Chinese-style dumplings are, for me, about as close to vegan comfort food as it comes. These moreish dumplings will be as popular with your non-veg friends as they are with vegetarians.

If you don’t feel like making seitan, or can’t find it in the shops, you could substitute it with extra-hard tofu; however, I haven’t tried this, so can’t guarantee the results. With the seitan, they make devilishly meaty little morsels.

Ingredients

  • 5 shallots roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 2 small, hot red chillies roughly chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coriander leaves and stems roughly chopped
  • 2 Tbsp ginger minced
  • 200 g button mushrooms
  • 330 g seitan very roughly chopped
  • 6 Chinese broccoli stems only, finely diced
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil plus extra for frying
  • soy sauce (optional)
  • 2 packets dumpling wrappers you will have extra remaining

Instructions

  1. 1 Add shallots, garlic, chillies, coriander, ginger and mushrooms to a food processor and blitz until no large pieces remain. Add the seitan and blitz again until you get a mixture resembling a fine mince.
  2. 2 Heat sesame oil in a frying pan on medium–high and add the seitan mixture. Cook for five minutes and taste; add 1–2 tablespoons of soy sauce, if needed. This really depends on the saltiness of the seitan used. You want the mixture to be good enough to eat on its own, before using it to fill the dumplings.
  3. 3 Add the Chinese broccoli, fry for a further 2 minutes, or until the broccoli is tender. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool.
  4. 4 Have a small ramekin of water handy when you make the dumplings, so you can seal them. Place the wrapper in the palm of your hand and spoon in one teaspoon of the filling. Wet the edge of one half of the wrapper and seal well (you can find some great tutorials online for folding dumplings). Continue until you have used up either all of your wrappers or all of your mixture. Keep any leftovers in the freezer for next time.
  5. 5 To cook the dumplings, heat a small amount of sesame oil in a large frying pan and also prepare a steamer. If you don't have a steamer, you can do it all in the one pan. Fry one side of the dumplings for five minutes, until golden, then transfer to a steamer and steam for 10 minutes, or until the wrapper has become transparent. If you don't have a steamer, after they have finished frying, pour water over the dumplings until they are just about covered. Put a lid on the pan and simmer for seven minutes. Remove the lid and cook off any remaining water.
  6. 6 We served this with kecap manis in a small dipping bowl, but you can serve them with your favourite dipping sauce.