Dumplings, Gluten Free and Vegetarian

So long it had been since I’d had dumplings.  They were a favorite of mine in all their variety: steamed, fried, crab ragoons, and shrimp shumai…

First I was a vegetarian, so all seafood was out.  Then I became gluten free, so all delicious fried foods also almost completely disappeared.  But, I’m a kitchen scientist, and I love a challenge.

Admittedly, these were amazing, but they were A LOT of work.  The recipe sounded easy enough, and promised to be a half hour project, but when we made these it was already 7pm and we were both fried from being back at work after being off for two weeks during the holidays.  It took a little under an hour, but I think next time it’ll be closer to the 30 minute mark, since I now know these are not something to make when exhausted, but a treat for the weekend instead.

But, as stated in a previous post, the combination of white rice flour and tapioca flour is proving to be the one that gets us closest to the tastes and consistency that is usually lost in gluten free baking.

This dumpling wrapper is closest to the pork-fried dumplings you’d order from a Chinese take-out place.  They are majorly awesome and delicious.  The filling I found to go with these wrappers also proved to be spot on.

The dumpling wrappers were created from this recipe:

http://www.whatisglutenfree.net/gluten-free-diet-includes-chinese-dumplings/

The filling was modified from this recipe:

http://marymakesdinner.typepad.com/marymakesdinner/2012/10/tofu-rangoon-with-sweet-chili-coconut-dipping-sauce.html

Dumpling Wrapper Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 cup fine rice flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
  • 2 tablespoons light olive oil
  • 12-14 tablespoons cold water

Dumpling Wrapper Instructions:

  1. Whisk together tapioca starch, rice flour and xanthan gum in a food processor, on the dough setting.
  2. Add oil and 12 tablespoons of water. Mix well, adding a little bit of water at a time if necessary to form a firm, but not dry, dough.
  3. Cover bowl with plastic wrap while preparing dumpling filling. The dumpling dough can be left for several hours as long as you cover it with plastic wrap to avoid drying out, or used right away.
  4. When ready to make the dumpling wrappers, sprinkle a cutting board or pastry sheet with rice flour.
  5. Form dough into a long log. Use a knife for mark even lines along the log to form 20-24 even pieces, then cut into pieces.
  6. Flatten each piece into a small round on floured cutting board. Using a rolling pin, roll each round into a 2 1/2″- 3″ circle, flipping the dough over, and turning the circle as you roll it out.
  7. The dough is fragile, so roll it out carefully, and be sure to keep both sides floured so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin or cutting board.
  8. Cover rolled dumpling wrappers with plastic wrap until all the wrappers are made. If you need to leave the wrappers to rest for a while, cover with a very slightly damp paper towel and then a piece of plastic wrap.

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup almonds
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon gluten free soy sauce (I use Tamari brand, most grocers carry it, but if not, you can order it on Amazon.)
  • 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red pepper, minced (substitute a fresno pepper for extra heat)

Filling Instructions:

  1. Combine the almonds, peanut butter, lemon juice, gluten free soy sauce, sriracha, salt, and pepper in a food processor and blend until smooth.
  2. Add a little water at a time so that the mixture can blend, but try not to add it all if you can help it. 1/4 cup is perfect, but you can use up to 1/2 cup if needed.
  3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl.
  4. Stir in the scallions and peppers.

Dumpling Cooking Instructions:

  1. Put a spoonful of your favorite dumpling filling in the middle of the wrapper, being careful not to overstuff.
  2. WATCH THIS VIDEO (a few times) to try to get the folding technique down. The wrappers are delicate and rip easily.
  3. In a large pan, heat 1-tablespoon olive oil on medium.
  4. Place dumplings in pan and fry until bottom of dumplings are lightly browned.
  5. Carefully pour in 3/8 cup water and cover pan (we held the lid over the pan with the opening facing away from us then poured the water in and covered in one quick movement to avoid oil splattering from encountering the water).
  6. Cook on medium, covered, until water is evaporated, about 6-8 minutes. Watch carefully as oil may sputter.
  7. After water is evaporated, continue to cook for a few minutes until bottom of dumplings are golden brown and crunchy.
  8. Eat immediately, or let cool, and freeze.
  9. To freeze, line a plate with plastic wrap. Gently place cooked dumplings on plate. Cover dumplings with plastic wrap and place in freezer. After dumplings are frozen, store them in a container or Ziploc bag, and keep in the freezer.
  10. To reheat, simply steam.

Serve dumplings with Tamari gluten free soy sauce to dip in.  ENJOY, you deserve it if you did all the work to make these!

Gluten Free Almond Dumplings.  We also made Pho that night, it was only ok.  The dumplings were the real bell of the ball.
Gluten Free Almond Dumplings. We also made Pho that night, it was only ok. The dumplings were the real bell of the ball.

Let me tell you, we made 20 dumplings; we ate 20 dumplings between the 2 of us.  I felt like a major pig, but these were amazing.  They are the best dumplings I’ve ever had.  The feeling could be biased since they took forever to make and we were fast approaching lunatic hungry…but I’m pretty sure they were amazing besides these points.  They are most surely going to be made again, and soon!

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