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Flower Crystal Dumplings (Dim Sum) with Vegan Fillings

Steamed crystal dumplings but in an exquisite cherry blossom shape. These dumplings are little pieces of edible art that will for sure bring all the "wow" and smiles out of your loved ones! And I guarantee you yourself will enjoy the process of making them as well, watching beauty bloom between your own two hands.

Crystal dumplings are one of the many, many variations of dumplings in China. They are the most popular in the southern part of the country and you would most likely find them on dim sum menus. Har Gow aka shrimp dumpling, for example, is a type of crystal dumplings and frequently ordered at any dim sum meal. It was also one of my personal favorites before I went vegan.

To take my beloved crystal dumplings to an even more enchanting level, I made them into flower shapes, I think they really resemble the look of cherry blossoms! They really made me feel like I was bring a breeze of spring onto the table.

As for the fillings, I took inspiration from the traditional Chinese vegetarian fillings, which usually consist of scrambled eggs and vegetables. So I simply replaced scrambled eggs with tofu scrambles!


This recipe is HIGHLY visual, I do suggest you read through the instructions and watch the video for the most technical part, namely the pleating for the petals.


INGREDIENTS:

150 g wheat starch

100 g arrowroot powder, or corn starch

200 g boiling hot water

3 beetroot slices


For the filling-

1 carrot, shredded

1 zucchini, shredded

1 scallion, chopped, whites and greens separeted

3-4 dried wood ear mushroom, rehydrated and thinly sliced

6 oz silken tofu

6 oz extra firm tofu

1 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1/4 tsp Kala namak (black salt)

1 1/2 tablespoon vegan "oyster" sauce


For the dipping sauce -

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/2 tablespoon rice vinegar

1 teaspoon chili crisp

1 teaspoon minced garlic


TO MAKE:

- Heat the beetroot slices in the water until it reaches a rolling boil, then remove the beet;

- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the wheat starch and arrowroot powder, slowly pour in the boiling pink water while stirring constantly;

- While the mixture is still warm, quickly bring the dough together with your hands and start kneading, wear food prepping gloves if you like to prevent sticking;

- Repeat kneading and stretching the dough until it becomes smooth, soft, but not sticky, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rest while you prepare the fillings;

- Soak the dried wood ear mushrooms in some hot water for them to soften and rehydrate, for 10 minutes;

- Shred the carrot and zucchini, add a good pinch a salt and mix it in, set the mixture aside for the moisture in the vegetables to come out;

- Make the tofu scrambles, heat a small drizzle of oil in a nonstick pan, fry off the scallion whites first for about one minute till aromatic;

- Crumble the extra firm tofu into the pan, break the crumbles into smaller pieces with your spatula in the pan, cook for 2 - 3 minutes for the liquid from the tofu to evaporate a little;

- Then crumble in the silken tofu, stir to combine and continue to break them down with your spatula, but don't crush everything too smooth, leave some textures and small chunks;

- Add in the garlic powder, kala namak, and turmeric, stir to combine well, cook till most liquid is evaporated;

- By now the carrot and zucchini should've let out quite a bit of liquid, squeeze the liquid out as much as you can;

- Thinly slice the rehydrated wood ear mushrooms;

- Mix together the tofu scrambles, drained carrot and zucchini, wood ear mushrooms, scallion greens, and vegan oyster sauce;

- Tranfer the now rested dough onto your work surface, first roll it out into a long cylinder shape, then cut into small pieces, each one should weigh about 20 grams;

-  Take one of the pieces and flatten it between your hands, then roll it out into a round;

- Add fillings to the center, you can add as much or as little as you like;

- Slightly wet the edge of the round wrapper and imagine the edge into 5 equal sections, pinch each two adjacent sections together to form a 5-point star shape;

- Gently pinch and push one of the "star" ridge to create the ruffles, then connect the tip onto the middle point of the next edge, repeat until all find ridges are ruffled and connected;

- Finish making all the dumplings;

- Bring a pot of water to boil and transfer all the dumplings onto a lined steamer, steam for 8 minutes;

- Meanwhil you can make the dipping sauce but mixing all the sauce ingredients;

- Serve immediately, they are the best when warm! Enjoy!


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