Vegetarian Gyoza (Japanese Dumplings)

A few years ago, Jesse and I were in Minneapolis for a vacation and we had dinner at an amazing Japanese restaurant downtown. To my surprise, they actually had vegetarian gyoza on the menu. For some reason, vegetarian gyoza is difficult to come by. I find most gyoza is sold with a pork filling. Anyway, the vegetarian gyoza was incredible! The vegetable filling was perfectly spiced with ginger and garlic and served with a delicious dipping sauce. A year later, we returned to Minneapolis for another vacation and headed straight back to the Japanese restaurant to share a plate or two of the vegetarian gyoza. To my dismay, they removed them from the menu! :( I was heart broken! We’d drive 7 hours for those gyoza! *haha*
Ever since then, I’ve been on a mission to find the perfect veggie gyoza. A few weeks back, I found a recipe in Chloe Coscarelli’s cookbook Chloe’s Kitchen for cashew and mushroom dumplings. I ran to the store and bought all of the ingredients and whipped up a few batches. I had a feeling they’d be what I’ve been looking for and to my delight, they were perfect! Actually, they might be even better than the ones I had in Minneapolis. The dumplings are filled with sautéed mushrooms, cashews, scallions, grated carrot spiced with fresh ginger, garlic and a touch of soy sauce. The cooking method was quite easy too. You pan fry the dumplings until the bottoms are golden brown and then steam them for 5 minutes. Since Jesse and I loved the gyoza so much, I thought I should share the recipe ASAP. Making the gyoza takes a little time, but you can make a huge batch and freeze them. They are well worth the effort! :)
Ingredients
  • 4 tablespoons of canola oil, divided
  • 5 ounces of mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 cup of cashews
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 2-3 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • dumpling wrappers (egg-free if vegan)
 
Dipping Sauce
  • 1/3 cup of low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup of rice wine vinegar
  • splash of sesame oil
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of grated ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
  • chopped scallions
  • dash of hot sauce such as sriracha
Note: if you cannot find proper round dumpling wrappers, you can use wonton wrappers and simply cut them into circles with a round cookie cutter.
Method
1. In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of canola oil over medium-high heat. Sauté mushrooms until soft and lightly browned. Stir in the cashews, scallions, carrots, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Allow mixture to cook for another 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a food processor and pulse until the cashew are finely ground and the mixture is somewhat smooth.
2. Place 2 teaspoons of mushroom/cashew mixture in the centre of each wrapper and moisten the edges of the wrapper with water. As you fold the wrapped in half to enclose the filling, squeeze out as much air as possible. Fold little pleats along the top, if you are inclined, before pinching to seal. To learn how to fold little pleats at the top of your dumplings, check out this tutorial by The Little Kitchen.
Note: if you want to freeze some or all of the dumplings, freeze them separately on a parchment lined baking sheet. Once frozen through, placed them in freezer-safe container or re-sealable bags. Allow gyoza to thaw before cooking.
3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons in oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is hot, arrange the dumplings in the skillet. Do not overcrowd them. Cook the dumplings for a few minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned (about 3 to 5 minutes).
4. Once browned, slowly fill the skillet with 1/2 inch of hot water. Be very careful to avoid spattering the oil. Cover the skillet immediately and let cook for 5 minutes, or until the water has evaporated. Remove from pan and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool slightly. Serve with dipping sauce.
Dipping Sauce: combine all ingredients and serve.
Yield: I used small dumpling wrappers and only had about 1 teaspoon per dumpling. Therefore, I made about 28 gyoza total.
Dumplings: Chloe Coscarelli + Dipping Sauce: All-Recipes.com

Comments

  1. says

    i don’t think i’ve ever had a gyoza! i never had japanese food growing up, and when i finally started eating sushi, etc. is when i was already vegan. these look super delicious and i’m so glad you found a gyoza you don’t have to drive seven hours to eat ;)

    • says

      I know what you mean! Everytime we go to a Japanese restaurant, I HOPE they have veggie gyoza for me to order. But no one seems to sell them without meat. Now I can make them at home and eat as many as I want! *hehe*

  2. Anonymous says

    The gyoza wrappers are round correct? I lived in Okinawa, Japan for a year and that was the first place that I had gyoza. Are you familiar with the steamed bun filled with a red bean paste? Loved them as well. Thanks for all the wonderful recipes and ideas.

    • says

      Yes! I’ve had the steamed buns with the red bean paste at a Japanese festival here in Canada. They were pretty good! And yep! Gyoza wrappers are round. However, wonton wrappers cut with a round cookie cutter works in a pinch too :)

    • says

      Thank you for the comment :) I’m so glad I discovered the perfect gyoza recipe, so I can make them whenever I’m craving them. They are so hard to find at restaurants!

  3. says

    Ooh I actually made something similar this weekend, but as wontons instead of dumplings…too bad I was behind on my blog reading, so I didn’t get to see your recipe first for tips! Love the addition of cashews in the filling, and your presentation looks so good!

    • thefigtree says

      I hope you give them a shot. I was a bit skeptical, because I thought they would be too time consuming! But putting them together was pretty quick and the results were addictive! :)

        • thefigtree says

          I think raw blanched almonds would work well. I’d soak them for an hour to two to soften them up a bit. And I think a combo of pumpkin seeds & sunflower seeds would be nice too.

          • thefigtree says

            Not a problem! :) Yes, please let me know how they work out. They are always a hit when I make them. Such great flavours!!!

          • brenda says

            The vegy gyozas turned out fantastic. I used 1/2 Cup raw almonds, 1/4 Cup raw sunflower seeds and 1/4 Cup raw pumpkin seeds – all soaked for a few hours. Great appetizer! Thanks.

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