A family friend of mine was in Malaysia recently, and he posted this great street food on his Facebook. He was raving about how delicious these savory snacks were, and then lamenting about how difficult it was to find such fried meatless dumplings on the streets of Singapore and Malaysia. From his photos, I could almost imagine how yummy those dumplings were, and I simply had to make these myself.
I must confess that I do not have the original recipe here, so I did the best I could to imagine how the ingredients and condiments can come together to make this amazing snack. Most street vendors use floury dough, but I used the thinner and hence crispier wanton skins instead. It is convenient and cooks very fast in oil; just take great care not to over fry them to avoid the bitter taste of charred wanton skins.
You can be adventurous too and add other ingredients that you fancy. Fancy some chopped fresh mushrooms or even beans? You can add these, or whatever else that suits your taste buds. My favorite Asian Market is HMART where I typically find the freshest ingredients at great prices!
Be bold and experiment with different proportions of the ingredients as there are no set rules. Enjoy making these meatless dumplings!
Fried Meatless Dumplings with Tangy and Savory Dip
Makes about 30-35 dumplings.
- 3 cups bean sprouts
- 1 cup carrots, julienned in length of about 1 inch
- 1 cup chives, cut in length of about 1 inch
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 3.5 oz (100g) firm tofu, chopped in small cubes
- Round wanton skins
- 2 tbs vegetable cooking oil
- 1 tbs chicken stock concentrate (or mushroom sauce for vegetarian version)
- 1 tsb water
- 1 tsp light soy sauce
- 1-1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
- Enough cooking oil for deep frying
- Some water in a bowl for sealing the dumplings
- Some plain flour for dusting
For the dipping sauce (mix the following together)
- 2 large limes, juiced
- 1 tbs fish sauce
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 1-2 tsb white sugar (or honey as alternative)
- 2-4 chilies, chopped
- A small handful of fresh cilantro leaves.
- Heat up a frying pan with the cooking oil
- Light fry the firm tofu cubes and use a spatula to gently stir them until they are slightly browned on all sides.
- Add the chopped garlic into the pan and let them sizzle with the tofu
- Add the chopped chives into the pan and stir fry with the other ingredients. Turn off the fire or heat completely when the chives just softens.
- Add the bean sprouts, carrots and the remaining condiments into the pan, and mix everything thoroughly. The remaining heat from the pan should help to warm up the sprouts and carrots but not over cooked them. The idea is not to make the sprouts wilt. You may like to add more salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool. This will be the dumpling fillings.
- To wrap the dumpling, place a wanton skin on your palm, and carefully place a small portion of the dumpling filling of sprouts, tofu, chives and carrots in the center. Dab the tip of your finger with some water, and gently moisten the rim of the dumpling skin, and then carefully fold the dumpling into two by bringing together the opposing sides. The water acts as a natural glue and it will seal up nicely by pressing the edges of the dumpling.
- Place the wrapped dumplings on a large plate or tray dusted with flour.
- Heat up some cooking oil in a frying pot, and deep fry the dumpling in small batches under medium heat. Gently flip the dumplings during frying to ensure that both sides are evenly browned.
- Remove the dumplings from the oil when they turn light brown (after about 2-3 minutes). Serve with the recommended tangy and savory dip, or any dipping sauce of your choice.