Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Chicken Soup for Vegans: Tofu Dumplings in Vegetable Broth

It was a sunny and warm day, but I woke up with a terrible cold, I could not breathe nor smell or taste anything. I rarely get a cold like this, and it is quite funny to notice how some people come up to me and say that I have a cold because I am a vegetarian (??).

Of course suggestions follow.

Some non vegetarians would say that this is time for chicken soup, but for a vegetarian the idea of drinking the water where a carcass has been simmering is enough for making you feel even sicker.

A vegetable stock is good enough for me, but I needed something more, comfort food... and protein. So, since I had bought some Chinese dumpling wrappers, I decided to make some tofu dumplings to go with the soup. Before leaving home to go to the Ukulele Festival I cut one block of organic tofu into small pieces, put it in a bowl and added three tbsp of Japanese soy sauce and one of black toasted sesame seeds. I left the tofu to marinate for half a day. Upon my return I added 1 tbsp of sesame oil, half a grated carrot and an handful of parsley leaves (I didn't chop the parsley, once cooked the dumpling parcels becomes quite transparent and it is lovely to see the different colours of the whole leaves and carrots strips running through). At this stage you can also add some chinese mushrooms, but I didn't have any.

I filled the round dumpling pastries with a little tofu, making sure to push all the air out when closing them. I used a little water to seal the dumplings.

This dose makes about 50 dumpling, feeding 5-6 people, or even more if it is just a first course.

These dumpling can be steamed and eaten by themselves with a little tamari or chili sauce on the side, but I like them in soup. I just used some vegetable stock from Rapunzel, and when I had my simmering bowl under my nose I added plenty of freshly grated ginger. Not only I could finally taste something, it was really comforting, healing and the perfect dinner for a bad cold.

Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©

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