Broccoli and Cheddar Dumplings with Miso and Roasted Garlic
The first time I made broccoli and cheddar dumplings was out of sheer necessity. It was the winter of 2016 and my boyfriend and I were living in Brooklyn when Jonas struck NYC. Jonas was a blizzard severe enough to shut down the subway for a day or two and Mayor Bloomberg closed the public schools for two days.
Instead of preparing for the storm, I spent the day before Big J at a happy hour that lasted well into the evening, after all of the shops had closed. I woke up the next day hungry and hungover.
After a glass of alka seltzer and a piece of sourdough fried in olive oil and a healthy helping of hangover shame, I took stock of our fridge: a container of roasted broccoli, almost a whole head of roasted garlic, a few pieces of roasted sunchoke, a near-empty tub of white miso, a single egg and a full bag of sharp cheddar cheese.
I laid back down, wishing I would have made it to the store before they all closed down for the storm, praying the alka seltzer would kick in soon. Right before I dozed off, I remembered two packages of dumpling wrappers stowed away in the back of our freezer.
As the snow fell in giant flakes outside of our window, Jason and I watched The Last Man on Earth and folded hangover dumplings together. We waited to brave the weather until late that night when the snow was waist-high, our bellies were full of broccoli and cheddar dumplings laced with miso and garlic.
We live in Austin now, and have fully embraced our first "winter" here. The 40-degree weather that gets up to 50 mid-afternoon is FREEZING and we want to stay in and make snow day dumplings as much as we did when the snowflakes piled on top of the cars parked on our block.
Cauliflower will work just fine in place of broccoli in this recipe, and any cheese could play for cheddar here. A head of roasted garlic isn’t entirely necessary. If you don’t have one, sub in a clove or two of fresh, or a teaspoon or so of garlic powder. I use my kitchen shears to cut roasted broccoli into tiny pieces. If you don’t have shears, chop them with a knife –– just don’t skip this step. If the broccoli pieces are too big, it will be hard to fold your dumplings without tearing the wrapper. This recipe does not include sunchokes because I haven’t seen any in our CSA this year, but adding chopped roasted sunchokes to the mix will surely improve the dumpling if you have some to add!
Broccoli & Cheddar Dumplings with Miso & Sesame
For Frying & Pan Sauce
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 2 tablespoons tablespoon rice vinegar
- Dash of soy sauce
- 2:1 soy sauce to rice vinegar
- About a teaspoon of chili flakes or chili oil (optional)
- 1 package of frozen dumpling wrappers, thawed (I get mine from Hana World on Parmer Lane in Austin)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon white miso
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- About a head of roasted garlic, skins removed
- 6 ounces (about a cup and a half) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- About 2 cups of roasted broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 1 medium-sized baked potato, or half of a large one, skin on (sweet potato or white beans would be great here, too!)
- 1/4 cup water
- Whisk the egg with miso and sesame. Stir in cheddar and garlic. Add vegetables and stir until they are evenly coated with the egg and cheese mixture.
- Set aside a quarter cup or so of water in a small bowl.
- Spoon a bit less than a tablespoon of filling into the dumpling wrapper. Dip your finger in the water, and dab it around the inner edge of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half to cover the filling, and press on the sides to seal the dumpling.
- *If any filling tries to escape your dumpling, you may have filled it too full. Remove some of the filling and adjust the amount you add to each wrapper going forward.
- Once the dumpling is sealed, gently press the edges together as if you were folding a paper fan, to give the pocket a crinkly edge. (Thanks to Judy Kim for teaching me this "pushy pushy" method she uses when making dumplings with her mom!)
- If you are storing dumplings for later, freeze them on a single layer in a parchment-lined sheet pan for about 20 minutes before putting them into ziplock bags and back into the freezer.
- My favorite way to enjoy these is by frying them in butter and making a pan sauce with the leftover browned bits. Melt the butter in a skillet and add dumplings to the pan as soon as it is melted. Brown on one side, then flip to brown the other. Add about ¼ cup water to the pan and reduce the heat. Put a lid on it and cook until most of the liquid is reduced.
- Deglaze your skillet by turning up the heat and adding a little over a tablespoon of rice vinegar and add about the same about of soy sauce. Stir, pulling up any bits of browned butter from the bottom of the pan. Add a few drops of sesame oil and chopped scallions into the pan. Chili oil too! Toss the dumplings in the sauce and serve immediately.