Steamed rice-paper dumplings (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian)

Tiny, tasty clouds of vegetable loveliness—that’s one way to describe these dumplings. The filling is already cooked and the wrappers are already softened, so the steaming just increases the seal and heats the little pillows. Could be a fun do-it-yourself dinner party for family members or guests, albeit a little messy (you create each dumpling by hand). The dumplings go well with sides of steamed broccoli and black and brown rice.

Ingredients
  • several heads of baby bok choy*
  • coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • onion, diced
  • fresh ginger, minced
  • mushrooms, sliced
  • super-firm tofu, seasoned tofu, or a tofu burger, diced
  • fresh basil, cilantro, and mint, thinly sliced
  • green onion, thinly sliced
  • toasted sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • toasted sesame oil
  • soy sauce substitute, tamari, or soy sauce
  • small rice paper wrappers*
  • hot-pepper sauce
  • Sriracha chili sauce

* You can substitute sliced spinach or another green for the baby bok choy leaves. If you can’t find small wrappers, use rice-paper spring roll wrappers: Follow the dumpling instructions to soften each wrapper, use a larger amount of filling, fold over the sides, and pull the end closest to you over the filling to seal (like a burrito) before steaming.

Method
  1. Trim the bottoms of the baby bok choy. Cut each head in half lengthwise and wash thoroughly. Cut crosswise into thin strips; separate the strips of green leaves from the strips of white stems. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger, stir, and cook, covered, until just softened. Mix in the mushrooms, bok choy stems, and tofu and cook until mushrooms release their juices and the vegetables are soft. Mix in the bok choy leaves, herbs, green onion, and seeds. Drizzle with sesame oil and soy sauce substitute, stir, and cook until bok choy leaves are wilted and the mixture is heated through. Turn off heat.
  3. Fill a bowl with hot water. Dip one wrapper at a time once quickly into the hot water. Spoon a small amount of filling onto the center of the wrapper and secure by twisting together all of the ends (moisten with extra hot water to create a good seal). Put the sealed dumplings on a plate or a baking sheet.
  4. Meanwhile, fill a pot with an inch of water, insert a steamer basket, and bring the water to a simmer. Add the dumplings to the steamer basket in one layer (you may have to steam in batches). Cover and steam for a few minutes.
  5. Serve warm with soy sauce substitute, toasted sesame oil, hot-pepper sauce, and Sriracha chili sauce or your favorite dipping sauce.
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