Dumplings have a prominent place in Chinese cuisine and are prepared in many different ways for holidays and festivals. They vary by region, and the ingredients depend on area availability.
1/2 pound firm tofu, drained and cut into 1/2-inch slices
1/2 cup dried wood ear mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
1/2 cup drained, sliced water chestnuts
3/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 tablespoon minced green onions
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon dark sesame oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 teaspoons cornstarch
50 won ton wrappers or gyoza skins
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup water
How to Make It
Place the tofu on several layers of paper towels, and cover with additional paper towels. Let stand 30 minutes, pressing down occasionally. Place tofu in a large bowl, and mash with a fork until smooth. Set tofu aside.
Combine boiling water and mushrooms in a bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes or until soft. Drain. Place the mushrooms and water chestnuts in a food processor; pulse 5 times or until minced. Add mushroom mixture, carrot, and the next 7 ingredients (carrot through 4 teaspoons cornstarch) to tofu; stir well.
Working with 1 won ton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers to keep them from drying), spoon 1 teaspoon tofu mixture into center of each wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water; bring 2 opposite corners to center, pinching points to seal. Bring remaining 2 corners to center, pinching edges together to seal. Place dumplings, seam sides up, on a large baking sheet sprinkled with 1 teaspoon cornstarch (cover loosely with a towel to keep them from drying).
Arrange one-third of the dumplings in a single layer in a vegetable steamer coated with cooking spray. Steam dumplings, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove the dumplings from steamer; set aside, and keep warm. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dumplings.
Combine 1/2 cup soy sauce and 1/4 cup water in a small bowl. Serve with dumplings.