Regional Recipe: Vegan Dumplings

Inspired by my friend Peter’s travels to Nepal, these dumplings are packed with a delicious plant-based filling that will surely surprise you with bold aromas.

If you’ve never explored the Asian grocery stores in the Kitchener-Waterloo area, this recipe gives you a great opportunity to do so. T&T on Westmount and New City Supermarket on King St near the Kitchener Market District are amazing local grocery stores where you can find all these ingredients.

The bright flavours of fresh ginger and lemongrass and the earthiness from the bok choy and mushrooms make for a delicious bite. These are also great items to make ahead and freeze for a later date, and can be quickly steamed or pan-fried.


• Try to chop all ingredients as finely as you can – this allows for more filling per dumpling and an overall better bite.

• Set aside the exterior leaves of your cabbage to use at the base of your steaming pot. This helps to prevent the dumplings from getting stuck on the steaming basket.



Wonton wrappers


1.5 cups Savoy or Napa cabbage, finely chopped

1.5 cups bok choy, finely chopped

2 cups oyster mushrooms, finely chopped

½ cup of finely chopped onion, shallot or leek

½ cup carrots, finely chopped or minced

½ cup firm tofu, finely chopped

3 bulbs of garlic, minced

1 heaping tablespoon of lemongrass, finely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated

2 tablespoons of green onion, finely chopped

¾ cup of cooked white rice

2 teaspoons of togarashi seasoning

2 teaspoons of tamari or soy

Dipping Sauce:

3 tablespoons of tamari or soy

1 tablespoon of rice vinegar

3 tablespoons of warm water

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Green onion and sesame for garnish



• Begin by placing finely chopped cabbage and bok choy into a bowl. Salt heavily (a good few tablespoons) and begin to massage with your hands. Squeeze contents firmly, as to break up any firm pieces. The goal of this step is to remove as much liquid from the cabbage and bok choy as possible so that the liquid does not release inside the dumpling during cooking. Add more salt if needed.

• Once the liquid begins to release, place contents in a fine-mesh colander and squeeze all remaining liquid out.

• Meanwhile, place finely chopped mushrooms and onions into a hot pan. While cooking, add half of your garlic, lemongrass and ginger. Save the other half of your garlic for later in the recipe. Cook until browned.

• Once your cabbage and bok choy are drained, and your mushroom combo is cooled, combine both into a large bowl. Add the other halves of the uncooked garlic, lemongrass and ginger. Add carrot, tofu, green onion, cooked rice, togarashi, and tamari. Mix all ingredients together until well-combined.

• Place a wonton wrapper in the palm of your hand, and put a dollop (about 2 tsp) of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dampen one half of the edge of a wonton wrapper with water. Fold wrapper into a half-moon shape by pinching the top and bottom together, then pleat sides to close. These don’t need to be perfect; as long as they stay closed, you’re in safe waters. If you need help in this area – YouTube is a great resource!

• You can use a traditional wooden dumpling steamer, or alternatively place cabbage leaves on a standard metal steaming basket. Steam dumplings for 8-10 minutes, or until the dumpling wrapper is transparent and soft. If you prefer, you can also steam and then pan fry them for a crunchier texture. Serve hot alongside dipping sauce!

Dipping Sauce:

• Mix tamari, rice vinegar, warm water, maple syrup, green onion, and sesame seeds together