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Broccoli Shiitake Shumai

Broccoli Shiitake Shumai
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It’s always nice when everyone at the table can enjoy the same meal and no one feels left out. My beautiful friend Ellen Kanner has been making sure that vegans have delicious and exciting food on her table with her wonderful blog Soulful Vegan, her newsletter Broccoli Rising, and in her award winning books. Her Broccoli Shiitake Shumai are her latest recipe and she was generous enough to share them with us.

I’ve known Ellen and her husband Benjamin for a long time. Back then, we had just opened our first restaurant in South Miami and Ellen was a food writer for the Miami Herald. Have you ever met someone and there’s just an instant connection? Of course we bonded over our love of food. But it was more than that. Ellen’s warm, self-effacing, and so freaking funny. And in a city with a lot of flash but not much substance, Ellen is the real deal. She’s incredibly knowledgeable, totally plugged into the local food scene, and an amazing writer. Although our work paths have crossed paths many times in the past, this is our first recipe “collab”.

It all started one night when she came in for dinner with Benjamin. Since this blogging thing is kind of new for me, I hit Ellen with as many questions as I could recall. With her usual kindness, she answered thoughtfully and thoroughly, not minding my obvious inquisition. And then it hits us, we should work on a blog post together. I decide to create a broccoli recipe as a nod to her newsletter. Ellen keeps the ingredient theme running but decides to take the plunge and dive into shumai, the classic Chinese dumpling. Although she claims they are outside of her comfort zone, she manages just fine. So for those of you who’ve never made dumplings before…this one’s for you. A snack, a finger food, or an appetizer, Ellen Kanner’s Broccoli Shiitake Shumai are here to satisfy your discerning veggie taste buds.

 

Vegans get a bad rap. It’s true. Mostly I think it’s because people conflate it in their minds with a lifestyle that seems militant or judgmental. But if we just focus on the food aspect, there are a lot of positives that are undeniable. It’s good for our bodies, it’s earth friendly, and it’s economical. But if I can’t sway you with those arguments, maybe deliciousness will. Because who can say no to a dumpling? Plump, savory, and oh so delicious, they’re kind of the perfect food to turn into a vegan option.

For those of you looking for holiday meal inspiration, these Broccoli Shiitake Shumai are perfect for entertaining as you can make the recipe in stages. Plus it’s not such a heavy bite that it will interfere with dinner. The filling is earthy from dried shiitakes, it has some of my favorite flavor boosters like toasted sesame oil and ginger, and the dipping sauce is a piquant delight. These little morsels will be as tempting as anything else you offer, so let’s get into it.

ingredients broccoli shumai

First Make the Broccoli Shiitake Shumai Filling

The filling gets started by soaking the dried shiitakes in hot water so they reconstitute.

While they are softening, I prep the broccoli and tofu.

press tofu shumai

cut broccoli

The broccoli gets quickly blanched in boiling water to retain its bright color.

broccoli shiitake shumai blanching

pulse broccoli shiitake shumai

sesame broccoli shiitkae shumai

The filling is done and can be made several hours or even a day or two ahead of time and kept in the fridge until you’re ready to make the shumai.

Shaping the Broccoli Shiitake Shumai

Shumai are really the gateway project for dumplings. They are so easy to assemble and there’s no complicated sealing and crimping, they can give you the confidence to tackle more elaborate ones. Ellen uses vegan wrappers that have become widely available at grocery stores from a brand called Nasoya. They are square and she cuts out circles to shape her Broccoli Shiitake Shumai. I had circle shaped ones on hand already so that’s what I used.

Take out a small stack of wrappers from the pack and keep the rest covered so they don’t dry out. Start by putting a generous tablespoon of filling into the center of a wrapper, and then use one hand to cup and hold it upright (I put my fingers together to form an “O” ) while you use the other hand to gently push the filling down with a spoon or butter knife. Place the dumping on the kitchen counter and finish shaping the dumpling with your fingers so it’s nice and compact.

Place the dumpling on a baking sheet.

Continue until you have used up all of the filling, this will make about 20 shumai. Because there is a lot of water content in the filling, it is best to steam the shumai right away. Leaving them for too long will cause the wrappers to absorb the water and stick to the baking sheet. You can also wrap the baking sheet in plastic wrap first before placing the dumplings which will help keep the dumplings from sticking.

Steaming Broccoli Shiitake Shumai

spray broccoli shiitake shumai

steam broccoli shiitake shumai

While they are steaming, whip up the dipping sauce. One of the things I love about Ellen’s recipe is all the fun and clever garnishes she uses, from toasted sesame seeds to minced chilis and scallions. These add a fresh zing to every bite and make for a gorgeous platter.

I loved the dipping sauce so much that I was drizzling it right on top of the shumai!

Thanks again Ellen for sharing your Broccoli Shiitake Shumai, we loved it! Give it a try and let us know what you think, and tag us in your pics @funkyasiankitchen, we love hearing from you!

feature broccoli shumai

If you love dumplings as much as we do, check out some of our other popular recipes like these Korean Mandu, Pork Gyoza, and Pumpkin Wontons!

 

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Broccoli Shiitake Shumai

  • Author: Ellen Kanner
  • Yield: 20 1x

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 stalk broccoli
  • 3 dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 4 ounces firm tofu
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
  • sesame seeds or cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired
  • wonton wrappers (I used Nasoya vegan wrappers, available in some grocery stores)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon brown sugar or palm sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon warm water

Optional garnishes:

  • 1/2 teaspoon toasted white sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon Serrano or Thai chili, sliced thin
  • 1/2 teaspoon scallion, the green top, sliced thin

Instructions

  1. Drop dried shiitakes into a small bowl.  Pour boiling water over to cover.  Set aside to let the mushrooms plump and rehydrate — at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wrap tofu in kitchen towels and press to get rid of any extra water.  
  3. Coarsely chop the broccoli, from stalk to florets. You’ll be using all of it, wasting nothing.
  4. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the broccoli and blanch for half a minutes or so, until broccoli is bright green. Drain well.
  5. Pulse the broccoli, shiitakes and tofu, garlic and ginger in a food processor just until mixture becomes pebbly, not processed to a paste. 
  6. Add the soy, sesame oil and sea salt and pulse again until everything just comes together.  The shiitakes, ginger and soy provide a little umami, the broccoli and tofu add texture and nourishment. That’s it for the filling. Now comes the stuffing part!
  7. Cut wonton wrappers into 3-inch rounds.  You can do this using a biscuit cutter or even the rim of a drinking glass. Cover the wrappers with a slightly damp kitchen towel to keep them from drying out.
  8. Assemble the wrappers, the filling, and a spoon.
  9. Place a wrapper in your palm, cupping it between your forefinger and thumb.  Place about a teaspoon of the filling in the center. Gently cup the wrapper around the filling so it looks like a blossom.  Congratulations, you’ve made your first shumai. Keep it going.
  10. Set shumai in a steamer basket over a pot of simmering water. Steam shumai for 8 to 10 minutes or until they smell rich and the wrappers are opaque.
  11. Garnish broccoli shiitake shumai with a few sesame seeds or cilantro leaves, if desired. Serve with the dipping sauce.

Dipping Sauce:

  1. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, lime juice, sesame oil and water. 
  2. Stir  until the brown sugar or palm sugar dissolves.  

 



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