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Vegan Savory Tang Yuan (湯圓, Glutinous Rice Dumplings)

Savory Tang Yuan Recipe (Vegan) - Chinese dish for winter's solstice

5 from 1 reviews

In my vegan tang yuan recipe, I am serving the dish with daikon, carrots, yu choy, shiitake mushrooms, and fried shallots. Feel free to mix and match whatever vegetables you prefer.

Scale

Ingredients

Broth

  • 5 dried whole shiitake mushrooms
  • 5” x 5″ piece of kombu (dried kelp)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced shallots
  • 2 cloves of garlic, smashed
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, cut into 2-inch chunks*
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground coriander

Daikon

  • 3 dried whole shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 1/4 pounds daikon
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 small piece of rock sugar (about 1 inch in diameter) or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Rice Dumplings

  • 1 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 3/4 cup room temperature water

Toppings

  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 6 ounces yu choy (油菜)
  • cilantro
  • fried shallots
  • black sesame seeds
  • hot sauce (I usually use lao gan ma chili crisp)

Instructions

Make the Broth

  1. In a small bowl, soak 8 dried shiitake mushrooms with water (you’ll use 3 of them for the daikon). Let it stand for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  2. Using a lightly damp cloth, wipe the surface of the kombu and set it aside.
  3. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the sliced shallots, garlic, and lemongrass chunks and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, until the shallots soften. Next, add the vegetable broth, 5 hydrated shiitake mushrooms, kombu, salt, and coriander. Cover the pot and bring it to boil.
  4. Reduce the heat to a low simmer while you cook the daikon and prepare the dumplings. I usually transfer my pot to a smaller burner at this stage.

Cook the Daikon

  1. Peel the daikon and rinse off any residual dirt. Trim the ends. Slice the daikon into 1/4-inch thick slices on the diagonal. Then, cut the slices into strips.
  2. In a wok (or a large sauté pan), heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute. Carefully add 4 cups of water to the wok. The water will splatter, so be careful here. Add the daikon, 3 hydrated shiitake mushrooms, salt, and sugar. There should be enough water to just cover the daikon. If not, add a bit more.
  3. Cover the wok, increase the heat, and bring the water boil. Reduce the heat slightly, and let the daikon simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, until the daikon is tender. Transfer the daikon to a plate. Save at least 2 cup of the water to add to the broth.

Make the Dumplings

  1. Add the glutinous rice flour to a mixing bowl. Pour in 3/4 cup room temperature water. Stir the flour and water with chopsticks or a wooden spoon. Once the water absorbs, bring the dough together with your hands and knead for a minute, until you get a smooth dough. If the dough is feeling dry, add another tablespoon of water.
  2. Divide the dough into small pieces, about 1 heaping teaspoon each. Roll the pieces of dough into small balls and transfer them to a plate.
  3. Use a skimmer or a slotted spoon to scoop out all of the vegetables and spices from the soup broth. Save the cooked mushrooms. Add 1 cup of the daikon broth to the soup broth. Stir and taste the broth and see if you need to adjust the seasoning. Bring the broth to boil again.
  4. Add the rice dumplings to the boiling broth. The dumplings will be lightly stuck to the plate, so just gently brush them into the broth. Cook the dumplings for about 3 to 4 minutes. Make sure to stir the dumplings frequently to keep the dumplings from sticking to the bottom of the pot. The dumplings should float when they’re cooked.
  5. Add the julienned carrots and yu choy and cook them for a minute. Then, add the cooked daikon and turn off the heat.
  6. Serve the tang yuan and vegetables in bowls. Top with cilantro, fried shallots, sesame seeds, and hot sauce, if desired. Slice the cooked shiitake mushrooms and serve them, if desired.

Notes

  • *To prepare lemongrass, peel off a few of the outer layers and slice them into 2-inch chunks. I usually toss out the top third of the stalk because it is incredibly woody, but you can throw them into the broth as well. I like bashing them with a mallet to help release some flavor. If you have a hard time finding fresh lemongrass, you can use Gourmet Garden’s lemongrass paste, which should be in the refrigerated herbs section at your local supermarket. Note that the lemongrass paste is not vegan as it contains whey.
  • If you want to make the dumplings ahead, you can freeze the dough and cook them a few days later.