We have a slight obsession with Trader Joe’s vegetable gyoza. Every time we have the opportunity to go to Trader Joe’s we stock-up on bags of these vegetable dumplings. Because they are so easy to make and are so tasty to eat, they’ve become a staple weeknight dinner entrée at our house.
Lately I’ve been thinking that if we found a good recipe for homemade dumplings maybe we wouldn’t be as dependent on Trader Joe’s for our vegetable dumpling fix. So when I came across a recipe for baked vegetable dumplings in one of our cookbooks (The Healthy Kitchen by Andrew Weil and Rosie Daley), I decided to give it a shot.
The resulting dumplings were not exactly like our beloved Trader Joes’ favorites, but they were good nonetheless. They had a crispy outer shell that gave way to a soft interior rich with sesame and curry flavors. The recipe yielded enough dumplings for us to enjoy for dinner and for me to enjoy the next day for lunch.
While I was pleased with my first attempt at making homemade dumplings, I have to say that nothing compares to the ease of our frozen pre-prepared Trader Joe’s treats. Making these was a quite a chore. There was the chopping and cooking of the filling and then the preparation and stuffing of the wonton shell. I also decided I needed to make a fancy pleat on the edge of each of the shell, so that took a while to figure out how to do. The actual baking time was quite brief, but by then our stomachs were really growling for dinner, so I decided not to make the recipe’s dipping sauce and went with a store-bought option.
So the big question is, will I attempt to make these dumplings again, or any other dumpling recipe for that matter? I just may have another attempt in me. I think the key might be spending the time to make a huge batch and having leftovers that can be frozen and made just as easily as our old Trader Joe’s standbys. I’ll keep you updated on any future attempts. In the mean time, here is today’s dumpling recipe…
Baked Vegetable Dumplings
Adapted from The Healthy Kitchen
- 1-2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 large carrots, grated
- 1/3 head of Chinese/Napa cabbage, finely shredded
- 2 large stalks celery, finely chopped
- ¼ cup green onions, finely chopped
- ½ tablespoon of ginger, finely grated
- ½ tablespoon of curry powder
- 1 tablespoon mirin (sweet rice wine)*
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 package of wonton wrappers (20-30 wrappers)**
- sesame oil (for brushing on wonton shells)
Begin by making the filling for the dumplings. Heat 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil and the garlic in a large skillet over medium heat. After a few minutes add the carrot, cabbage, and celery and sauté for about 5 minutes. The vegetables should be slightly limp. Add the green onions, ginger, curry powder, mirin and soy sauce. Mix spices and vegetables and cook for an additional minute. Remove from heat.
Preheat oven to 375°. To prepare the wonton shells, layout several shells on a cutting board and brush edges with a small amount of sesame oil. Drop a small spoonful of filling into the center of the wonton shell. To close, fold the shell in half and press the two sides together at the edges. To make sure each dumpling is sealed, you can use a fork to press down the edges or make a fancy pleated edge (I would explain how if I could, but it was kind of trial and error and I’m not sure I have completely mastered it yet). Continue filling and sealing the wontons until all of the vegetable mixture has been used or you run out of shells.
Put the filled dumplings onto a baking sheet and brush each side of the dumplings with a little sesame oil. Bake dumplings for 6 minutes at 375° and remove from the oven to flip. Flip over each dumpling and bake for another 6 minutes. Dumplings should be golden brown on both sides.
Serve with dipping sauce of your choice.
Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:
|Recipe Report Card||Notes About Recipe Ratings|
Three Chefs (Average Tastiness)
|These dumplings were good but did not quite reach the level of our favorite Trader Joe’s dumplings.|
Two Easy Chairs (A Long March…)
|As I mentioned above, with all of the chopping, cooking, stuffing, sealing and baking steps, these dumplings took a while to pull together.|
Four Apples (Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise)
|These dumplings were filled with vegetables and baked instead of fried. However, the wonton wrappers were made with refined flour and I used a fair amount of sesame oil.|
Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)
|I couldn’t find any organic or local wonton wrappers and most of the vegetables were organic, but not local.|