I’ve been absolutely CRAVING dumplings/shu mai/wontons for weeks now and I finally worked up the courage to tackle making them myself. The verdict: not as complicated as you’d think — especially if you purchase pre-made wonton wrappers rather than attempting to craft your own. These perfectly sized little sheets are also great for ravioli attempts and much more, and I definitely plan on keeping them on hand in my fridge moving forward.
The most difficult part of these little guys is getting the wrapper to effectively stick together into a little pocket, preventing any of the oil or water that you’ll be using from getting inside — and also of course, lending to the aesthetic of the final little nuggets. I made my version with shitake mushrooms, though I had originally planned on using shrimp, so as to perfect the technique before diving into anything too protein-heavy that I would risk wasting. You can tackle plenty of variations on these though and all are sure to be delicious!
Steamed Mushroom Dumplings (Loosely adapted from Martha Stewart — mostly just for technique)
(Makes 10-12 Dumplings)
2 teaspoons olive oil (or sesame oil if you have it)
3 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger (approximately a 2-inch piece)
2-3 scallions, very finely sliced
1 carton shitake mushrooms
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, rinsed and diced
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
In a small skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium-high. Add ginger and scallions and cook, stirring, until scallions are slightly softened and mixture is fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrot, and celery and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time, place 1 heaping teaspoon veggie mixture in center. With a wet finger (keep a cup of water on hand), moisten edges of wrapper, and bring all 4 corners together, pinching at top to seal. (Cover filled dumplings with a kitchen towel as you work to prevent them from drying out.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat one teaspoon olive oil over medium high. Add dumplings, seam side up, and cook until golden brown on bottom, about 1 minute. Carefully add 1/2 cup of water to skillet (be extra careful, the heated oil will cause the water to sizzle and flare up), cover, and cook until water is almost evaporated and dumplings are tender, about 3 minutes. Uncover and cook until water evaporates, another minute or so. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce of your choosing.
There are probably 100 iterations of dumpling dipping sauces, but after getting myself all worn out making my pretty little dumplings, I lost interest in crafting something fancy. So this dipping sauce consists of 2 tablespoons of teriyaki sauce to 1 1/5 tablespoons of soy sauce, with a few dashes of red pepper flakes. Worked for me!