These rose shaped dumplings are filled with an aromatic veggie mix that's loaded with umami. Not only are they tasty, they are also very aesthetically pleasing, resembling pink and white roses. Perfect for the QiXi Festival (Chinese Valentine's)!
Today is QiXi (七夕) or QiQiao (七巧), or commonly known as Chinese Valentine's Day in America! This Chinese holiday began with the mythical tale of the Weaver Girl and the Cowherd and to celebrate their annual reunion.
As this holiday is a Chinese Valentine's Day, we thought it's fitting to share these beautiful rose shape dumplings. I mean, the only thing better than receiving a bouquet of rose is to receive a bouquet of tasty rose shape dumplings. Am I right? Or am I right? Lol.
These rose shaped dumplings are filled with vegetables and tofu and tinted with a small amount of beetroot juice to give them that nice pink "rose petals." But of course, if you prefer classic pork and vegetable dumplings, check out our previous pan-fried pork dumpling for the filling recipe.
Cook and strain the vegetables
For vegetable dumplings, it is very important to remove excess moisture from the filling so that, one, the excess moisture doesn't get soaked into the wrapper and tear it, and two, so that the filling won't be watery, loose, and unappetizing.
So make sure to cook the vegetables until just tender then strain out the excess liquid. Adding a small amount of salt during the cooking process will also help draw out some moisture and help season the vegetables. Also, using some oil during the cooking process will also help flavor the vegetables and make it taste better and have more umami.
Pros & cons of using beetroot juice:
For these dumpling wrappers, we wanted to add some flare to our white rose dumplings, so we decided to give it some pink "petals" by adding some beetroot juice to half of our wrapper dough. The amount we used is the same as what is listed in our recipe, and it achieved a really nice shade of pink. If you add more beet juice to the dough, you will achieve a deeper shade of pink and eventually venture into something like a pinkish purple. I do suggest that, if you decide to add more than a total of 1 tablespoon of beet juice to 1 cup of all-purpose flour, you may have to hold back slightly on the amount of hot water used, to accommodate for the total hydration of the dough.
The pros of using beetroot juice for the dough is that it is relatively cheap to get and very accessible, as it is readily available in most grocery stores. Plus, beet juice creates a really nice and vibrate pink and hot purple color.
Now the con of using beetroot juice is that beet juice reacts with heat. Applying heat to beet juice colored doughs will turn it a peachy pink to a peachy yellow. It was not ideal since we have to steam our dumplings to enjoy them, but that peachy pink wasn't too bad either. So just a heads-up there.
The 1st dough shaping
The first shaping of the dumpling dough is to prepare the wrapper's design. For these rose shaped dumplings, we wanted the wrapper to have a white center with a thick ring of pink on the outer edge. To achieve this design:
- Roll the white (non-colored) dough into a log about 1 ¼ inch thick. If the log is too long, you could cut it in half and work with it in two portions. Cover the log(s) with plastic wrap and set aside for the moment.
***If making just one color, roll the log into 1 ½ inch thick and skip to step 4, slicing the dough.***
- Flatten the pink dough into an oblong shape that's about 3 inches wide and long enough to accommodate the non-colored log(s). If you divided the log in two, also split the pink rectangle dough in two.
- Lightly brush the oblong dough with a little bit of water to help adhere the two doughs. Place the log in the middle and wrap the pink dough around the white log. Seal the dough and roll the log on a flat surface to help even and smooth out the log.
- With a sharp knife, slice the dough into 66 even pieces (4-5g each) using a back-and-forth sawing motion. This will prevent the design from getting smushed and smeared together. Keep all the dough covered when not using.
How to shape rose dumplings:
After the initial set up and shaping of the bicolor dumpling wrapper dough, here comes the fun part: the rose shaping!
- Working with 1 slice of the dough at a time, roll the wrapper into a circle, about 2½ inch wide and 1 millimeter thick. Using a rolling pin, thin out the edges by rolling from the edge to the center. This will help thin the edges while keeping the center thicker.
- Repeat step 1 two more times to make a total of 3 wrappers.
- Line the 3 wrappers with only ¼ inch of the edges overlapping each other. Wet the overlapping edges of the wrapper with a small amount of water and gently roll over the areas with a rolling pin to adhere the wrappers.
- Place a thin line of the filling on the middle section of the wrappers then fold the bottom half of the wrapper up to encase the filling. The amount of filling used will depend on how comfortable you are with this dumpling fold.
***An alternative way to shape the rose dumplings is to dab a small amount of water to the edges of all 3 of the wrappers and pinch them shut. Try to release all the air bubbles before you completely seal the dumpling. This alternative way will result in rose dumplings with thicker "petals" without any exposed filling.***
- Roll the dumpling from one end of the wrapper to the other and dab a small amount of water to the end to help adhere the dough.
Equipments recommended for making dumplings/ gyoza/ mandu:
Some equipments that Kyong and I both LOVE when make dumplings and pastries of similar techniques are:
- Silicon pastry mat - This pastry mat is a recent discovery and I can't say how much I love it! It makes cleaning up much easier and really handy for anything that needs to be rolled super thin, like homemade dumpling wrappers. You can lift up the mats to help peel your wrapper off the mat, if ever needed.
- Dumpling rolling pin - Unlike classic rolling pins that are bulky with handles that are not the easiest for quick maneuvering, dumpling rolling pins are simply a thick wooden/ bamboo dowel that's long enough for most pastries but short enough for easy handling. It's kind of similar to french rolling pins but smaller and are usually not tapered at the end.
- Steamer - This is a must have if you love steamed dumplings, steamed baos, or any steamed pastries! We love our bamboo steamer because there's a lot of airflow in between the layers but a stainless steel one works really well too.
- Perforated parchment liner - I've used cloth steamer liners before but found them to be not very dumpling wrapper friendly. Not sure why they tend to stick. We found these perforated parchment liners that worked amazingly for our 10 inch bamboo steam basket, and we never had to worry about our dumplings getting stuck! If you're really worried or want to be cautious, we sometimes rub a light layer of oil on either the parchment or the bottoms of our dumplings.
If you're looking for other festive Asian recipes, you may like these:
- Vegetarian Bao Buns (Korean Style)
- Snow Skin Mooncake with Custard Filling
- Black Sesame Tang Yuan (黑芝麻汤圆)
- Chinese Whole Steamed Fish with Ginger and Scallion
Cook with love!
Rose Shape Dumplings (Vegetarian Version)
For the dumpling wrappers (if making your own):
For the dumpling filling:
- 6 ounce green cabbage , finely chopped (about ⅙ of a medium cabbage)
- ½ medium carrot , peeled & finely chopped
- ¼ small yellow onion , finely chopped
- 2 fresh shiitake mushroom , finely chopped
- ⅓ block firm tofu , crumbled & squeezed dry (about 5oz)
- 1½ Tablespoon soy sauce
- ½ Tablespoon Shaoxing cooking wine (optional)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt , and more as needed
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 large egg (optional as a binder)
- Vegetable oil , as needed for cooking
For the dumpling dipping sauce:
- Combine all of the ingredients and either bring it to a boil on the stovetop or via the microwave. Let it cool to room temperature and use immediately or store in the fridge until needed.*Feel free to adjust the amount of acidity, sweetness, and spiciness.*
For the dumpling wrappers (if making your own):
- In a heatproof bowl, mix together the flour and salt. While stirring the flour, drizzle in the hot water. Continue mixing the dough until it starts to come together and is cooled or comfortable for you to handle. Knead the dough until almost smooth. Cover and set aside for 15 minutes.For 2 color wrappers:After drizzling hot water into the flour, divide the dough in half. Knead the non-colored dough until mostly smooth. Add the beetroot juice to the other half of the dough and knead until the color is well incorporated and the dough looks mostly smooth. Cover both and set aside to rest for 15 minutes.*The color of the dough can vary by the amount of beet juice you add. For a deeper pink, add more juice. Refer to the post for more detail.*
- After resting, give the dough a couple of kneads to smooth it out. Roll the dough into a 1½ inch cylinder. Divide the dough into 66 equal pieces, about 4-5 grams each. Cover and set aside until needed.For 2 color wrappers:Knead each dough a couple of times to smooth them out. Roll the non-colored dough into a 1 inch cylinder and the pink dough into a rectangle about 3 inches wide and as long as the non-colored dough. Brush the pink dough with a small amount water and place the non-colored dough in the center. Wrap the pink dough entirely around the non-colored dough and seal the ends.Using a sharp knife, cut the dough into 66 equal portions using a back-and-forth sawing motion. DO NOT cut the dough straight down to prevent the dough from squishing and the colors merging. Each piece weighs around 4-5 grams. Cover the dough with plastic wrap until needed.
For the filling:
- In a pan over medium high heat, add a generous amount of vegetable oil. Add the cabbage, onion, carrot, mushroom, and a light sprinkle of salt and cook until all the vegetables are just tender. Let the vegetables cool then transfer to a bowl. Drain any excess liquid.
- Add the crumbled tofu to the cooked vegetables and season with the soy sauce, Shaoxing cooking wine (optional), salt, and sesame oil. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.*If you prefer dumpling fillings to be more bound together, mix an egg into the filling mixture. This will keep the filling bounded after steaming.*
For the assembly (refer to the post for photo references):
- Working with 1 piece of dough at a time, roll it into a thin circle about 2 to 2½ inches in diameter and 1 millimeter thick. Apply a small amount of flour as needed to prevent sticking. Repeat this step 2 more times to have a total of 3 wrappers.
- Line the 3 wrappers horizontally with about ¼ inch of the edge overlapping each other. Lightly brush the overlapped section each wrapper and gently roll over it with a rolling pin.
- Place a thin line of the filling along the middle of the wrappers, then fold the dumpling wrappers in half, lengthwise. Starting from one end of the wrapper, slowly roll the dumpling to the other end to create a rose. Brush some water on the end, if needed, to help the dough adhere at the end. Pinch the edges or the "petals" of the rose to make it thinner and more petal-like.
- Lightly grease the bottom of the dumpling and place into the steamer. Repeat these steps with remaining filling and wrappers, and place the dumplings at least ¼ inch apart. Keep the steamer covered at all times when working on the dumplings to prevent the wrappers from drying out.
- Place the steamer over boiling water and steam for about 13 to 15 minutes or until the interior dough is cooked through and no longer opaque. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.*Beetroot juice lightens in color when heat is applied and tends to turn orange or a peachy pink.*
- If you like this rose shaped dumpling, but prefer a classic Chinese pork and veggie filling, check out our Chinese Pork Dumpling post for the pork filling recipe.
- If you happen to have leftover vegetable filling, you can store it in your fridge up to 5 days or frozen up to 1 month. Just make sure to keep them in airtight containers.