These vegetarian mushroom gyoza are perfect party appetizers! Not only do they taste wonderful, they can conveniently be prepared in advance and reheated before serving. People are constantly asking me for this recipe, and I love them so much that they ultimately made their way into my cookbook.
I’m lucky to live in a suburb of Washington DC that offers an abundance of asian grocery stores, both small and large. It has given me the opportunity to experiment with a wide range of products I might not otherwise have the chance to pick up locally, though they’re all typically available at online retailers like Amazon. While they may be available online, they’re something great about wandering a massive aisle filled with sauces, and having strangers offer me unsolicited recommendations about which brands are best. I always take their advice and it has led to wonderful discoveries.
It was in these stores that I first got excited about gyoza and dumplings. Most of the shops have huge freezer sections, some with hundreds of different dumpling varieties. I’ve tried many of them.
Even though I eat meat, I especially like the vegetarian dumplings because the meat is typically not cooked in frozen dumplings. You have to be much more careful when preparing the meaty options; I usually check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to be on the safe side. Whereas with the vegetarian options, I can usually nuke them for a few minutes and quickly have a tasty snack.
I will still purchase the frozen dumplings, but I’ve since also learned to make them from scratch. These are not difficult, and I like having more control over the ingredients. When I bring them to parties, the platter is usually wiped clean in a matter of minutes. I like that.
- 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 cups chopped button mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- 1/2 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce, plus more for serving
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sambal oelek
- small dumpling wrappers (I used Nasoya Round Wraps)
- vegetable oil for frying
- Heat the olive oil and sea salt in a skillet over medium low heat. Add the mushrooms and allow them to sweat for several minutes to release all of the water. Once the water is mostly gone, turn up the heat to medium and add the garlic. Cook, stirring constantly, for another 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
- In a medium bowl, combine the mushroom mixture, scallions, tarami, sesame oil and sambal.
- Fill a small bowl with water. Pick up a dumpling wrapper and wet the top edge of it with some water. Place a teaspoon of the mushroom filling into the wrapper, fold it in half and press it to close (see notes on how to fold the wrapper decoratively). Place the dumpling on a baking sheet and repeat with the remaining filling.
- Heat about a tablespoon of vegetable oil in a skillet on medium heat. Taking care not to overcrowd the pan, add several dumplings (7-8 for an average sized skillet) flat side down. Cook for 30-60 seconds until the bottoms are nice and brown, gently swirling the pan around to prevent sticking. Immediately add 1/4 cup of water, cover the pan and turn the heat down to low. (Be careful as the oil might spatter; I recommend wearing an oven mitt when adding the water). Cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the wrapper is nicely steamed and most of the water is gone from the pan. Set the cooked dumplings aside and repeat until all the dumplings are cooked.
- Serve with tamari, soy sauce or dumpling sauce.
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