You may have seen these vegan Teochew Crystal Dumpling 潮州粉果 (Cháo zhōu fěn guǒ) or Teochew Hoon Kuih (Chiu Chow Fun Guo) at dim sum places. They are normally served in a bamboo steamer and have translucent dumpling skin.
In Malaysia, there are many versions of vegetable dumplings or Chai Kuih with different fillings inside. Some of my favorites are filled with jicama (Kao Ji) or Chinese chives.
As a Teochew myself, I never attempted to make this version before but I always make the one filled with jicama. I’m a big fan of crystal skin dumplings because they have a slightly chewy texture with a soft mouthfeel.
To create the crystal dumpling, I’m using two main types of starches: wheat and tapioca. The next most important ingredient is boiling water as the water will immediately cook the starch and turn them into a moldable dough.
Teochew dumpling’s filling consists of a variety of chopped ingredients that are sautéed until fragrant and seasoned with a simple sauce. They are then mixed with finely chopped Chinese chives and crunchy peanuts.
As you can imagine, the texture combination and flavor is so inviting and now you are wondering how many can you eat in one sitting.
How to Make Vegan Teochew Crystal Dumpling
Part 1: Cook the filling
To make the filling, chop all the ingredients into smaller bits so they will cook evenly and will be easier to wrap. Then, prepare the seasoning sauce and set it aside until ready to use.
Sauté tofu and mushrooms until golden brown. Then, continue to stir-fry the rest of the ingredients until fully cooked through. Season with the prepared sauce and stir in the cornstarch slurry to thicken.
Transfer the mixture into a bowl and mix it with chopped Chinese chives. Finally, fold in the toasted peanuts. Let the mixture cooled down while you work on the wrapper.
Part 2: Make the wrapper
To create the translucent wrapper, boiling water is crucial in this step. Mix both starches in a bowl and season with a little salt. Using a rolling pin and stir continuously while pouring in the hot water.
The dough will immediately turn translucent. Try to gather as much flour from the bowl as possible to form a shaggy dough. If the dough seems too dry, add room temperature water, one tablespoon at a time.
Stop adding water once there are no dry spots of flour left in the bowl. Cover the dough with a tight lid and let the steam from the hot water continue to cook the dough for 5 minutes.
Now, you should be able to knead into a soft dough. Add a drizzle of oil and continue to knead until all the oil is incorporated.
Lightly dust the work surface with tapioca starch and roll the dough into a log. Then, divide into 20 pieces. Place these pieces in a bowl and cover with a lid to prevent them from drying out.
Part 3: Wrap into dumplings
As usual, work with 1 piece of dough at a time and place the rest back into the mixing bowl and cover it tightly with a lid.
Flatten the dough and roll into a circular wrapper about 4-inches in diameter while keeping the middle part thicker. Please check the video for the visual step.
Place a heaping spoonful of filling in the middle and pleat to seal. You can make the pleats pretty by smoothing out the top with scissors or leave just as-is.
Part 4: Steam and Serve
Place wrapped dumplings onto the inner steamer rack. Fill the steamer with water and bring it to a rolling boil. Transfer the inner steamer rack to the steamer and steam over high heat for 8-10 minutes.
Turn off the heat and remove the lid. The dumplings will slowly turn from matte white to translucent. Brush the dumplings with a thin layer of shallot oil to prevent them from drying out. Serve with a side of chili sauce.
Vegan Teochew Crystal Dumpling Cooking Tips
The dumpling wrapper is made from wheat starch, tapioca starch, and potato powder. Below is some other starches combination that I’ve tried.
- 120g wheat starch, 80g tapioca starch, a pinch of salt, 225ml hot water, and a drizzle of oil – recipe inspired by NasiLemakLover.
- 200g sweet potato starch, 85g tapioca starch, 50g rice flour (plus more for dusting), a pinch of salt, 250ml hot water. You can check out the picture here.
Boiling water is definitely needed in this recipe or it will not cook the starch right away. You’ll end up with a thick glue paste if the water is not hot enough.
- This recipe includes common ingredients for Teochew Crystal Dumplings, but you can fill them with other vegetables as well.
- Adding some nuts definitely gives the filling an extra crunch but you can skip it or use other types of nuts if you like.
Why You Need this Vegan Teochew Crystal Dumpling Recipe
- It’s easily customizable – fill it with your favorite vegetables and don’t forget to add some crunch to it too.
- The dumplings have a chewy and soft texture
- Tasty when steamed and can be cooked using the potsticker method.
- These dumplings are perfect for a light meal or snacks
- Perfect for family or friends cook-out together
If you try this recipe, I would love to hear your feedback and see your beautiful re-creation. Leave me a comment, rate it, and tag @woon.heng and #woonheng to your photos on Instagram or Facebook. Happy cooking, friends!
Vegan Teochew Crystal Dumpling – 潮州粉果
- 3 oz [90g] firm tofu cubed
- 3 oz King Oyster mushrooms finely diced
- 3 tablespoons [40g] carrot finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons water chestnut finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons preserved salted radish finely chopped
- cooking oil
- cornstarch slurry*
- 200 g Chinese chives finely chopped
- ½ cup toasted peanuts
- 1 tablespoon vegan oyster sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon ShaoXing wine optional
- dash of white pepper
- 120 g wheat starch
- 70 g tapioca starch
- 30 g [2 tablespoons] sweet potato powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 250 ml water
- ½ teaspoon of neutral oil
- Shallot oil
- Hoisin sauce
- Chili sauce
- Mix the seasoning ingredients in a bowl until well-combined.
- Prepare the filling: Heat a large non-stick pan and add a tablespoon of oil. Sauté tofu and mushrooms until golden brown.
- Add the carrot, celery, preserved radish, chestnut, and keep cooking for another minute or so.
- Season with the prepared sauce and stir-fry to combine. Stir in the cornstarch slurry and turn off the heat. Turn off the heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl.
- Fold in the chopped Chinese chives and toasted peanuts. Taste test and season accordingly if needed. Set aside to cool down.
- To make the dumpling wrapper, stir the wheat starch, tapioca starch, sweet potato powder, and salt in a bowl until well-combined.
- Fill a pot with 250ml water and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Using a rolling pin, stir the hot water into the dry ingredients until well-combined. Note: When you add in the hot water, some flour will immediately turn translucent.
- Try to gather as much flour from the bowl as possible to make a dough. If the dough appears too dry, add some room temperature water, one tablespoon at a time.
- Then, add the oil and knead until all is incorporated. Cover the bowl with a tight lid and rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut out 10 (4×3-inch) parchment rectangles and set aside.
- Lightly flour a work surface with tapioca starch. Uncover the dough and knead into a soft dough then divide it into 10 equal pieces.
- Work with one dough at a time and keep the rest of the dough in a tightly covered bowl to prevent them from drying out.
- Roll each dough into a 4-inch diameter circular wrapper with a thick middle. Please see the video for the visual instruction.
- Place a heaping spoon of filling in the middle and pleat to seal then transfer to a parchment paper.
- Fill the steamer pot with water and bring it to a rolling boil.
- Transfer the wrapped dumplings to the inner steamer rack and place them in the steamer.
- Steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Uncover the lid and brush a thin layer of shallot oil to prevent the dumplings from drying out.
- Serve warm with a side of hoisin and chili sauce.
- For other starches combination, please check the section above the recipe.
- Cornstarch slurry: Mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch with 3 tablespoons of water.
- If you like to serve these dumplings with chili oil and sediment, check out this recipe here.