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spring vegetable potstickers + sweet chili soy dip


Hello, hello! Going to be a bit of a dine and dash today. Life is extraordinarily full at the moment and wouldn’t you know, my yearly spring cold has arrived just in time. I’m on the mend, sniffling just a bit and seeing the light. A touch of sickness can be this little blessing in disguise sometimes. It forces a powering down, some self love in the form of cozy hot drinks, and rest! Oh gosh, the rest. It demands a nourishing and mindful response. There’s a once-again new perspective on wellness, a few life things sorted out, fresh sheets on the bed, windows wide open, and the world is brand new.

Anyway, as I’m pulling out of this sniffly business, I’m getting a little more excited to meet all of the endeavours face to face. I’m anticipating the madness a little more positively because I’ve got myself a little plan. Wanna hear it? Enjoy the crazy. Frolic in the crazy even. I’m usually a put-your-head-down-and-work-til-it’s-over type when it comes to mastering the tasks of life. I’m trying to make laser beam focus coexist with pleasure and I think it’s gonna be pretty rad.

So I made you some potstickers too. They have little cuts of sweet spring vegetables, tender shreds of new cabbage, lots of ginger (sinus clearing yay!), fresh mint and an insanely delicious maple and soy dip, all flecked with sesames, scallions and chili flakes. I love pretty much anything in the dumpling category because you get to hunch over the plate in anticipation of filling overflow/sauce drips. They demand fully vested eating and are generally always delicious. Also, every culture has one, which obviously points to their inherently good + true nature. These look finicky, but they’re honestly VERY hard to screw up. I worked for a chef that joked about wanting a house made from fried wonton wrappers once. These things are durable, I’m telling you. If you kind of manhandle them while you’re trying to pinch them shut, no worry. It’s gonna be fine.

spring vegetable potstickers w/ sweet chili soy dip 
serves: makes about 24
notes: Check the ingredients on your package of wonton wrappers to ensure that they are vegan/free of nasties. You could also wrap the cooked veggies with boston lettuce leaves and nix the sauteeing step for a lighter option, or possibly try some rice paper wraps.

potstickers ingredients:
1 tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil, divided
1 small shallot, small dice
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
6-7 stalks of asparagus, woody ends snapped off + small diced
1 cup shelled fresh/frozen peas
1 cup shredded green cabbage
juice of 1 lime
salt + pepper
2 sprigs of mint, leaves chopped
24+ wonton wrappers

sweet chili soy dip ingredients:
¼ cup tamari or nama shoyu
2 tbsp maple syrup/raw honey/agave
1 tsp minced fresh ginger
couple drops of hot toasted sesame oil
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 green onion, thinly sliced on a bias
2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Heat 1 ½ teaspoons of the grapeseed oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the shallots and ginger to the pan. Stir them up and cook until fragrant and shallots are translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus, peas and cabbage to the pan. Sauté until the peas and asparagus are bright green and the cabbage is slightly wilted. Add the lime juice, season the mixture to taste and remove from the heat. Add the mint, stir, and allow the mixture to cool.

Divide the vegetable filling amongst the wonton wrappers, placing about 2 teaspoons of it in the center of each wonton square. Moisten half of the edges with a bit of water and fold the potstickers up, pinching the tops shut as you go.

Wipe out the sauté pan and heat the remaining grapeseed oil on medium heat. Fry the potstickers in batches until they’re golden brown on both sides, about ½-1 full minute per side. Introduce more oil to the pan as needed to finish them up.

For the sweet chili soy dip, whisk all of the ingredients together. Serve the potstickers hot with the dip on the side.

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la domestique29/05/2013 - 5:37 am

I am crazy about potstickers and this recipe looks so good! I seriously cannot wait to try it. This week I’m a bit overwhelmed with deadlines, so I’m going to take my cue from you and embrace the madness. Here we go!

Southernspoonbelle29/05/2013 - 7:06 am

Potstickers are the bomb, thanks for the lovely recipe! May have to experiment with some autumn/winter vegetables down here in the southern hemisphere, as you’ve now given me a craving. Butternut and onion potstickers?

Liz @ The Lemon Bowl29/05/2013 - 8:48 am

What a gorgeous and delicious recipe!!

Ashley29/05/2013 - 9:26 am

While you may think you wrote a dine + dash post, your words were still so meaningful. I’ve never heard anyone describe life as being “full.” It’s always busy/stressful/hectic/crazy/etc. Sometimes just choosing to describe the current moment with a different word, like “full,” is all it takes to change your outlook. Thanks for the reminder and my new life descriptor word. I am also trying to embrace the crazy. And the potstickers? Yes x100! Lovely photos.

michelle29/05/2013 - 9:39 am

One day I will show you my near pro-level dumpling folding skills – a result of my college roommate’s Chinese new year dumpling making parties. I can fan like nobody’s business.

Sophia29/05/2013 - 10:34 am

Love love love potstickers – in fact I love them so much I had serious food envy the other day when I went out for a meal with my other half and the table next to us (a couple nonetheless) kept being brought plate after plate of dumplings in all shapes and sizes, including potstickers! And the sauce looks like the kind of dipping sauce I would a) drip all over the table in trying to navigate a potsticker from the plate to my mouth and b) slurp the last drops of when all the potstickers are gone and I think I am safe and no one is looking at me!

And saying life is full is a good way of looking at it – ‘busy’ must be the most overused word of our generation! At least when it is good ‘busy’ maybe saying life is full is a better way of looking at it! Alas, mine is both full and busy at the moment … (some good stuff and not so good stuff, at least I don’t feel like I am standing still).

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar29/05/2013 - 11:38 am

These look so crazy good! Yum!

Kathryne29/05/2013 - 12:52 pm

Feel better, Laura! I’ve never made potstickers but you make them look like they’re worth the effort. Beautiful photos as always.

Stacy29/05/2013 - 1:23 pm

I’ve typically tended toward dividing the seasons of crazy from those of rest, thinking that calm, enjoyment and the like can’t coexist with crazy. I say to myself that when the chaos is over, I’ll be so glad, things will be better, there will be rest. But I think you’ve got it right: we must enjoy the crazy. This may be my new mantra.

Also, this recipe! It looks fantastic. Hopefully I’ll make time to try it in my kitchen before the asparagus is gone. xo

hungryandfrozen29/05/2013 - 3:01 pm

Oh no, get better, you! Then you can frolic in the crazy even more.

I love how easy wonton wrappers are to use, despite how fiddly they look. That said, I must admit yours are folded a lot more tidily than mine!

Katy @ Katy's Kitchen29/05/2013 - 4:22 pm

I totally was not craving potstickers. I was craving a mint chocolate chip smoothie. Now, I’m totally craving potstickers. These look absolutely mouthwatering.

Alannah29/05/2013 - 6:15 pm

Hi there- What brand of wonton wrappers do you use? I love to work with Dynasty wrappers (very thin, and so widely recommended), but occasionally, their after-taste really throws me off. Perhaps it’s the powdery coating that keeps them from sticking together? Looking for an equally thin alternative, if you know any. Plus, obv, no one loves “yuckies.” Thanks!

Eileen29/05/2013 - 8:19 pm

These potstickers look just fantastic! I almost never make potstickers or dumplings from scratch, but I think you’ve inspired me to give it a try again soon. :)

Maddy30/05/2013 - 1:35 am

These look amazing! I cannot seem to find vegan wonton wrappers anywhere, where do you buy them/what brand? Thanks!

sarah30/05/2013 - 9:39 am

This post is gorgeous.
We are sort of obsessed with potstickers, and I’ve been meaning to come up with a veggie version but have never gotten around to it. Thanks! You did it for me! :) I can’t wait to try these out for dinner. xo

Julia30/05/2013 - 9:51 am

Those potstickers look really mouthwatering. Recipe bookmarked!
Get well soon! Ginger definitely is the right way from my experience.
…and as regards the fully packed life: one step after another … that’s what I have to say to myself in these situations!

maudska30/05/2013 - 10:03 am

Looks so good.. So inspiring! Thanks for the receipe.

Laura Wright30/05/2013 - 12:49 pm

Hey Alannah + Maddy!

I don’t think I’ve ever bought the same brand of wonton wrappers twice, but I can tell you that the selection is generally way better at an Asian grocery store. Much higher possibility of finding egg-free ones for sure. Twin Marquis + Lumpia brands have been excellent for me. Hope that helps! :)
-L

Stacey30/05/2013 - 1:12 pm

I’m 8 months pregnant and trying to get myself to pull together, make some dumplings and freeze them as my summer go-to. Alas, I’m stuck drooling over pics and recipes like yours instead! :)

Kasey30/05/2013 - 3:16 pm

I hope you are feeling better. And also, these look amazing! Your photography is out of this world.

Christy@SweetandSavoring30/05/2013 - 9:49 pm

Wow. I just find myself gazing adoringly at your photos each time I visit. I’m so glad I found you (via The Kitchn, I believe) and that sweet chili soy dip sounds like it would be good to dunk a lot of things into! :)

Irina @ wandercrush31/05/2013 - 12:15 pm

I can’t believe I didn’t find your blog sooner. Your photographs are stunning and I enjoy your writing, too. Potstickers are a childhood favourite of mine!

Sarah Crowder31/05/2013 - 10:11 pm

I’ve never worked with wonton wrappers before and didn’t know they were so resilient…time for a try! The filling sounds great but the dip sounds perfect.

Danielle01/06/2013 - 11:09 am

Oh my these look so scrumptious! Just what I’ve been craving. This is going on the menu for this week :) I know what you mean about sickness – it always brings me back to the those vital basics so easily forgotten – like eating good food, resting, all of that. I love your advice to frolic in the craziness. I must remember that.

Weekend Notes | Camille Styles01/06/2013 - 2:39 pm

[...] Drooling over this spring vegetable potstickers recipe. [...]

petal and plume02/06/2013 - 4:45 pm

what a beautiful blog you have! this recipe looks amazing. your photography is so crisp and brilliant.
xx

Lindsey02/06/2013 - 6:26 pm

beautiful spread. awesome use of what’s fresh and at the markets these days. hope you’re feeling better!

sara forte02/06/2013 - 8:24 pm

These will be happening this week. I have *almost* everything. I may not be the biggest potsticker lady but I AM the biggest rice paper/spring roll lady so I’ll work off your suggestion for that. Gorg photos, miss.

Katie @ Produce on Parade03/06/2013 - 5:58 pm

Oh lordy, your images are absolutely beautiful and this recipe looks utterly divine! I simply cannot wait to try these out!

I’ve never made potstickers, but these are so beautiful that I think I’ll just have to. Your photographs are so beautiful!

Casey24/06/2013 - 10:16 pm

do these freeze well?

Laura Wright25/06/2013 - 6:36 am

Hi Casey,
I would not freeze these in a pre or post-cooked state. They would let out a lot of moisture once they started thawing and would probably make for a soggy dumpling.
-L

[...] Spring Vegetable Potstickers with Sweet Chili Soy Dip from The First Mess [...]

terri15/07/2013 - 2:50 pm

Hi – been dying to try these and now got invited to bring an appetizer to a dinner party. Wondering whether they are portable…can I make them the night before and reheat them when I get to the party?

Laura Wright15/07/2013 - 9:31 pm

Hey Terri,
I think you could definitely get away with sautéeing them up the night before and then giving them a little reheat in the oven when you arrive. Par-TAY! :)
-L

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Paige19/09/2013 - 10:45 pm

I made these for the first time tonight, and my husband and I both loved them! The vegetable filing is great! Love the ginger and lime. I used coconut oil to add more flavor, versus grape seed oil. Not sure I could taste the difference in the end, but it smelled heavenly while cooking. I also didn’t realize how important the Tamari was for the dipping sauce. I used low sodium soy instead, but it was pretty salty and overpowered the delicate flavored of the veggie mixture after a while. The veggie filling would also be good served with noodles or rice.

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