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Fried Vegetarian Dumplings
Yield: 10 Servings

4 c Chinese napa cabbage; finely minced
1 ts salt
2 tb soy sauce
1 tb rice wine, plus up to 1 tb additional, if needed
1 ts sesame oil
1/2 ts freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 ts cornstarch
8 dried Chinese black mushrooms, soaked in hot water 20 mins, stems discarded
1 tb safflower or corn oil
1 1/2 c minced leeks
1 tb minced garlic
2 tb minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 c finely shredded carrot

30 dumpling skins
cornstarch for dusting
1 c safflower or corn oil

Place the cabbage in a mixing bowl, add the salt, toss lightly and
let sit for 1 hour. Take a handful of the cabbage and squeeze out
as much water as possible. Place the squeezed cabbage in another
bowl. Continue squeezing the remaining cabbage, discarding the

Combine the soy sauce, rice wine, sesame oil, pepper and cornstarch.
Set aside.

Cut the black mushroom caps into fine shreds. Heat a wok or skillet,
add the tablespoon of oil and the black mushroom shreds, minced
garlic, garlic chives and ginger. Stir fry until fragrant, about
10 to 15 seconds. Add the carrots, tossing over high heat, and
cook for 1 1/2 minutes, adding up to a tablespoon of rice wine if
the mixture is dry. Add the cabbage and stir-fry for another minute,
tossing over high heat, then add the soy sauce mixture and toss
until thickened. Transfer to a service platter or a tray to cool.

Place a heaping tablespoon of the cooled filling in the center of
a dumpling skin and fold over the skin to make a half circle.
Spread a little water along the edge of the skin. Use the the
thumb and index finger of one hand to form small pleats along the
outside edge of the upper skin. The bottom skin should bend and
conform to the shape of the upper skin. Press to seal and place
the finished dumpling on a baking sheet that has been lightly dusted
with cornstarch. Assemble the remaining skins and filling in the
same manner.

Heat a wok or heavy skillet and add an inch or more of oil. Heat
the oil to 350F and add 6 or 7 of the dumplings. Fry over medium
heat, turning constantly, to a deep golden brown, about 2 to 3
minutes. Use a long-handled strainer to remove the dumplings and
let them drain in a colander then arrange on a paper towel. Let
cool briefly and serve with a dipping sauce.

To reheat the dumplings, arrange on a cooling rack and heat in a
375F oven until piping hot.

Makes 30 dumplings.


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