I think making dumplings is so therapeutic. Here’s a simple recipe for tofu wontons with a savory yellow curry broth. It’s one of my favorite dumpling and broth combinations!
When I was in college (my goodness, has it been 10 years already??), Mama Lin often made platters of pork dumplings that she froze and bagged for me to take back to school. Like most Asian mothers, Mama Lin worried that I wouldn’t be able to cook for myself once I moved away from home. Whenever I went back to SF for the weekend, she packed my car trunk with so much food. Honestly, I could have fed a family of 5 for an entire week.
Making these tofu wontons reminded me of those college days. But instead of simply cooking the dumplings in boiling water, I made the dish more sophisticated by serving the wontons with a yellow curry broth. We should always aim higher when we get older, right?
(By the way, serving these wontons with fried tofu puffs is delicious, too.)
COOKING NOTES FOR THE TOFU WONTONS
- Wontons (雲吞/云吞): Literally translated, “wonton” means swallowing clouds, and it is the Cantonese way of calling these soup dumplings, which float like clouds when they’re done cooking. In Mandarin, this variety of dumplings is called hundun (餛飩/馄炖). Southern-style wontons use thin wrappers for the dumplings, while northern-style hundun use thicker wrappers.
- Wrappers: I typically buy my wrappers from Asian supermarkets because it is much more convenient than making my own. The brands I use are New Hong Kong Noodle Co. and Wyzen Foods, both of which are based in the Bay Area. If you are shopping in a typical grocery store, you’d probably find Nasoya wrappers.
- Folding dumplings: For those of you who need visuals, here is the folding technique for the wontons. I also made a video of the folding, which you can watch here.
- Cooking the dumplings and broth separately: The reason why I cook these separately is because there’s usually a lot of starch sprinkled over the wrappers. If you boil the entire batch of dumplings inside the broth, the starch will release into the broth and can affect the texture of the broth.
- Freezing the dumplings: See the headnote in the recipe card for more instructions!
LOOKING FOR MORE DUMPLINGS?Print
Tofu Wontons with Yellow Curry Broth
You can make these dumplings ahead of time. Place the dumplings over a plate and cover with plastic wrap. Make sure that you don’t cluster the dumplings too close together or they might get stuck. After a few hours, transfer the dumplings to a freezer bag. When you are ready to eat the dumplings, just drop the frozen dumplings straight into the boiling water. It may take an extra minute or two for the dumplings to cook.
Whatever you do, DO NOT store the uncooked dumplings in the refrigerator. The moisture from the filling will cause the dumplings to turn soggy, and you’ll end up with a right mess. That’s no good.
- Prep Time: 1 hour
- Cook Time: 25 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Yield: Serves 5
Yellow Curry Broth
- 1 tablespoon vegetable or olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger (about a 1-inch piece of ginger)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 teaspoons yellow curry powder (mild spice)
- 6 cups vegetable broth*
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, add more if necessary
- 3/4 cup (175ml) full-fat coconut milk (can sub with low-fat coconut milk)
- about 45 to 50 square dumpling wrappers
- 1 package of firm tofu (I used a 14-ounce package)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 3 cups shredded green cabbage (ensure they are no longer than 1-inch pieces)
- 1 large carrot, grated (about 1 1/4 cups)
- pinch of salt
- 4 scallions, sliced
- chili oil
- black sesame seeds
Prepare the Broth: I like preparing the curry broth before making the dumplings because this allows more time for the flavors of the broth to develop.
- Heat the 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot. Add the minced ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the curry powder and stir to coat the spices.
- Add the vegetable broth and 1/2 teaspoon salt, cover the pot, and bring the broth to boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and swirl in the coconut milk. Let the broth simmer for about 10 minutes, covered. Turn off the heat and let the broth sit on the stove, covered, as you make the dumplings.
Make the Dumplings
- Drain the tofu and wrap the tofu around a layer of paper towels. Press the tofu by placing the tofu block on a plate and weighing it down with a stack of plates. Let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the towels and cut the tofu into small 1/4-inch cubes.
- Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil in a large pan. Add the minced ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the cabbage, carrots, and a pinch of salt to the pan and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the tofu and scallions to the pan and add another pinch of salt. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes. Taste the filling. You want the the filling to be a smidgen saltier than you would normally prefer. The wonton wrappers will mellow out the saltiness of the filling.
- Get your dumpling-making station set up. Transfer the filling into a large bowl. Take the wrappers out of the packaging. Have a small bowl filled with water, a large baking sheet, and 2 kitchen or linen towels ready. The wrappers and the dumplings dry out pretty quickly. Use one towel to cover the wrappers and another large towel to cover the finished dumplings.
- Dip a finger into the bowl of water and wet 2 adjacent sides of the dumpling wrappers. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into the center of the wrapper. Seal the wrapper on the diagonal (dry sides over the wet sides) so that you end up with a triangle shape. Press down on the sides to make sure that you have the dumpling properly sealed. You don’t want the filling to release while they’re cooking.
- Lightly wet one of the base corners of the folded triangle, and fold the dumpling in half so that the other base corner overlaps the wet corner. Repeat until you have all the dumplings filled. If you need a visual, refer to the photos above or watch this video for my folding technique.
- Check the curry broth and see whether it’s still warm enough for your liking. If not, heat it up over medium-low heat and keep it simmering on low as you cook the dumplings.
- Bring a big pot of water to boil. Add about half of the dumplings into the boiling water and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. All the dumplings should float to the top. Transfer the cooked dumplings to a bowl and add the remaining dumplings into the hot water.
- Ladle some of the curry broth into a bowl and serve with the dumplings. Top with chili oil and black sesame seeds, if you like.
NUTRITION INFORMATION: Amount per serving: Calories: 420, Total Fat 14.8g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 8.6mg, Sodium: 1859mg, Total Carbohydrate: 57.3g, Dietary Fiber: 4.2g, Sugar: 6.2g, Protein 17g
- *You can also make the broth with a combination of vegetable broth and water. You may need to add a little more salt.
- I served the wontons with baby bok choy. I cooked it by blanching it in the hot water I used to cook the wontons (the heat was off at this point). It doesn’t take long to cook the baby bok choy—2 to 3 minutes should be enough.