Auspicious food is a must during the celebration of Chinese New Year. Food symbolic of something good, like tangyuan (which sounds like “tuanyuan” – to reunite) and jiaozi, or dumplings (which has a visual resemblance to gold ingots, symbolizing wealth). It is therefore a common tradition among Chinese families to make jiaozi for the new year. This is my take on the popular dish; Vegan Sunrise Dumplings – symbolizing a new start and an auspicious year. Happy Lunar New Year, everybody!
These dumplings were inspired by the sunrise, and get their bright colors from turmeric and red yeast. To match the turmeric powder, I decided to make a potato curry filling. If you would prefer to use gel food coloring, I would advice to decrease the amount of water added to the dough. Turmeric “drinks” quite a lot of water, so you will need to compensate with a higher ratio of water in the yellow and orange dough. In this video, I used beetroot powder instead of red yeast, which gave a lighter pink color. My advice, if using beets, is to really increase the amount (however, this will most likely affect the flavor of your dumpling wrappers).
Sunrise Dumplings (Vegan) 日出饺子
Serves: 2 people
- 200 ml all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 75 ml warm water
- 75 ml all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/4 tsp red yeast powder (or substitute with red food coloring)
- 2 tbsp warm water
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp red yeast powder (or substitute with other red food dye)
- 1 tbsp warm water
- 2 potatoes (preferably floury)
- 150 g extra firm tofu
- 1/4 large (1/2 small) napa cabbage
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp rice wine (like Shaoxing)
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2-1 tsp sugar
- Optional: Soy sauce
- Tamarind concentrate
- Hoisin sauce
- Start by wrapping the tofu in a kitchen towel, put it on a plate, and put a heavy weight on top. You can use a bowl with a flat bottom, and fill it up with water, or something like a cast-iron skillet. Set aside.
- Remove the stem from the napa cabbage, and chop it up. Sprinkle on a couple of pinches of salt, and mix around. Set this aside to draw out the water.
- Sift flour and coloring powders into a large bowl, and add warm water evenly on top, while continuing to stir with a pair of chopsticks. Use a dough scraper to help gather all the flour, and use your hands to combine the dough. Add more water if needed, but be careful not to add too much at once, as the dough will be resting too. Knead each piece of dough until it feels smooth and pliable. Cover and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
- Cut potatoes in half or in thirds, and boil in salted water. You can choose to peel them before or after boiling, but using a vegetable peeler removes a lot of the nutrients right under the peel.
- Peel fresh ginger, using a kitchen knife or a spoon. Mince it finely.
- Peel and press garlic, or mince it with a knife.
- Pour the salted napa cabbage on a kitchen towel, grab the four corners, and twist. Squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
- Drain, peel, and dice potatoes. Add them to the napa cabbage.
- Crumble up the pressed tofu, and add it to the rest of the filling.
- Mix in curry powder, garam masala, sugar, and salt.
- Heat up some neutral cooking oil in a pan, and sear the ginger and garlic. Allow to become fragrant and slightly brown.
- Add in the rest of the filling, rice wine, and taste for sugar and salt. If you’d like, you can add some soy sauce instead of more salt. Fry until most of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside to cool.
- Flour a work surface as well as a rolling pin. Knead the rested dough slightly, and roll into a log. Cut each color into 14 pieces. If you prefer smaller or larger dumplings, you can adjust accordingly. Cover and set aside, while we work with one or two dumplings at a time.
- Grab one of each color, and roll into balls. Use a flat glass, or a measuring cup, to flatten each ball into a disc. Using a flat object to press the dough, instead of your palm, makes for more even discs. Stack the three colors on top of each other, starting with the largest one (yellow). Press into a flat disc.
- Use one hand to navigate and twist the dumpling, while you roll with the other hand. Roll about halfway in, to the middle, before rolling back and twisting the disc. Continue with this motion, until it’s starting to resemble a dumpling wrapper. Flip it over, and roll out the middle slightly. Continue to roll out the edges until pretty thin. The middle should still be slightly thicker.
- Hold your dumpling wrapper yellow side up, and add a spoon of filling. Pinch the edges together, tucking in any filling that is sticking out. If your wrapper feels a little dry, you can run some water along the inside the edges. Use your thumb to press down diagonally along the edge, and “fold over” (see video). Lightly dust the dumpling with some flour before setting it aside on a tray, while you finish up the rest.
- Line a steaming basket with leftover napa cabbage leaves, or a steaming sheet. Turmeric has a tendency to “bleed”, so if you’re using a bamboo steamer, I suggest covering the bottom to prevent discoloring. In the video, I show you how you can make your own steaming sheets. Place the dumplings on top.
- Let the water come to a boil, before placing your steaming basket on top. Steam fresh ones for about 5-6 minutes, depending on the size, and frozen ones for about 8-10 minutes.
- Mix together tamarind concentrate and hoisin sauce.
- Eat up!
Freezing your dumplings: You can store uncooked dumplings in the freezer, but not in the fridge. The raw dough will get soggy from the liquids in the filling. To freeze, simply stick the entire sheet of dumplings into the freezer, and transfer to another container ones they are frozen solid. You can store them in the freezer, and just grab them when you feel like eating some jiaozi!
Note: The water to flour ratio varies depending on your climate, and the weather that day. Use the recipe as a guideline, but adjust the amount of water if needed. In a humid climate, you may need less water, and vice versa.
I hope you enjoy the video, and subscribe for more upcoming stuff! Please leave a like, and comment if you have any questions, suggestions, or just want to say “hi”! I would love to see it if you try these out for yourselves, so please tag using #umaminom on Instagram! So I can peek your creations!
Wish you all a Happy New Year. Let’s welcome Year of the Pig!
/Xixi, Umami Nom