These savory tofu potstickers are filled with ginger and garlic seasoned sauteed crumbled tofu, and steamed to tender perfection.
Back when I worked at a law firm, there was a Japanese take out place around the corner from my office. I frequently popped in to pick up lunch and often (to my dismay) dinner as well. On one of my first visits I had an experience that I'm sure many vegetarians can relate to. I ordered some vegetable dumplings. They looked great, all green and vegetabley looking. I brought them back to the office, took a bite, and was immediately convinced that there was meat something in them. I say "something" because I have no clue what I thought it was...maybe chicken broth, fish sauce, I don't know, and I'm pretty clueless as to meat identification at this point, with it being over twenty years since I've eaten anything containing meat on purpose.
I had a co-worker taste-test for me and got a typical response for this type of situation. She couldn't tell. I gave her the rest of the dumplings to finish and just refrained from ordering them again, at that or any other establishment. Until recently that is. What happened recently is that I went out to lunch one day and found tofu potstickers on a menu in which they were specifically labeled as vegetarian. To be safe, I inquired as to the ingredients. Tofu, soy sauce, scallions, ginger, garlic. Yup, all veggie. I didn't expect them to be as savory as those dumplings that I thought had chicken (or whatever) in them, years ago, but they were! I was so excited. I kinda wanted to kick myself for so hastily ditching that batch of dumplings back at my old office. (When you're eating breakfast, lunch and dinner at work, steamed dumplings are a huge silver lining in your day.)
My excitement went into such overdrive that I just had to go home and make my own version, using the very simple ingredient list I just gave you above. I'll admit, my tofu potstickers maybe don't look super authentic, as I was too excited to be bothered with creating fancy little scalloped tops (which they usually have if you order them at a Japanese restaurant). They taste awesome though. You might think that steamed tofu potstickers would be less satisfying than fried, but you're wrong! I could totally have pan-fried these, but steaming makes them awesome. The wrappers bubble up ever so slightly, and as the name implies, they stick together! Sticky food = good food.
They don't actually stick to a pot, because they don't cook in a pot. I used a bamboo steamer for these. It's a great tool that always comes in handy. If you've got some other type of suitable steaming apparatus, feel free to give it a shot, just make sure you've got a way to space your dumplings out, so you end up with a plurality of pot stickers and not just one big pot sticker heap.
Steamed Tofu Potstickers
- ½ tbsp. vegetable oil
- 1 garlic clove minced
- ½ tsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1 tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ lb. extra firm tofu drained and pressed for at least 15 minutes
- 1 scallion chopped
- 15-20 vegan wonton wrappers
Heat vegetable oil in medium skillet over medium-high heat.
Add garlic and ginger. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Crumble tofu into skillet and sauté another 5 minutes.
Add scallion and remove from heat.
Place a wonton wrapper on a work surface at a 45 degree angle (so one of the corners points at you).
Place about 1 teaspoon of tofu mixture into the center of wrapper.
Moisten upper surface of the wrapper about the edges.
Fold bottom corner upwards and side corners inward to meet bottom corner.
Fold top corner downward. Press edges together to seal.
Transfer to a bamboo steamer and repeat with remaining wrappers until all of the filling is used.
Steam for about 5 minutes, or until outer surface becomes shiny and a few bubbles form.
Serve with soy sauce, sweet chili sauce, or peanut sauce.
Check the label on your wonton wrappers to keep these vegan. I usually have luck finding vegan wrappers at Asian markets.