Skip to main content

Napa Cabbage Dumplings with Vegan Fillings for Lunar New Year

Ring in the new year with the cutest and yummiest vegan dumplings that can bring you good luck! These napa cabbage-shaped and napa cabbage-filled dumplings are the most fantastic addition to your festive table.

Do you know the name for napa cabbage in Chinese - Bai Cai, sounds exactly like Hundred Fortune? That's why napa cabbage is a symbol of good luck and wealth in Chinese culture and a very popular image you can find in interior decoration sculptures, jade pendants, paintings, and of course, dumplings!

For the Lunar New Year celebration especially, we love to serve food that's not only delicious but also a good omen. So these napa cabbage dumplings are just the perfect dish! The green "leaf" part of the dough is made from spinach juice and the fillings are a mixture of umami vegetables and meaty tofu.

This is a recipe that's much easier to follow with a visual aid so watch the video below and reference the measurements for all the ingredients in the written recipe. Have fun and Happy Lunar New Year!


INGREDIENTS:

For the green dough -

150 gram all-purpose flour

75 gram spinach juice

1/4 teaspon salt

For the white dough -

150 gram all purpose flour

60 gram water

1/4 teaspoon salt

For the fillings -

12 oz extra firm tofu

4 cup chopped napa cabbage

1 carrot

4 shiitake mushroom

2 scallion

3 garlic clove

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tablespoon coconut amino

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

pinch of salt

1 tablespoon arrowroot powder or cornstarch

cooking oil


TO MAKE:

- Bring a pot of water to boil, quickly blanch a handful of spinach, about 90 grams;

- Blanch the spinach for about 10 seconds, until just soft, quickly run them under cold running water, transfer to a blender, add a splash of water to help it get going, and blend till completely smooth, measure 75 grams of the juice;

- In a mixing bowl, mix together the flour and salt for the green dough, stir while you pour in the spinach juice, shreds of dough will form;

- Start pinch the shreds of dough together and knead for 1 minute, cover, and let it rest for 15 minutes;

- Meanwhile, repeat the same process with the white dough, but instead of spinach juice, use water, also cover and let it rest for 15 minutes;

- When the 15 minutes is up, knead each dough separately again for 1 minute, the dough should be fairly smooth and soft by now, cover each dough again and let them rest for 1 hour;

- While the dough is resting, make the fillings;

- Chop all the vegetables, separate the scallion greens and whites;

- Heat a drizzle of cooking oil in a large nonstick pan, fry off the scallion whites and garlic first for about 1 minute till aromatic;

- Crumble the tofu into the pan, break down any big chunks with your spatula, add in the soy sauce to season and color the tofu, stir to coat evenly and let the water evaporate;

- Add in all the rest of the vegetables, vinegar, coconut amino, salt, and pepper, stir and cook till the vegetables are just soft, not mushy;

- Finally sprinkle in the scallion greens and the arrowroot powder, stir to combine and the filling now should be able to stick together well;

- Once the dough is done resting, knead again for 1 minute or so, shape into a ball, and poke a hole in the center with your thumb;

- Turn the dough around your thumb and work to expand the hole, then break the "donut" into a strip, roll into a cylinder shape, repeat the same process for both colors and make sure they are the same length;

- Take the green dough cylinder, roll it out into a rectangle, check again if it's the same length as the white dough cylinder, adjust if it's not;

- Sprinkle a little bit of water on top of the green rectangle and spread it evenly, the water will act like a "glue", place the white dough on top, and wrap the white part completely with the green dough;

- Roll the wrapped dough into a longer cylinder and use a sharp knife and slice it into 1/4 inch thick disks;

- Sprinkle some dry flour onto the disks so they don't stick together or to your board, roll each disk out with a rolling pin while turn it with your other hand, so the entire round is rolled out evenly;

- Put 1 to 2 teaspoon of filling on the center of the wrapper, depending on how big or small you rolled them, fold the wrapper in half, and lightly press the sides together;

- Place the edge of the dumpling on top of both of your index fingers, press down firmly on the edge only with your two thumbs while squeezing the "belly" of the dumplings towards the center;

- Repeat to finish all the wrappers and fillings;

- Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, gently drop each dumpling into the water one by one;

- Carefully push the dumplings and let all the them turn around in the water either clockwise or counterclockwise to make sure they're not stuck on the bottom;

- Once the water boils again and the dumplings are floating to the surface, they're ready, strain them out;

- Serve hot as is or with your preferred dip, enjoy!

Popular posts from this blog

Rice Paper Sushi Rolls with Teriyaki Tofu and Veggies

When crispy rice paper rolls and sushi rolls have a baby - then we have something that has the best of both worlds. These rice paper sushi rolls are a perfect combination of earth and ocean, crispy chewy rice paper brings the aroma of the earth, seaweed brings the taste of the ocean, then filled with umami teriyaki tofu, homemade vegan mayo, and fresh veggies. If you ever feel "bored" with your food or cooking, try combining a few things you love and creating something new! These rolls are the kind of magic where 1 plus 1 is greater than 2! They are naturally gluten-free, very well balanced in nutrition with loads protein, carbs, vitamins, and fiber... packed full of flavors and layers of texture. When it comes to rice paper, a very common complaint is "why is my rice paper roll soggy/not crispy/leaking". Well rice paper is a wonderfully versatile ingredient to work with and once you get the hang of it it's super easy to get that golden crispy crust every single

Vegan Napa Cabbage Rolls with Tofu Stuffings

These napa cabbage rolls are almost like vegan dumplings but without having to make any dough. The stuffings are hearty, savory, and "meaty", wrapped in sweet and juicy napa cabbage leaves that are pan-seared to give them a little golden color and charred flavor, and finally dressed in a shiny, umami, garlicky sauce. Cabbage rolls are widely loved in many parts of the world - Central, Northern, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe and much of Asia, as well as parts of North Africa. But of course, they're made differently from region to region. In China, in particular, cabbage rolls are usually made with napa cabbage, as opposed to cannonball cabbage, commonly known as green cabbage. They're then stuffed with minced pork and vegetables and finished by steaming or pan-fring. To make a vegan version, I used tofu, brown rice, shiitake mushrooms, carrot, and scallions but the combination is highly adaptable. This is a perfect chance to use up any scraps of veggies in your fri

Whole Roasted Turmeric Cauliflower with Whipped Tofu Feta, Crispy Chickpeas & Chimichurri

Turn cauliflower into your next holiday centerpiece dish! This whole roasted cauliflower is super easy to make yet packed with layers of different textures and flavors, high in plant protein, and gluten-free! Cauliflower is literally magic, they can be turned into just about anything and have! This is a dish that fully celebrates cauliflower and compliments it with many different elements and flavors. It's very low-fuss and easy to make and it's so festive-looking it can be a wow factor at any holiday gathering. The cauliflower is blanched first then roasted with a turmeric-based seasoning till golden and slightly charred, served with crispy chickpeas, which are cooked at the same time with the cauliflower, on a bed of creamy fluffy whipped tofu feta and finally drizzled with tahini and chimichurri sauce. You can also add roasted baby carrots, or potatoes, or green beans on the side of this dish! Let the festivities begin ^^ INGREDIENTS: 1 head cauliflower 1/4 cup olive oil 2 t

Chinese Cucumber Salad - Suo Yi Cucumber

The most fabulous way to cut and present cucumber, ever! This cucumber salad is made of ONE SINGLE cucumber, sliced into a spring shape and dressed in a sweet, sour, and umami sauce, and finally topped with some aromatic and spicy chili oil. Let's please call this dish by its proper name - Suo Yi cucumber, or Suo Yi Huang Gua 蓑衣黄瓜. Suo Yi, means the traditional Chinese raincoat which was made of overlapping layers of straw and sometimes leaves, think a Hawaiian grass skirt but for the whole body. And the "scales" of the cucumber created by a special slicing technique and stretching resemble the layers of straws in Suo Yi, hence the name. And this special way of slicing is not just for presentation's sake! Because of all the incredibly thin, translucent, and flexible slices that this method creates, the seemingly ordinary cucumber is transformed into a form of magic and art! The texture is crunchy yet tender, every single thin "scale" of the cucumber picks up

Miso Glazed Eggplants - Umami and Addicting

These miso eggplants are seared, glazed, and finally baked to perfection. They're literally bursting with umami, juicy, savory, tenderer than a baby's cheek, and just melt in your mouth. They're definitely a rice-killer - meaning so much rice is gonna be devoured up with this flavorful and addicting dish. But they're also lovely just on their own. Eggplant is one of my absolute favorite vegetables growing up, even during my fussy eating teenager years I never ever turned my back on eggplants. And rightfully so. They have such an amazing texture plus a unique aroma. Scoring the eggplant really helps release the yummy potential of them, the texture will get cooked tender and soft easier and the scored patterns will soak up the sauce and glaze all the way from top to the skin. And if being downright delicious is not enough, eggplant is also a very humble and easy ingredient to use, I can't even imagine how eggplants can ever go wrong. When I was little, sometimes my mo

Vegan Tofu Salmon Rice Bowl with Homemade Vegan Mayo

This mind-blowing tofu "salmon bowl" is my favorite lunch bowl ever and I myself make it at least once a week. Perfectly seasoned and slightly charred tofu "salmon", broken apart and mixed into a bowl of steamy rice, topped with sweet chili sauce and creamy homemade vegan kewpie mayo, and finally all wrapped in a piece of crispy seaweed - it's land and ocean, nutrition and flavor, all in one bite. You might know this bowl as an internet "trend" but for me and I believe many other Eastern Asian kids, it's a childhood memory. I grew up in a coastal city right on the beach and crispy seaweed is a snack our household always had in abundance, they're just so delicious, available, cheap, and actually healthy. And before anyone even had to teach me, I started using crispy seaweed to pick up steamed rice, I’d even skip the chopsticks and just use my fingers to pinch up the rice and whatever I mixed in it for that meal with the seaweed. I love the feeli

Vegan Okonomiyaki (Japanese Savory Pancake with Veggies)

My absolute favorite Japanese street food, EVER!  Okonomiyaki is like a big savory pancake that is thick, a bit chewy, fluffy and soft on the inside and golden crispy on the outside, topped off with a generous amount of umami and sweet sauce and mayo. Okonomiyaki is a Japanese savory pancake made of vegetables, sometimes meat and seafood, in a wheat flour batter. It's as adaptable as an omelet, if not more, as the word  okonomi  literally means "how you like" or "what you like".You can pretty much stuff it with whatever ingredients you prefer but for this vegan version, I used a variety of vegetables. This is also a great fridge clearing recipe to use up all the scraps of veggies you have on your hand. For the batter, the traditional okonomiyaki recipe calls for grated nagaimo to add fluffiness to the texture. Nagaimo, or mountain yam, is a type of root vegetable that's long and hairy, it's creamy and slimy when grated. However, it's not easy to find

Pan Fried Crispy Rice Paper Dumplings with Vegan Fillings

Happy year of the tiger! Dumplings are a must for me on the Chinese New Year, or Lunar New Year and these rice dumplings are the ultimate lazy and easy version. They're stuffed with a savory and "meaty" tofu veggie filling and then pan-fried till golden crispy. And to make the experience even more satisfying, serve them with some sizzling scallion chili oil! Rice papers are such a perfect "cheat" to make easy dumplings. No need to mix flour, knead the dough, then roll out the wrappers, simply dip rice papers in some warm water, cut them into shapes, and start wrapping. The texture is more like the "crystal dumplings" you would get at a dim sum restaurant - the skins would be translucent and chewy and if pan-fried, super crispy! For the fillings, I used a mixture of tofu and vegetables but this is highly adaptable! You can use up any scraps of veggies in your fridge and use any protein base you like - tofu, mashed lentils, or even crumbled tempeh. And i

Vegan BBQ Pulled Lion's Mane Mushroom Tacos

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say I've just cooked the best vegan pulled pork alternative! Yes, better than jackfruit! Actually a lot better. These BBQ pulled Lion's Mane mushroom tacos are just pockets of bursting flavors, smoky, savory, a little touch of spicy, and unbelievably "meaty". Jackfruit is a fine choice for vegan pulled "pork" but I've always found they have a natural tartness that goes against what you'd want in a taco or a burrito, also the texture of jackfruit is a little bit on the crumbly side and not stringy enough. On the other side, Lion's Mane mushroom was just a dream! They are so velvety tender, pull apart like a dream and so moist and stringy! Also they soak up sauces and flavors like a sponge! I also made the taco "meat" out of lentils and onions to give the tacos more structure and protein. Like how Lion's Mane is a perfect alternative for "pulled meat", lentils are perfect for the mince

Shanghai Style Vegan Wontons in Peanut Butter and Chili Oil Sauce

This, is the GOAT of all wontons - sorry to all the other wonton varieties out there I love them all but nothing tops these Shanghai street food style wontons! They are stuffed with umami tofu and colorful vegetables, cooked then chilled, and doused in a luscious peanut butter and chili oil sauce. I hold this recipe especially dear to my heart, as it embodies some of the best memories from my years in Shanghai. Throughout all the ups and downs, growth and growth pains, the street food in Shanghai was the one consistent thing that gave me so much comfort and joy. Scallion pancakes, scallion oil noodles, turnip cakes, soup dumplings, siu mai... but most of all, wontons! Hot steamy wonton soups in the winter and chilled peanut butter chili oil wontons in the spring and summer. The peanut butter and chili oil sauce is without a doubt the soul of this dish. I highly recommend making your own chili oil following this recipe ! It's sooo much more aromatic and flavorful than storebought an