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By the Book: Sara Forte’s Edamame Dumplings

January 1st 12:01pm, 2013

Depending on your definition of diet, I’m either always on a diet or never on one. If I had to define my diet, it would be eating primarily whole foods prepared as wholesomely but flavorfully as possible. The cookbooks we’ve chosen this month all fit that regiment. They aren’t focused on weight loss, but they can help you get on track to cooking healthfully. And if you already do that, these books offer new ideas when same-old dishes feel stagnant and boring.

That’s why I chose to prepare edamame dumplings from Sara Forte’s new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen: A Tastier Take on Whole Foods. Wonton wrappers are my lazy man’s pasta since it’s already rolled out and ready to go. My favorite use for wonton wrappers is a quick-and-crude cheese ravioli served with a garlicky tomato sauce. Forte’s recipe keeps wonton wrappers in the Asian camp with ingredients like edamame, lemon grass, green onions, sesame oil, mirin and soy sauce.

This straightforward recipe comes together in three easy steps: Make the filling for the wontons; assemble and cook the wontons; and prepare an earthy broth for the wontons to swim in. A food processor makes quick work of puréeing the edamame filling. The flavor of the filling is nothing outstanding; edamame sometimes needs help in order to be brought to life. Were I to prepare the dish again, I’d add ground ginger and wasabi powder to the filling, which might then be tasty enough to serve as an atypical dip or spread with chips or warmed flatbread.

Assembling the wontons is similarly easy, particularly if you keep handy a bowl of water for dipping your fingers into in order to seal the wrappers together and keep these starchy shapes from sticking to your fingers.

The recipe for the broth calls for either mushroom or vegetable broth. I keep homemade vegetable broth on hand, so that’s what I grabbed. However, even after adding the lemon grass, mirin and soy sauce, the liquid lacked umami. A few generous shakes of Ozark Forest Mushroom porcini powder made it better, but it still wasn’t quite there, so I added ginger, wasabi powder and more soy sauce. Adjustments made, all of us – kids included – lapped this dish up.

Edamame Dumplings
Serves 4

For the wontons:
4 green onions, white and green parts coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 cups shelled edamame, cooked and drained
2 Tbsp. regular or vegan sour cream
Dash of hot sauce
40 round wonton wrappers

For the broth:
4 cups mushroom or low-sodium vegetable broth
1 lemon grass stalk
2 Tbsp. mirin
2 Tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce (I doubled this amount.)*
Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Microgreens or pea shoots, for garnish

*I added a few generous pinches of ginger powder and wasabi powder.

• Combine the green onions, sesame oil, basil, edamame, sour cream and hot sauce in a food processor. Process to a purée.
• On a lightly floured work surface, place a heaping tablespoonful of the edamame filling in the center of a wonton wrapper. Use your finger to wipe a bit of water around the edge of the wrapper. Place another wonton wrapper on top of the filling and press down along the edges to adhere. Repeat with remaining wrappers and filling.
•To make the broth, warm the mushroom or vegetable broth in a pot over medium-low heat.
• Pound the lemon grass with the back of a heavy knife to release its oils and discard the tough outer layer. Mince the inner, pale portion of the bottom of the stalk and add it to the broth along with the mirin and soy sauce. (I also added a few generous pinches of ginger powder and wasabi powder.)
• Gently simmer for 10 minutes to combine the flavors. Cover and turn the heat to low to keep warm.
• Add enough of the broth to a saucepan to cover the bottom, about 1 cup, and add a single layer of wontons (You will probably need to do this in two batches.). Cover and steam over medium-low heat until the wontons are warmed, about 2 minutes.
• To serve, divide the wontons among 4 shallow bowls and pour about ½ cup of the remaining broth on top. Garnish with a sprinkle of the toasted sesame seeds and sprouts and serve hot. 

What’s your favorite way to use wonton wrappers? Tell us about it in the comments section below for a chance to win a copy of The Sprouted Kitchen by Sara Forte. We’ll announce the winner in next week’s By the Book column. 

And now, we’d like to congratulate Steve, whose comment on last week’s By the Book has won him a copy of Volt Ink. Steve, keep an eye out for an email from the Sauce crew. 

By Ligaya Figueras

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6 Responses to “By the Book: Sara Forte’s Edamame Dumplings”

  1. Angelina Says:
    January 1st, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    I’ll go ahead and warp the whole healthy purpose of this cookbook post ;)
    Askinosie’s hazelnut spread and some mashed banana make a great filling- seal the wontons with sugar water and sprinkle with turbinado sugar, deep fry them and you are officially over the top.

  2. Kathy Ziegenmier Says:
    January 1st, 2013 at 3:42 pm

    I was lucky enough to taste a delicious potsticker made with Wonton
    wrappers at a luncheon. I look forward to trying them myself.

  3. Cherie Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Wonton wrappers are so versatile. My favorite is making siu mai with them. Mix ground pork, shiitake mushrooms, chopped shrimp, scallions along with cornstarch, sesame oil, salt and pepper for the filling and it really only takes 15 minutes for the siu mai to steam and cook. We’ve also just molded them and fried them, kinda like crab rangoon without the filling…I used to call them Chinese potato chips growing up. Another version is just to cut them diagonally, spraying them with olive oil, salt, and paprika or your choice of spices and baking them for crackers for dips. Last year, we made ravioli out of them. We did spinach and mushroom ones with mascarpone and Parmesan cheese and we also did cheese ravioli with ricotta, Parmesan, romano, mozzarella, and argula. We’ve also done pumpkin ravioli which was a hit. We’ve also tried petite lasagna with them, making the meat lasagna filling, and then using cupcake tins and overlaying two wonton wrappers at 90 degrees from each other and spooning the lasagna mixture into them. Mini egg rolls are another option although wrapping takes deft fingers! The possibilities are endless with won ton wrappers!

  4. Earen Hummel Says:
    January 2nd, 2013 at 8:17 pm

    That dish looks amazing! My favorite way to use wonton wrappers is to make my Aunt Machiko’s gyoza. I mix squished up tofu, finely chopped spinach, grated carrot, minced green onion, minced garlic and ginger. Add a splash of soy sauce, sesame oil, and dash of cayenne. Make the gyoza dumplings and steam them. Serve with a dipping sauce of soy, rice vinegar, cayenne. Delicious.

  5. Priya Says:
    January 4th, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    I use wonton wrappers to make little snacks for kids, who really love the small cute portions. My favorite is:

    pb+j wontons — put a teaspoon of strawberry or cherry jam and a few unroasted peanuts in the center of a wrapper;fold the wrapper diagonally in half and seal with wet fingers; lay it on a cookie sheet, brush with butter and sprinkle with salt, and bake at 350 until crisp.

    And for adult palates, I stuff the wrappers with a teaspoon each of chopped dates and crumbled chevre, and pan-fry in salted olive oil.

  6. More of What We Are Eating | elliek Says:
    May 22nd, 2013 at 5:33 am

    [...] Kitchen’s Edamame Dumplings. These seem like they are going to be hard but actually they were not difficult and didn’t [...]

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