The All-American meal is upon us: Thanksgiving. Apple pie, turkey and cranberry sauce; mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing. I have always been intrigued by this holiday meal because even though I was born and raised in America, none of these things were really familiar to my palate except for once a year, on Thanksgiving. (A phenomenon also discussed by Andrew of the blog Beyond Chinatown, who compiled some great interviews on the Chinese American Thanksgiving here.) But as I’ve learned through the years, … Read More
There are a lot of initiatives around hunger lately, with World Peace Day just behind us and a long winter ahead, but when one happens to involve dumplings, I cannot sit idly. The New York Dumpling Festival (#dumplingfest2015) is this Saturday, and it benefits one of my favorite charities, the Food Bank for NYC. To salute this group and shout-out the event, I thought I’d go orange with this dumpling recipe, a blend of hearty vegetables from my CSA.
So maybe you consider yourself an aficionado of Chinese dumplings. Maybe you’re a sucker for hearty, all-American food, too. Maybe you’re just searching for a vegetarian dumpling filling that isn’t a mosaic of brown-green ingredients with an ultimately bland, nondescript taste (mei wei dao! if you speak Mandarin, that is). In actuality, you don’t need to hail from any of these persuasions to enjoy the unexpected delight of these dumplings — because it’s so unexpected yet delicious.
Vegetarian dumplings were once a strict equation to me: finely shredded cabbage, minced five-spice tofu, chopped scallions, and maybe some shiitake mushrooms, or clear strands of bean starch noodles. This simple formula I had been raised to identify as the proper filling for a meat-free (and admittedly inferior) version of the favorite comfort food. It wasn’t until more recent years that I realized this colorless, choppy mixture didn’t need to be just so… or just so inferior.