Zen Temple Dumplings

Maria Shinzai


"Zen" refers to a style of Buddhism (most Buddhists are vegetarian, but not all), however this vegan dish is what Zen Buddhist monk might eat at temples throughout Japan. You can have them as an appetizer or a main course with a side of vegetables or tofu. You can keep make the dumplings up to a month in advance: Place uncooked dumplings on a baking sheet and freeze; store in zip-top freezer bags. To serve, steam the frozen dumplings for about 10 minutes or until the wonton wrappers are translucent.


★★★★★ 1 vote

9 servings



  • 1 1/2 tsp
    coarsely chopped peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 clove
  • 1 c
    (2-inch) slices asparagus (about 1/2 pound)
  • 1/4 c
    (1-inch) pieces green onions
  • 1 can(s)
    (8 oz) can whole water chestnuts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 can(s)
    (8 oz) package mushrooms, stems removed
  • 2 tsp
    dark sesame oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp
    low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp
    kosher salt
  • 36
    wonton wrappers
  • ·
    cooking spray
  • SAUCE:

  • 1/3 c
    low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp
    minced green onions
  • 2 Tbsp
    rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp
    dark sesame oil

How to Make Zen Temple Dumplings


  1. Preparation
    To prepare dumplings, drop ginger and garlic through food chute with food processor on; process until minced. Add the asparagus, 1/4 cup green onion pieces, and water chestnuts; pulse 4 times or until chopped. Add mushrooms, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; pulse 4 times or until mixture is finely chopped.
    Working with 1 wonton wrapper at a time (cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to keep from drying), spoon about 2 teaspoons mushroom mixture in the center of wrapper. Moisten edges of wrapper with water. Bring 2 opposite corners together. Press edges together with fingertips to seal, forming a triangle. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray while assembling; lightly cover with a towel or plastic wrap. Repeat procedure with remaining wonton wrappers and mushroom mixture.
    Add water to a Dutch oven to a depth of 1 inch; bring to a boil. Coat a metal vegetable steamer with cooking spray. Arrange 9 dumplings in steamer, slightly overlapping. Steam dumplings, covered, 8 minutes or until tender. Remove dumplings from steamer; cover and keep warm. Repeat procedure with remaining dumplings.
    To prepare sauce, combine 1/3 cup soy sauce and remaining ingredients. Drizzle over dumplings.

Printable Recipe Card

About Zen Temple Dumplings

Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tag: Healthy
Hashtags: #dumplings #Zen

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