Imagine all the flavors of pho wrapped up in silky dumpling wrappers, served with homemade chili oil, and garnished with mint chiffonade. Hoisin sauce, lime zest, jalapeño, and cilantro are massaged into meaty Impossible® Burger, resulting in a filling that’s juicy, fragrant, and savory. Sichuan chili powder, fresh lemongrass, and star anise are infused with piping hot oil to create a condiment that’s vibrant, pleasantly spicy, and aromatic. Ribbons of mint complete the pho experience with their zesty tingle.
As you can tell, these are not authentic Chinese dumplings, albeit, they are inspired by Chinese dumplings. If I had to put it into words—which is probably what you came here for—I’d say these are aesthetically Chinese but 100% Vietnamese in flavor.
If you’ve never made dumplings before, you probably think they’re best reserved for professional chefs at high-rate dim-sum restaurants, but they’re actually not that hard to nail down! Seriously, this was our second time ever making dumplings and the process was a friggin’ breeze. Pre-made dumpling wrappers, which can be bought for less than $3 a pack at your local Asian market, are key for ease, speed, and some other word that rhymes with e. All you need to do is follow a few essential steps during the filling process:
- Don’t overstuff the dumplings! We went with about 2 teaspoons of filling per wrapper. If you pack in too much, you won’t be able to properly seal them.
- Rub a touch of water around the edges to ensure the wrapper sticks to itself.
- Gently squeeze all the air out of the center before folding and cooking. If there’s air pockets in the dumplings, they could explode while boiling! Okay… maybe “explode” is a little dramatic, but you get the idea.
- Boil 6-8 dumplings at a time to avoid dropping the temperature of the water too low.
- Cook the dumplings until they float; this is the best timer you could possibly ask for, because the food tells you when it’s done. Just make sure to give them a stir after you drop them in, because they can’t float if they’re stuck to the bottom.
- Not really a step for success, but dumplings can be frozen with little-to-no loss in quality! Simply toss them in a ziplock bag and keep them in your freezer for up to 3 months. Follow the same procedure for cooking as you do with fresh ones (it’ll just take a few more minutes).
A few words on chili oil is in order before we wrap up this post. Get it, wrap… like a dumpling? Ehem, never mind. Chinese chili oil can be made several different ways, varying in times, ratios, and techniques. To no surprise, we’re going with the fastest method, in which piping hot vegetable oil is poured over chilis and spices, resulting in a quick, yet flavorful brew.
At its base, Chinese chili oil is Sichuan chili flakes (commonly called “chili powder,” albeit from an American perspective, they resemble chili flakes) + vegetable oil. As long as you have those two ingredients, you can make a decent chili oil. Compared to chili flakes from other regions, Sichuan chili powder has a mild spiciness, vibrant color, and enhanced flavor, which is due to the fact the chilis are fried before grinding and packaging. In a way, you could say this is twice-fried chili oil… just theoretically, ya know?
Regardless of my awkward humor, this chili oil wouldn’t be the same without Sichuan chili powder, so I highly suggest you seek some out from a local Chinese market. The mixture of that and conventional red chilis, such as those you’d find a pizza shop’s table, make for a perfect mix of heat, color, and flavor.
We hope you guys enjoy this recipe, it’s:
- Like a bowl of pho in every bite
- Savory, aromatic, and pleasantly spicy
- Silky, juicy, and meaty
- Made with Impossible® Burger!
- Chinese-Vietnamese fusion
If you like what your eyes are tasting, then share this recipe with your friends on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest at @noeggsorham! For more flame-emoji photos, geeky food talk, and mouth-watering dishes, subscribe to our email list. Tag us in a photo when you create one of our recipes at home so we can share it! Stunning pita-colored plates by Carthage.Co, who brings ethically-sourced handmade stoneware from Tunisia to the west.
Vietnamese dumplings? IMPOSSIBLE.
Impossible® Burger Vietnamese Dumplings
Chinese dumplings on the outside, meaty pho flavors on the inside.
- 8 oz Impossible® Burger
- 1/2 jalapeno, seeded & finely diced
- 2 tbsps chopped cilantro
- 1 tbsp hoisin sauce
- 1 tsp grated ginger
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp white pepper
- 18 fresh wonton wrappers
Aromatic Chili Oil
- 1 cup nuetral oil (we used soybean)
- 1/4 c sichuan chili flakes/powder
- 1/4 c crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 lemongrass stalk, tops & ends removed, lightly bruised*
- 2 star anise
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- Chili oil
- Mint chiffonade
- Chili Oil: Bring neutral oil to 340° F in a small pot over medium-high heat, kill the flames, and let it coast to 350° F.
- While oil heats up, combine all other chili oil ingredients in a heatproof jar or bowl with extra room for bubbling.
- Carefully pour oil over spices and let it sit for at least 45 minutes before using. Once it reaches room temperature, remove the lemongrass and star anise and store in the fridge for up to 2 months.
- Dumplings: Fill a large pot halfway full with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
- While water heats up, combine all of the filling ingredients (except wonton wrappers of course) in a large mixing bowl until ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle of a wonton wrap, rub a touch of water on two edges, and gently fold the wrapper over itself, creating a triangle. Coax air out of the center using your fingers then lightly apply pressure all around to seal.
- Dab a touch of water on the dumpling’s pointy ends, then pull each point up towards the center, creating a cute folded look. (Reference photos in post for shaping help.) Repeat steps 6 and 7 for remaining dumplings.
- Drop 6-8 dumplings into boiling water and cook—stirring once or twice—until they just start to float; 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and repeat for remaining dumplings.
- Drizzle chili oil over dumplings, garnish with mint chiffonade, and enjoy while fresh! For a more savory sauce, whisk together 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, 2 tablespoons vegan fish sauce, and 2 tablespoons chili oil.
- Freezing: As mentioned in post, dumplings are incredible when frozen for later use! Simply freeze them after shaping, store for up to 3 months, and cook the same way you would fresh dumplings (they’ll take a little longer, but just wait until they float and you’ll be good).
*To bruise the lemongrass, cut the stalk into 3 inch rounds, and lightly tap it all over using the back of your knife. This will release aromatic compounds without getting woody strands into your food.