These smoky tofu dumplings are pan-fried to a delicious crisp and served with spicy sweet chili dipping sauce that whips up in minutes.
It looks like this week’s theme is dishes inspired by accidents where people accidentally ate meat. This wasn’t intentional. Just kind of happened. Anyhow, on Monday it was my husband’s sad story, and today it’s mine.
I think I mentioned this one before, but one of the last times I had this type of accident was at a Thai restaurant where I wolfed down what I thought was a veggie dumpling, only to discover that it was in fact a pork dumpling. So sad.
So when I got it in my head that it was time to cook up some dumplings for this site and I started brainstorming for dumpling fillings, something mimicking pork dumplings was the first thing that came to mind. I decided it was a good way to transform the Thai restaurant incident into something positive, so I went all out and made some crispy Thai-inspired smoky tofu dumplings with sweet chili sauce.
The chili sauce, in case you were wondering, is a total cheat. Every recipe I’ve ever seen for sweet chili sauce involves whole peppers, but dumplings are enough of a project on their own, so I settled for a mix of sambal oelek, maple syrup and rice vinegar. It totally worked! Tastes just like all the other sweet chili dipping sauces I’ve ever had.
These dumplings totally made me feel better about accidentally eating pork. And guess what? I even went and did something super cool with them, and by super cool I mean something other than just dipping and eating them. Like, I included them in a whole other recipe. Dumpling double whammy. Stay tuned for that!
Smoky Tofu Dumplings with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
For the Smoky Tofu Dumplings
- 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 scallion, white and pale green parts, finely chopped
- 7 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 20 wonton wrappers*
For the Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce
- 1/4 cup sambal oelek
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- A few sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
To make the dumplings, coat the bottom of a large skillet with 1 1/2 teaspoons of oil and place over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the garlic, ginger, and scallion to the skillet. Sauté for about 1 minute, until very fragrant. Crumble in the tofu and continue to cook for about 5 minutes, until it dries up just a bit, flipping occasionally with a spatula. Add the soy sauce, liquid smoke, and carrot to the skillet and flip a few times to incorporate. Continue cooking about 2 minutes more, just to soften up the carrot a bit.
Fill a small bowl with water. Set a wonton wrapper on a work surface and spoon a heaping teaspoon of the tofu mixture into the center of the wrapper. Moisten the edges of the wrapper with water, fold it over the filling, and press to seal. Repeat until all of the wrappers and filling are used.
Wipe out the skillet that you used for the tofu, then generously coat the bottom with oil and place it over medium heat. Add a few dumplings, being careful not to crowd the skillet, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until crispy. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat until all of the dumplings are cooked, adding oil to the skillet as needed between batches.
Make the sweet chili dipping sauce by stirring all ingredients together in a small bowl. I like to garnish mine with the green parts of the scallions and a few sesame seeds.
Serve the dumplings with the sweet chili dipping sauce.
*Check the ingredients to ensure that your wonton wrappers are vegan. I usually buy them at Wegmans or an Asian market. You can also make your own without too much effort.