Lentil Potstickers

Lentils have become a staple in our pantry now that we eat a vegan diet.  They are in the legume family and are packed with protein and other nutrients.  I saw a recipe on Heidi Swanson's website, 101 cookbooks while looking for vegan recipes, and immediately decided to make this one for dinner that night.  

Jeremy and I both love traditional steamed dumplings found in janky little chinese restaurants, but instead of the ground up mystery meat that is traditionally inside, these little guys were filled with lentils and spices.  

I also made my own potsticker dough wrappers (you could make it easier by using store bought ones).  They were very simple, but I did make them a little too thick which is evident from the pictures.  I believe that one of these rolling pins would help me with that issue.  Still delicious none the less!  we devoured these.

Lentil Potstickers
adapted from 101cookbooks and MyWokLife

for the wrappers: 
2 cups flour
2/3 cup water
pinch of salt

for the lentil filling:
1/2 cup sunflower oil
8 scallions, chopped
1 small serrano pepper
 1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup soy sauce
4 tbsp sunflower oil
1/2 cup chopped shallots (about 4)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups cooked lentils + whatever spices you'd like to add. (I added a little bit of ginger, garlic powder, turmeric, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes)

To make the wrappers:  Place flour into a large bowl.  Add the water and mix together with a fork, until the dough comes together.  It should be lumpy, but will hold together.  It may require a little more water, add tsp-fuls at a time until you have the right consistency.  Knead the dough until it is pliable and no longer sticky.  Tear off small pieces (golf-ball sized-ish) of dough and roll them out onto a floured surface.  Roll them as thin as possible, without rolling them so thin that they are transparent.  Also try to roll them out as round as possible.  Set aside until ready to fill.

To make scallion oil:  heat 1/2 cup oil in small skillet/saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add the scallions and cook for about a minute, until scallions have softened.  Remove from heat and set aside.

For the dipping sauce:  Chop up the serrano pepper.  sprinkle the pieces with sugar.  In a small bowl, stir together the soy sauce and water.  Add in the sugary peppers.  set aside.

For the filling:  Mix together the lentils with the spices in a food processor.  Add spices to taste.  In a large skillet, heat up the oil over medium heat, and sauté the shallots until tender and golden brown.  Add the lentil mixture and stir until the oil is soaked up.  The filling should be fairly thick and pinch together between your fingers.  Add salt to taste.

To Assemble and cook:  place a dollop of filling into the center of each dough circle.  Dip your finger in water and run it across the edge of the circular dough.  Fold the dough up together, bringing all the edges to the middle, gently pressing together to stick.  With folded seams facing up, gently press the dumpling downward, creating a flat bottom for the dumpling.  Set onto a lightly floured surface until ready to cook.  Repeat until all filling/dough is used up.

In a large skillet, heat up a few tbsp of oil over medium-high heat.  Place the dumplings in the skillet, seam side up.  Cook the dumplings for a few minutes, until bottoms are lightly browned.  Measure out a 1/3 cup water and set it next to the skillet.  With a skillet lid in one hand, add in the water to the skillet.  Immediately cover and cook for a few minutes, until the water has almost all evaporated.  Uncover and continue cooking until the water is all gone, about another minute.  Drizzle with the scallion oil and serve with the dipping sauce.

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