Making your own dumpling wrappers is easy and uses only flour and water. For a finer dough, buy dumpling flour, available from Asian supermarkets. Alternatively, you can use store-bought dumpling wrappers.
Water Chestnut Gyoza
Makes about 36 dumplings
For the dumpling dough
300g plain flour or dumpling flour
For the filling
150g Chinese cabbage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying the gyoza
2 large shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
5cm piece fresh root ginger, finely grated
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
8 tinned water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the dipping sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp white miso paste
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame oil
To make the dough, tip the flour onto a clean work surface, make a well in the centre and pour in 180ml cold water. Quickly bring together with your fingers to make a stiff but pliable dough. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Cover the dough on the work surface with a bowl and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
To make the filling, place the chopped Chinese cabbage leaves in a colander, sprinkle with a little salt and toss together well. Set aside for 10 minutes, then rinse and dry well.
Heat the oils for the filling in a frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add the chopped shallots, garlic and ginger and cook for 5 minutes or until softened. Add the cinnamon and cook for 30 seconds, then add the chopped cabbage. Raise the heat, add the rice wine and stir fry for a minute more until softened. Remove from the heat and stir in the water chestnuts. Transfer the filling mix to a bowl, season and leave to cool.
To make the dipping sauce, whisk all the ingredients together in a small bowl.
To make the dumplings, divide the dough into four pieces and roll out each piece into a 18cm cylinder of around 2-2.5cm diameter. Cut each of the cylinders into nine 2cm rounds.
Place each round of dough on a floured board and flatten with the palm of your hand. With a rolling pin, roll each piece into a 7cm disc, rolling into the centre and turning all the time. This way the edges of the circles will be thinner than the centre.
Lay the dumpling wrappers on a tray, dusting lightly in between each one if stacking them up.
Fill a small bowl with cold water. Taking one dumpling wrapper at a time in the cup of your hand, place a heaped teaspoon of the cooled filling mixture into the middle.
Dip a finger into the bowl of water and brush round the inside edge of the wrapper, then carefully fold both sides up over the filling, pinching from one end to the other to seal along the top. Repeat with the remaining wrappers and filling.
To cook the dumplings, heat a large frying pan (that has a lid) over a medium-hot heat and add a tablespoon of the vegetable oil. In batches, add the dumplings to the pan, base side down, and cook for 2-3 minutes or until golden on the bottom. Then raise the heat, pour in a small cup of water and cover with the lid. Cook for 2 minutes more, until the water has evaporated and the dumplings are tender and heated through.
Keep the cooked dumplings warm while you repeat with the remaining dumplings, adding more oil if needed.
Serve the dumplings with the dipping sauce.
Extracted from How to be Vegan and Keep Your Friends by Annie Nichols (Quadrille, approx €15). Photography © Kim Lightbody.