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Zen Temple Dumplings

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Jan Gautro
Yield 9 servings (serving size: 4 dumplings and 2 teaspoons sauce)
"Zen" refers to a style of Buddhism (most Buddhists are vegetarian), and this dish is representative of what Zen Buddhist monks might eat at temples throughout Japan--hence the temple reference in the recipe title. Asparagus and green onions give these dumplings a lovely green hue. Enjoy them as an appetizer or a main course with a side of vegetables or tofu. The dumplings can be prepared up to a month in advance: Place uncooked dumplings on a baking sheet and freeze; store in zip-top freezer bags. To serve, steam the frozen dumplings for about 10 minutes or until the wonton wrappers are translucent.

Ingredients

  • Dumplings:
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 cup (2-inch) slices asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 cup (1-inch) pieces green onions
  • 1 (8-ounce) can whole water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (8-ounce) package mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 36 wonton wrappers
  • Cooking spray
  • Sauce:
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon minced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil

Nutrition Information

  • calories 138
  • caloriesfromfat 18 %
  • fat 2.7 g
  • satfat 0.4 g
  • monofat 0.9 g
  • polyfat 1.1 g
  • protein 5.2 g
  • carbohydrate 23.7 g
  • fiber 2.3 g
  • cholesterol 3 mg
  • iron 2.1 mg
  • sodium 585 mg
  • calcium 28 mg

How to Make It

  1. To prepare dumplings, drop ginger and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add the asparagus, 1/4 cup green onion pieces, and water chestnuts; pulse 4 times or until chopped. Add mushrooms, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse 4 times or until mixture is finely chopped.

  2. Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture in the center of wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water. Bring 2 opposite corners together. Press edges together with fingertips to seal, forming a triangle. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray while assembling; lightly cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and mushroom mixture.

  3. Add water to a Dutch oven to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil. Coat a metal vegetable steamer with cooking spray. Arrange 9 dumplings in steamer, slightly overlapping. Steam dumplings, covered, 8 minutes or until tender. Remove dumplings from steamer; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings.

  4. To prepare sauce, combine 1/3 cup soy sauce and remaining ingredients. Drizzle over dumplings.