Vegetable Dumplings


Preparation info

  • Makes


    • Difficulty


Appears in

Mastering the Art of Chinese Cooking

By Eileen Yin-Fei Lo

Published 2009

  • About

Here is a variation on the preceding recipe for Shrimp Dumplings. Called jai gau in Cantonese, these dumplings contain no shrimp or pork fat and are rooted in the vegetarian traditions of China‛s Buddhists and Taoists. In the past, they were eaten primarily by monks, but nowadays they are enjoyed by a wider audience of vegetarians.


  • 12 dried black mushrooms, 1 inch in diameter


In a bowl, soak the mushrooms in hot water to cover for 30 minutes. Drain, rinse the mushrooms thoroughly, and then squeeze out the excess water. Remove and discard the stems and finely shred the caps (see Cleaver discussion). Reserve.

To make the sauce: In a small bowl, mix together all of the ingredients and reserve.

Heat a wok over high heat for 30 seconds. Add the 3 cups peanut oil and heat to 350°F on a deep-frying thermometer. Add the reserved mushrooms and all of the vegetables and oil-blanch for 40 seconds. Turn off the heat. Using a Chinese strainer, remove the vegetables from the wok and drain well over a bowl. Pour off the oil from the wok and strain if needed to remove residue. Set aside teaspoons. Reserve the remaining oil for another use.

Wipe the wok with a paper towel. Add the reserved teaspoons of peanut oil and place over high heat. When a wisp of white smoke appears, stir the sauce, pour it into the wok, and cook for about 2 minutes, or until it thickens and turns dark brown. Turn off the heat.

Place the vegetables in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Turn on the mixer to low speed, add the sauce from the wok, and mix thoroughly for 2 minutes, or until all of the ingredients are well blended. Turn off the mixer, remove the mixture to a shallow dish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

Prepare the dough and shape into -inch rounds as directed.

Place one round on the palm of one hand, place 1 to 1½ teaspoons of the filling on the center, and press down lightly on the filling. Fold the round into a half-moon and, using the thumb and forefinger of the other hand, press around the edge to seal. Repeat to form more dumplings until all of the filling is used (see note).

Oil three bamboo steamers. As you make the dumplings, place the first one-third of them in a prepared bamboo steamer, making certain they do not touch one another, or they will stick together. Cover the steamer and steam for 6 minutes, or until the dough is translucent and the filling is visible through it. As the first batch steams, prepare the second one-third of the dumplings, place in another steamer, and then steam that batch when the first one is done. Repeat with the third and final batch.

Turn off the heat and serve. The dumplings are best served hot, so serve them the moment they are cooked, directly from the bamboo steamer. Accompany with the mustard condiment.