 50 g cornflour or rice/tapioca flour. Keep extra for dusting
- 160 g boiling water weigh this for accuracy
For the filling:
- 2 tbsp neutral oil e.g. sunflower, vegetable, rapeseed, peanut
- 2 shallots finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 150 g green cabbage finely chopped
- 100 g carrots finely chopped (1 medium carrot)
- 125 g shiitake mushrooms finely chopped
- 4 spring onion greens finely sliced
- 2 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1 tsp toasted sesame oil
- Salt to taste (if needed)
- 1 tbsp cornflour (corn starch for US readers)
- Chilli oil or dipping sauce, or chilli vinegar
- Spring onion greens
- Toasted sesame seeds
For the wrapper:
- Mix together the flours
- Then add the boiling water and combine with a fork until cool enough to handle
- Knead for 10 minutes, it will start of as a shaggy dough but it will hydrate and smooth out whilst kneading
- Leave aside, covered, to rest for 30 minutes
- Take small portions of dough, dust in cornflour and lightly roll with a rolling pin
- Then pass through a pasta roller until #4 (on my Atlas). Cut out wrappers with a 2.5” cookie cutter. Leave wrappers covered in cling film or a damp cloth to prevent drying out
For the filling:
- Sauté the garlic and shallots in oil over a medium-high heat for around 1-2 minutes
- Then add in the cabbage, carrots and mushrooms. I tend to pulse the carrots and cabbage in a food processor, but finely chop the mushrooms by hand
- Continue to sauté for around 5 minutes, then add the soy sauce, white pepper and sugar. Continue to mix together
- Next, turn the heat off and add the spring onions and toasted sesame oil. At this stage check for seasoning, add salt if required
- Finally add the cornflour and mix to combine. Leave the dumpling filling aside to cool completely
- Place 1 heaped tsp of the cooled filling in the centre of each wrapper. If using shop-bought wrappers you will need to lightly wet the entire edge of the wrapper to ensure it can be sealed. Wet your finger and run it around the edge
- Fold the dumplings in whichever shape you prefer
- Place the dumplings into a steamer, then place above a wok of boiling water. Or into any steamer set-up you have. Steam over a medium-high heat for 12 minutes
- Serve along with some chilli oil, a dipping sauce, or chilli vinegar
- Garnish with spring onion greens and sesame seeds