In Estonia, we are big on foraging. Berries, mushrooms, some wild herbs – we have gathered them from the forest since we were kids. As this year has been exceptionally warm (in some years, we have snow in October), you can still find mushrooms in the forest, and I used some chanterelles I picked myself. As I know that you can not go foraging all over the world, I substituted the mushrooms in this recipe for oyster mushrooms as they are easier to find from the stores. If you can’t find those, button mushrooms are okay too.
Dumplings of this style are not typical for Estonian cuisine at all, but I don’t think that everything should be traditional all the time. I love how the miso paste in this recipe rounds the whole filling up, the spinach and lemon give extra brightness, and ginger is just an excellent ingredient that also boosts the immune system. I am sure that we could all benefit from a healthy immune system in this bizarre year.
Spinach Mushroom Dumplings
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yields: 20 dumplings
20 dumpling wrappers
A tiny bit of oil
3 ½ oz spinach
7 oz oyster mushrooms
A thumb-sized piece of ginger
Chili flakes, to taste
1 tbsp miso paste
1 tsp lemon juice
Chop the mushrooms and mince the ginger
Heat the oil in a pan and fry the mushrooms and ginger on medium for 3 minutes. Feel free to stir it now and then so it would cook evenly.
Add spinach to the pan and let it wilt for a minute.
Season with chili, lemon juice, miso, and a little salt if you feel that it is needed.
Let the mix cool down.
Now it is time to get folding. If you have another technique, feel free to fold them differently, but I decided to do the tortellini type of folding today. For this, add a small spoonful of filling in the middle of the dough square and wet the edges slightly using your finger. Fold the dough into a triangle and make sure to push all the air out. Take the triangle's outer edges and lift them on top of the filling; you might need to use a little more water to stick the edges together.
Now it is time for steaming. Heat the water in a wok and arrange the dumplings on your steamer, so they are not touching. Also, make sure that the bottom of your steamer is not touching the water (it happened to me once, and nothing good came out of it)—Cook for about 6 minutes.
To serve, I like to mix soy, sesame oil, lime juice, and a little sugar to a dipping sauce, but you can also use a premade Asian sauce.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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