An elegant vegetarian dumpling that uses carrots, bamboo shoots, mushrooms, and eggs to create a fresh, moist, and rich filling. It will make a lovely addition to your dim sum party.
After introducing pork and shrimp dumplings and lamb dumplings, I’ve gotten many requests for a vegetarian dumpling recipe. So today I want to share this carrot and egg dumpling with you.
There are many ways to create Chinese vegetarian dumplings. You can use many types of vegetables in the filling. To make the filling delicious, the general rule of thumb is to use ingredients with different textures. Also make sure you use some dried foods (e.g. mushrooms) to add umami, so you can create a full, rich flavor, even without meat.
Most vegetarian dumplings in China include wood ear mushrooms, dried shiitake mushrooms, cooked egg, bamboo shoots, fried tofu (or fried dough), and pickled vegetables. These ingredients add very different textures and flavors as compared with other vegetables. They are the essential ingredients for vegetable dumplings.
Unlike in my previous dumpling recipes, you’ll need to cook the filling before wrapping it in this recipe. Just like you would when making egg rolls.
One of the challenges to making vegetarian dumplings is that you don’t have the meat to “glue” the filling together. If you are using many vegetables in the filling, you might find it challenging to stuff everything into a tiny dumpling wrapper. That is why we rarely make water-boiled or pan-fried vegetarian dumplings. Instead, we make steamed dumplings that are much larger in size and use freshly made dough.
Of course, not everyone has time to make dumpling dough and wrappers from scratch. And neither do I! So I decided to develop a simple vegetarian potsticker that you can easily make with supermarket-bought dumpling wrappers.
The main ingredient in this recipe is carrot. After stir frying the carrot with garlic and ginger, it will taste sweet and aromatic. I used dried shiitake mushrooms to add umami, bamboo shoots to add a crunchy texture, and eggs for a different, meaty texture. The seasoning remains simple, with a spoonful of soy sauce and pinch of salt. This way you can just enjoy the simple freshness of the ingredients.
To make this recipe work, you will want to use a bit more oil than you would for your average stir-fry. My mom’s number-one rule of making dumplings is: always add enough fat to make the dumpling filling moist and juicy. She is picky about her dumplings. And she thinks that any dumpling with a dry texture is a failed dumpling. In the case of vegetable dumplings, we need to use plenty of sesame oil. It adds a rich, nutty flavor and keeps the filling juicy.
I used a food processor to make the dumpling filling in this recipe. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a mandoline to grate the carrot, and mince the shiitake mushroom with your knife.
The recipe makes 45 dumplings, which might sound like a lot. I suggest you make a full batch on the weekend, so there will be no need to rush. Freeze the extra dumplings after wrapping them. You can always cook them in the pan later – it’s very easy to whip up a plate of freshly made potstickers that are crispy on the outside and meaty (but contain no meat!) on the inside.
I hope you enjoy this dish!
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- 45 dumpling wrappers
- 2 teaspoons potato starch (or cornstarch)
- 1 pound (450 grams) carrots , coarsely chopped
- 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms , rehydrated
- 4 cloves garlic
- 2 slices ginger
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
- 3 large eggs , beaten
- 1 cup bamboo shoots , minced
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper powder
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
- 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons homemade chili oil (or Sriracha sauce) (Optional)
- Rinse shiitake mushrooms and transfer them to a bowl. Add hot water to cover. Rehydrate for 30 minutes, or until tender. Rinse with water again and gently rub by hand to remove dirt from the surface. Drain and set aside.
- Add carrots, shiitake mushrooms, garlic, and ginger into a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are minced, but not turned to mush.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat until warm (*see footnote 1). Add the minced carrot and shiitake mushrooms. Cook and still until the carrot is completely cooked through. Transfer to a large plate to cool.
- Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the same skillet. Add the beaten eggs. Stir and chop the eggs with a spatula, until the eggs are cooked through and turned to small bits. Transfer to a large plate to cool.
- When the eggs and carrot mixture have cooled, transfer them to a large bowl. Add bamboo shoot, white pepper powder, light soy sauce, and salt. Mix with a spatula, until everything is mixed well.
- Combine potato starch with 2 tablespoons water, mix well.
- Prepare a large tray. Spray a thin layer of oil onto it to prevent dumplings from sticking.
- Wrap dumplings one at a time. Brush the potato starch slurry onto the edge of the wrapper. Place 1 to 1.5 tablespoon filling onto the center of the wrapper. Pinch the edges together to seal the dumplings. Please see my video on how to wrap dumplings, or this video for many other different ways to wrap dumplings. Place dumplings on the tray.
- While wrapping dumplings, wet a few pieces of paper towel and cover the dumpling wrappers with it. Wet another few pieces of paper towel and cover the finished dumplings, to prevent them from drying out.
- If you’re not going to cook the dumplings immediately, seal the tray of dumplings with plastic wrap and place it in the freezer. When the dumplings are completely frozen, you can transfer them into a large ziplock bag to free up freezer space. Store dumplings in the freezer for up to 3 months.
- Heat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat until warm. Align pot stickers in the pan. When the dumplings start to sizzle, pour in 1/4 cup water. Cover immediately and turn to medium heat.
- Cook until the liquid is fully evaporated and the dumpling dough is cooked through, 3 to 5 minutes for fresh dumplings, 5 to 8 minutes for frozen dumplings. Uncover. Cook for another minute or so, until the bottom of the pot stickers turns golden brown. Transfer to a plate.
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a small bowl.
- Serve warm with the sauce.
- If you have a wok or cast iron skillet, do use it here. It will create better caramelization on the carrot and make it extra delicious.
Questions and Reviews
What a beautiful video and a lovely post!
Thanks for your kind words Jeff!
AWESOME video! And you know what? I realised I’ve been folding my dumplings the wrong way haha!! I’ve been folding them over and then pleating instead of pleating as I folded. That makes sense to me anyway 🙂
I’m pretty sure you can seal the dumpling whichever way you like. Actually you don’t event need to make the pleats. I found using supermarket wrappers make the whole folding process longer, since the dough is usually tough. It’ll be way easier to wrap with fresh homemade doughs. Glad to hear you like my video 🙂
I love watching your photo style evolve with your new home 🙂 These look fantastic Maggie!
Now this really mouth watering … how can one resist. beautiful pictures too.
Magnificent web site. A lot of helpful info here. I am sending it to several friends ans also sharing in delicious.
And naturally, thank you to your effort!
This recipe looks great, and I’m definitely going to try it.
When do you incorporate the bamboo shoot to the recipe?
Sorry I totally overlooked the comment! I just updated the recipe with the bamboo shoot in the steps.
Happy cooking and hope your dumplings turn out delicious! Have a great day 🙂
Great recipe but I didn’t see where you added the bamboo shoots, sorry if it’s right in front of my eyes and i’m missing it!
Hi Allyson, thanks for catching my mistake! I just updated the recipe with the bamboo shoot in the steps.
Happy cooking and hope your dumplings turn out great 🙂
I was searching for vegan gyoza recipe for my vegan friends and came across with your site.
This is so lovely!
Definitely this will enter into my list of regular dishes.
Thank you Maggie for sharing great Chinese dishes, I am really excited to find your site!
Hi Maggie. In steps 4 and 5 for preparing the filling, is that when we are supposed to use the sesame oil that you said your mom likes so she can have a moist and juicy filling?
Also, if I can’t get dried shiitake mushrooms can I substitute fresh or will the flavor really be compromised?
Hi Beth, yes, I used the sesame oil in step 4 and 5 for making the filling.
Re mushrooms, you can use fresh mushrooms as well. The taste will be milder than shiitake mushrooms but the dumplings should come out tasty still.
Hi Maggie and thank you so much for replying to my question. I have a follow-up question about the “1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms , rehydrated” from the ingredient list. Can you give me an idea as to what the mushroom yield is (i.e. how many cups) after the dried mushrooms are rehydrated so I know how much fresh mushrooms to use? I just don’t know if the 1 cup dried mushrooms, rehydrated end up doubling in size and yield 2 cups. I hope what I’m trying to ask makes sense.
Also, I’ve only seen canned bamboo shoots. When you call for bamboo shoots, are canned okay or do you use fresh?
I was wondering about how much of fresh mushrooms I would need? and can I steam these? thank you
I would use 2 cups fresh mushrooms since they shrink a lot and have a much milder taste. You can steam these dumplings as well.
Tried these this evening… only took me 3 hrs 30 mins, (for a 30% larger than your recipe batch and Gluten Free)
Fed a family of five, they all thought it was fabulous.
Your instructions and comments were all helpful. True to life. I feel like I’ve finally got a handle on how to do some decent Chinese dumplings.
Next time I will set up a typical “Chinese family production line” when making these. To save myself the slog.
I love this recipe. Already prepared those several times, also the first time I ever made dumplings. They can be easily frozen which I find very convenient, too. I also make the wrapping dough myself by your recipe postetd here. Kind of soothing spending the day in the kitchen making those.