During the beginning of my time here in my MBA program, I met a tiny Vietnamese girl named Mimi who quickly became a good friend. She was placed on my team and I got to work on group projects with her for about 16 weeks. Not only is she super smart, witty, and funny, but she knows how to make these absolutely delicious Vietnamese dumplings: they are crispy on the outside, filled with fresh and colorful vegetables, and I think I could eat like twenty in one sitting (oops)! When our time as a team was coming to an end, we held a potluck and she brought these amazing Vietnamese dumplings to my house and pan fried them fresh for me and my teammates! Since then, I’ve wanted to learn how to make them, and I finally got her to come over so that she could teach me how to make them, and I am so excited to share them with you. They are definitely a bit of a labor of love, but all the steps are super easy and the trick is just to chop everything super small and seal the wrapper well.
This recipe makes a ton of filling, and we filled about 30 wrappers. We ate about 10 and froze the rest. I have some ideas for the extra filling (adding it to fried rice, or just cooking it up on the stove with some oil for a light snack, or even folding it into an omelette), so don’t worry about the extra filling- you can always repurpose it.
- 16 oz extra firm tofu, dried well with a paper towel
- 1 packet of dumpling wrappers
- 1 small carrot, peeled
- 5 mushrooms
- 2 cups chopped taro
- 3 cloves large garlic
- 2 stalks of green onion
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- lots of pepper
- Canola or vegetable oil for shallow frying
- dipping sauces (gyoza or soy sauce or a sweet chili sauce, all found at the asian section in the grocery store)
- The first thing you want to do is cut everything (mushrooms, taro, carrot, green onions, and garlic) into tiny pieces.
- Then, put everything in a bowl and place the block of tofu in the same bowl. Using a fork, crumble the tofu into the vegetables.
- Then add the eggs, salt, and pepper, and combine everything together.
- Now you're ready to put it all together.
- Get a small bowl of water, take one dumpling wrapper, and place about 2 teaspoons of the filling into the wrapper. Using finger, wet only half of the inner the circumference of the wrapper. Fold the other half of the wrapper and press to close. Place on a plate and stuff the rest.
- If you want to crimp the edges, follow the steps above, then pinch a bit of the edges and fold over. Repeat the motion until you reach the other side. It's not as hard as it looks!
- Now we shallow fry! In a shallow pan, add some oil till the oil coats the entire pan. Heat the oil to medium heat.
- Once warm, place the sealed dumplings into the oil (you don't want to over crowd the pan. We fried about 10 in a pan comfortably). Let fry for a few minutes, until golden brown. Flip over and let fry for another couple of minutes.
- Flip again, and cover the pan. Now you want to steam the dumplings so that the filling cooks. This will take about ten minutes. Lower heat to medium-low, and keep flipping dumplings in about 2-3 min intervals but keeping the pan covered.
- Transfer cooked dumplings to a paper towel lined plate and serve hot with dipping sauces!
Thank you Mimi for coming over, doing all the work, and letting me just photograph you and eat with you! <3