This is a fun Japanese recipe for tofu dumplings. Ms. Shimbo says that her students named them Tofu Daisies because they resemble the flower! They are very pretty, not at all fussy to make, and very tasty.
serves 4 as an appetizer
or 2 as a main course
- 1 small boneless skinless chicken breast (about 5 ounces)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 block firm tofu, (about 11 ounces)
The amounts I actually used were 7 ounces chicken and 14 ounces firm tofu
- 1 1/2 teaspoons usukuchi shoyu (light colored soy sauce), or regular shoyu
- 2 Tablespoons thin scallion disks, white part only
- 1 1/2 teaspoons peeled, finely grated ginger
- 1/2 beaten egg white
- 1/2 Tablespoon potato starch, or cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 20 to 25 wonton wrappers, cut into thin strips
- lettuce leaves to line your steamers
- 12 shungiku leaves (edible chrysanthemum), or spinach leaves
I used arugula leaves and wish I’d used more—this recipe is listed in the “Hot Appetizers” section of the book, so I think that is the reason for the small amount of greens
- 2 Tablespoons hot mustard paste
• Chop the chicken fine, transfer it to a bowl, and add the salt. Mix with your hands until the chicken feels sticky. Squeeze the tofu in a clean tightly woven cotton cloth to remove as much liquid as you can. Add the tofu to the chicken and mix thoroughly. Add one at a time and mix with your hands: shoyu, green onions, ginger, egg white, potato starch, and sesame oil. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
• Oil a platter large enough to hold a dozen 1 1/2-inch dumplings without touching. Pile the wonton strips on a plate. Oil your palms and form the tofu mixture into 12 balls. Place each ball on the wonton strips and scatter more over so it is completely covered.
• Place the dumpling on the oiled platter, and press each in the center to make a shallow depression. This helps the dumplings to cook evenly.
Ms. Shimbo says that you can make the recipe to this point earlier in the day to cook later, but in my experience, the noodles absorb liquid from the dumplings and melt into sticky dough. I’d advise not to add the wonton strips more than an hour in advance.
• Prepare your steamer by bringing a quantity of water to a boil with high steam production. Line the steamer baskets with lettuce leaves—the dumplings should not touch each other as they cook or they will stick together. Steam in batches if necessary. If you are using a metal steamer, line the lid with a cloth to keep the condensation off the dumplings. Cover and steam for 15 minutes.
If you aren’t going to serve the dumplings immediately, keep them warm by covering with some of the hot lettuce leaves.
• Place dumplings on a bed of chrysanthemum leaves and garnish with a drop of mustard paste in the center of each dumpling. Serve nihaizu dressing (add 1 teaspoon sesame oil) as a dip (appetizers), or pour over the greens (main course).
- 1/4 cup komezu (rice vinegar)
- 2 Tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce)
- (add a teaspoon of sesame oil for these dumplings)
• In a small saucepan, combine the ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool. Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.
NOTE: We’ve eaten these dumplings as part of a meal, but if I were making these as appetizers, I’d make them smaller so they could be eaten in one bite. They would need a bit more of the wonton strips, and would cook in less time.
Other Japanese Noodle Recipes from Tess
8 thoughts on “Daisy Tofu Dumplings”
Hi Tess, this is a challenging one. Well done : )
The secret is that these are not at all difficult!
(ok, the part where you mix the chicken and tofu is kind of gross, but once it’s chilled, it’s way easier than “Chinese Ravioli!”)
I’ve been a bit busy recently, with the move, but never too busy to see what you’ve been up to. These dumplings are so pretty (and delicious of course, too)! How far are you into Ms Shimbo’s cookery book by the way?
Yes, I have seen that you have been busy. A lot of work to make the move, I’m sure.
You have to both love and hate technology, right? I’m supposed to be doing some how-to-videos for the web-site at work, but really don’t know how. Something new to learn, right?
This recipe is one that looks difficult, but is impressive and easy.
With regard to the book, I must say that I’m sort of like Penelope—weaving and unweaving, or rather cooking, and cooking (favorites) again.
Part of my goal of being immersed in Japanese cooking has been accomplished. A little garlic goes a long way for me these days (1tess.wordpress.com/2008/09/03/of-work-a-test-and-onions/),
those garlic noodles were very garlic-y!!!
Neverfear! I’ll be forging ahead into “boldly going where no man has gone before.” tempura, sashimi, sushi, natto… as long as it’s fun, anyway.
Thanks for the garlic noodles link Tess, I love garlic! I know I keep saying this, but your project is really impressive. Perhaps you’ll write your own cookery book one day?
How to videos for work website? Good luck with that! I used to produce TV programmes about technology in the late 90s, but I feel really out of touch these days.
When I go to Hong Kong next month, I’ll be spending a lot of time in the Japanese department store food halls, so I’ll try and take some photos for you!
I’m looking forward to reading about your trip: I love learning about foods in different places so you’ll be my eyes in Hong Kong!
Don’t be too impressed about the videos—they will be VERY BASIC. >(^_^)<
These are beautiful, just as nice as the ones I ate in Osaka: http://blue_moon.typepad.com/blue_lotus/2008/09/osaka.html
The greens really do make them look like daisies, very cute!
Thanks, they are indeed cute!