07 June 2011

Vegetarian Kimchi Dumplings

Kimchi dumplings are one of those no-brainer vegetarian snacks. Do you like steamed dumplings? Yes. Do you like them a little juicy and with a bit of a kick? Absolutely. Would you like to pay about $4 for a large bag of them? Definitely.

At my local Asian grocer of choice, Oriental Supermarket Food and Gift, the freezer section teems with vegetarian dumpling options. Unfortunately, my favorite dumplings, the pumpkin buns, have vanished. When I demanded Why why whyyyyyy? of the owner, her English and my Korean were mutually not up to the task of an explanation. An unsolved mystery for the ages, no doubt.

I have enjoyed several of the korean dumplings I've tried, but only kimchi dumplings deserve their own post. The brand: Yissine. The ingredients: all vegetables and seasonings I understand and am willing to funnel into my body (Thank God I don't have MSG sensitivity). A surprisingly large amount of soybean curd translates into a hefty protein kick, and along with the gentle presence of the cabbage offers quite a lot of iron.

It takes about 8 minutes from freezer to steamer to mouth. Sheer tasty convenience.

If you cannot find kimchi dumplings (also called kimchi mandu), you can make your own. Lately I've encountered a string of kimchi dumpling recipes, which I will collect here for your edification.

Korean Napa Cabbage Kimchi Recipe (Mak Kimchi) from Asian Dumpling Tips
Try her vegetarian fish sauce recipe with the dumplings.
Kimchi Dumplings with Mushrooms and Bean Sprouts at a page on Vegetarian Dim Sum
Jaylene's Kimchi Mandu with Lemon-Chili Sauce
Cindy's Simple Kimchi Sesame Mandu (uses grams instead of ounces)
Serious Eats Kimchi dumpling recipe with vermicelli noodles

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