Friday, November 18, 2011
A couple of weeks ago my friend Katie brought her new boyfriend over for dinner. Once again, I was struck by an irrational need to really impress her new guy. (This neurosis was exacerbated by the fact that said boyfriend in French. Not fair, but true.) It turns out that David, the new guy, is a vegetarian which fits right in with our current eating habits. In any case, I decided to use this occasion to try something entirely new: Vegan dumplings.
After much combing of vegan and vegetarian websites, I finally settled on this recipe for Vegetarian Potstickers on Herbavoracious (an awesome site, btw). My issue with veggie dumplings is always that they are too mushy without any meat to give them some firmness. This recipe seemed like it could counteract the mush factor by using tempeh in the filling.
This recipe is "easy" in the sense that it is straightforward; it doesn't require strange ingredients or any advanced cooking supplied. However, it is time consuming. Folding all of those little dumplings took at least 45 min. While the filling tasted delicious, I added more cabbage than he calls for plus some shredded carrot an finely chopped mushroom. I was pleased that the tempeh did, in fact, make the filling nice and firm. Not a trace of mush.
As I was frying up dumplings, chopping ingredients for our main course of bi bim bop, and whipping up the sauce for both dishes, Dave commented that this might be the most high-maintenance dinner ever. He may have been right, but it was worth it. How often do you get to cook for your friend's French boyfriend? If ever there was a time to go all out...