Cooking is a big part of Camp Be’chol Lashon. As part of understanding their own place in the Jewish people, the campers ‘travel’ daily and learn about Jewish communities and traditions from around the world. Cooking foods from around the world is not only delicious and fun, but the process encourages campers to think about their own patterns of eating and what makes a food Jewish.
Chinese dumplings are a perennial favorite at camp. While cooking and eating dumplings, campers learn about the historical Chinese Jewish community and about modern Chinese Jews in the United States and beyond. This is a fun and easy recipe to make with kids or even without them!
We hope that in making these dumplings you will be able to bring home a little taste of the joyful, multicultural Judaism our campers experience.
Chinese Vegetable Dumplings
This is a very flexible recipe. The vegetables included in the filling can be adapted to what is available and to taste. The recipe can easily be doubled.
For the Dumplings
- 3/4 cup shredded or finely diced carrot
- 1 cup finely diced tofu
- 1 cup finely diced cabbage, bok choy, or bean sprouts
- 2 tablespoons minced scallions
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh or ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 24 packaged dumpling or wonton wrappers (keep tightly wrapped until ready to use)
- Water (for sealing dumplings)
- 1-2 tablespoons vegetable oil for frying
For the dipping sauce:
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 4 teaspoons light soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- 1 scallion, sliced
- Combine carrots, tofu, cabbage, scallion, garlic, ginger, sugar, sesame oil, soy sauce, pepper, salt, and cornstarch in a large bowl and mix well. Filling can be made up to 2 hours in advance. Stir well just before using.
- Prepare a dumpling wrapping station with a small bowl of water, the wrappers, the filling, a spoon, and a large parchment-lined plate or tray to hold the finished dumplings.
- To wrap dumplings, place a little less than a tablespoon of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip one finger in the water and wet the edges of the wrapper. Fold over. Press edges together to seal well.
- To pan-fry the dumplings, heat 1 tablespoon oil on medium-high heat in a large pan. When the oil is shimmering, add the dumplings. Pan-fry until the dumplings are golden, about 2 minutes. Flip to the other side and repeat. Pour ¼ cup of water into the pan and cover the pan with the lid to steam the dumplings for a couple of minutes.
- Remove the lid. Most of the water should have evaporated, but if there’s a little water remaining in the pan, it’s okay. Continue pan-frying the dumplings until crispy and any remaining water is gone. When the dumplings are done, transfer onto layers of paper towel to blot off excess oil.
- For the Sauce: Combine sesame oil, soy sauce, vinegar, and scallion in a small bowl. Serve with dumplings immediately.