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Vegetable dumplings (potstickers)

Servings: 36 dumplings
Here’s an easy vego dumpling combo that’s warming for winter with ginger and white pepper, sweet with cabbage and carrot, and umami rich, thanks to shiitake mushrooms and soy. You’ll find dumpling wrappers in the refrigerated section of most grocery stores and supermarkets these days - but if yours aren’t forthcoming, your local Asian grocer will have them in droves. Look for the white, round wrappers rather than squares to form the potsticker shape. If you’re not up to making dumplings but really want to give the lacy skirt a go, try this with potstickers or gyoza from the fridge or freezer aisle, checking the ingredients for the closest combo of the below. The sweet chilli sauce will use up a bit of the golden syrup in your pantry from Anzac Day and gives you a great dupe for the stuff that was all the rage in the 90s - while still making you feel like you’re ‘cooking’.


  • 5 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 tbsp neutral oil such as grapeseed, peanut or rice bran
  • 2 spring onions stems finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and coarsely grated
  • Thumb’s worth of ginger 20-30g finely grated
  • 100 g cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • Gyoza or dumpling wrappers

Lace slurry

  • cup of water
  • 1 ½ tsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp rice flour
  • Pinch of salt

Sweet chilli sauce

  • 4 tbsp sambal oelek Indonesian chilli paste
  • 2 tbsp golden syrup


  • Soak the shiitake for 10-15 minutes in just enough water to cover, then fish out of the liquid (reserve) and finely dice the softened mushrooms. Place a medium sized saucepan on the heat. Add in half of the neutral oil and all of the prepped vegetables, as well as the mushroom soaking liquid. Simmer away on medium for 5-8 minutes, stirring about. You want it all softened but not over-cooked. Once finished, turn off the heat and add in the sauces, sesame oil, pepper and sugar. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a bowl and pop into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.
  • Make the sweet chilli sauce by stirring the sambal and golden syrup together in a bowl until the colour is uniformly crimson. If the golden syrup is stubbornly goopy, splash in a tablespoon of boiling water to help it melt - or give it a zap in the microwave for 40 seconds or so.
  • Once your filling has cooled down, you can fold up your dumplings. Wet the edges of the dumpling wrapper, place it in your palm and add a heaped teaspoon of filling in the middle.
  • Pinch the far right edges together to start the pleat, then fold over itself and repeat until the dumpling is sealed, using the thumb and pointer finger of the opposite hand for working the dough, pushing out air pockets as you go.
  • To cook the dumplings, place a medium non-stick pan on a medium-high heat. Add the oil and wait for it to shimmer, then pop the dumplings in the pan, with their flat bottoms down. Arrange them in a circle that will sit inside your largest round plate. Test by holding the plate over the top.
  • Let them sizzle in the oil for a few minutes to get their crispy bottoms (if using frozen dumplings, make that 5 minutes). While they’re frying, whisk all the slurry ingredients in a small jug with a spout. Once the dumplings have golden bottoms, whisk your slurry together again (it has a tendency to separate), and carefully pour it all around the dumplings (it will spit!), ensuring it's all through the middle and edges. You need it everywhere so the lace skirt connects the lot.
  • Pop a lid on and cook on medium to low for 6-8 minutes. This will steam the dumplings and cook out the flouriness of the slurry.
  • Remove the lid and cook for another 5 or so minutes until the water has evaporated from the lace skirt and it's starting to brown and lift off the pan. You want the skirt on the verge of burning, this ensures a very crispy bottom.
  • Once ready, place your plate over the dumplings and gently and carefully invert onto the plate. Serve immediately with your sweet chilli sauce on the side.

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