I have my own fond memories of the chicken dumplings in spicy peanut broth I used to eat at Ho Chow’s when I was in high school. The sauce was so spicy that if you breathed wrong, you’d be coughing for the rest of dinner. Somehow, it was worth it, and I have longed for them ever since.
On a recent trip to Oregon, I had dinner at a great Asian fusion restaurant that skillfully combined Japanese, Chinese, Singaporean, and Thai flavors in each dish. To start, we enjoyed these delicate tofu stuffed dumplings in a light miso broth. The wontons were tender and perfect, but the broth was a little too mild for my taste. In my head, I paired them with that hot and spicy peanut broth, and couldn’t wait to create my own vegan version.
1 package extra firm tofu
1/2 cup minced carrot,
1 cup minced shiitake mushrooms (you can use cremini if necessary; I also like to add a few maitakes)
1/2 cup minced cabbage
1 tablespoon ginger, finely grated
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame chili oil
1 package wonton or pot sticker wrappers (check to make sure there is no egg)
In a large sauté pan, stir fry the carrots, mushrooms, cabbage, ginger, and garlic until tender, about 7 minutes. In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, tofu, soy, and sesame oil. Combine with a fork (or use your hands) to break up the tofu and incorporate the other ingredients. Taste the filling, and add more soy sauce if necessary.
Place 1 heaping tablespoon filling in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Wet the edges with water and fold the edges to seal the dumpling.
Spicy Peanut Broth
1 cup vegetable stock
1/4 cup peanut butter
3 tbsp chili paste
1 1/2 tbsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame chili oil
2 sliced green onions
In a small saucepan, combine the vegetable stock, peanut butter, chili paste, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Bring mixture to a simmer, and cook for 3-5 minutes, allowing all of the flavors to combine. Add more chili paste for heat. If the broth gets too thick, add more vegetable stock until it attains a smooth, thin consistency. Ladle the broth over the dumplings, drizzle with sesame chili oil, and finish with green onion. Serve immediately - as if you could wait!