Vegetarian Dumplings

Vegetarian Dumplings

Esme’s been asking for dumplings for dinner for the past month. The child has never seen a dumpling so far as I know. I honestly don’t have a clue where she got the idea. Not that it’s a bad one. Dumplings, ravioli, gyoza – it’s all good to me. But it’s also all the sorts of things I feel like are best left to professionals. I was so wrong!

In the hopes of making a somewhat healthy version of a dumpling, I turned to my friend Yasmin Seneviratne. Back in the pre-digital era, Yasmin and I worked together on magazines. Now she’s the creator of the fabulous, funny, vegetarian Le Sauce food site. She’s the kind of cook and writer who makes you feel like you can take on previously feared recipes, you know? And she did me such a solid with these dumplings. Man, oh, man. Here’s her original post.

Esme and I made these together. Well, we started working together but then she decided we should each have a “dumpling restaurant” and started up her own factory on the counter. The dumplings devolved quickly from pretty triangles to lumpy rectangles (“My specialty!” Esme boasted) to wontons wrappers just crushed in her fist and tossed onto the pile. Who cares, they were easy and delicious. I cooked them all and froze half. Next time I’d freeze half the batch before cooking them.

Vegetarian Dumplings


  • 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup leek, washed well, thinly sliced then diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (this isn't in Yasmin's recipe)
  • 3 cups mixed and or wild mushrooms, cleaned and dice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 egg whit
  • handful of fresh cilantro, washed and chopped (I didn't have any handy so I used parsely)
  • 36 wanton wrappers, fresh or thawed frozen


Sautee the leeks in vegetable oil for a minute and then add garlic.

Let it all soften for a minute or two.

Add the mushrooms and salt and pepper. Stir over the heat for about five minutes until the mixture reduced and the mushrooms are cooked through.

Take off the heat and transfer into a bowl.

Add the soy sauce and sesame oil, stir and allow to cool to room temperature.

Meanwhile, set up your wanton work station.

Work on a large cutting board or counter top and have a large platter ready to put your finished dumplings on.

You'll probably have to layer them so have parchment paper or plastic wrap at the ready to put between layers so they won't stick.

Place your wanton wrappers on a damp tea towel or damp paper towel to keep them from drying out as you work. Have a small bowl of water nearby.

Once the mushroom mix has cooled, add the egg whites and herbs and mix well.

Work in batches of six.

Place your wrappers out on your work surface and spoon about 1 teaspoon of mixture in the centre of each wrapper.

Dip your finger in your water bowl and trace a line along the edge of the wrappers.

Lift one side of the wrapper over to meet the other side and press down firmly to seal the edges.

Do all six.

Place the dumplings on your platter.

Start again until all the wrappers are filled or you run out of filling.

Heat a bit of vegetable oil in a non-stick pan and sautee the dumplings until they are golden on both sides - about two or three minutes a side.

Place cooked dumplings on a paper towel for a moment before serving. Serve hot or at room temperature.

I served mine with steamed broccoli. To say these were a hit would be an understatement. We had them for dinner twice last week and I’m already thinking of making more this weekend. Thanks Yasmin!!

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  1. Karen
    December 10, 17:12 Reply

    Ooh, dumplings — be still my heart! I like that my food favourites are the same as your daughter’s! 🙂

  2. Ceri Marsh
    December 10, 17:24 Reply

    Great minds…. Honestly, they’re really easy. I’m going to double it next time to have more to freeze. You could absolutely serve them to “big people” guests. In fact, craving one with a glass of champagne right now!

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