Red Lentil Dumplings Recipe
I have one more day in Hong Kong before flying back to San Francisco, and I thought I'd jot off a quick post for those of you who like to see what I pack to eat when I travel. Red lentil dumplings flared out with roasted cherry tomatoes, and a simple smoked paprika and garlic oil.
I thought I'd jot off a quick post for those of you who like to see what I pack to eat when I travel. I have one more day in Hong Kong before flying back to San Francisco, and I'll be sad to leave. This trip has been far too quick - Hong Kong is an amazing city, and the people couldn't be more kind, friendly, or generous. Lots of pictures and a bit of video to come. In the meantime, I made these little dumplings for the flight. They're protein-packed pureed red lentils, flared out with deeply roasted cherry tomatoes, and a simple smoked paprika and garlic oil. I meant to finish them with a simple basil oil, but didn't want to miss my flight. More soon! -h
Red Lentil Dumplings
1 basket cherry tomatoes, stemmed
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 cups cooked red lentils
1/3 - 1/2 cup water, plus more for cooking
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 teaspoons smoked paprika, or to taste
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
round potsticker wrappers
flour, for dusting
clarified butter for pan-frying
Preheat the oven to 350F, and place a rack in the top third. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of the olive oil, maple syrup, and salt. Pour the mixture over the tomatoes and gently toss until well coated. Arrange the tomatoes in a single layer, cut-side up, and roast, without stirring, until the tomatoes shrink a bit and start to caramelize around the edges, 45 to 60 minutes. If you aren't using these immediately, let them cool and then scrape them into a clean glass jar along with any olive oil that was left in the baking dish or sheet. Sometimes I top off the jar with an added splash of olive oil. The tomatoes will keep for about 1 week in the refrigerator.
Use a food processor or hand blender to puree the red lentils along with the water.
In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/4 cup of olive oil with the garlic, paprika, and chile flakes. Cook over gentle heat until the oil barely comes to a simmer. Turn off heat, and allow to sit for a few minutes.
Add the paprika oil to the pureed lentils, and then gently fold in the roasted tomatoes. Thin with a bit more water if needed, you want the filling to be quite moist, but still able to hold shape. Season with a bit of salt, just enough that it tastes good. Taste and make any necessary adjustments.
Now, fill and shape the dumplings. Very lightly dust your counter top with a bit of flour. Place 12 wrappers on the floured countertop, and add a small dollop of filling in each dumpling. Run a wet finger around the rim of each wrapper, press the edges together well, and try to avoid trapping air bubbles in the dumplings if you can. Crimp or pinch each dumpling, and gently press it down against the counter to give it a flat base, so it sits upright. This base is also what gets brown and crunchy - one of the things you're after. Repeat until you run out of wrappers or filling. Place the dumplings seam side up on a well-floured plate or baking sheet. The extra flour that sticks to the base gives extra crunch.
At this point you can freeze any dumplings you know you aren't going to cook.
To cook the dumplings, heat a scant tablespoon of clarified butter or oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange dumplings in the pan, seam side up, with a sliver of space between each (so they don't stick together). Pan-fry until the bottoms are golden, a few minutes. With a large lid in one hand, carefully and quickly add 1/3 cup / 80 ml water to the pan, immediately cover, and cook the dumplings for a few minutes, or until the water is nearly evaporated. Uncover and finish cooking until all the water is gone - another minute or so. Dial back the heat if the bottoms are getting too dark. Cook in batches, and serve drizzled with the scallion oil and spicy soy sauce.
Make 4-5 dozen dumplings.
Prep time: 60 minutes - Cook time: 10 minutes
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This look delightful! I am curious - how do you handle food for your return flight?
HS: Hi Morgan, I usually just stock up on things from a local grocery - nuts, avocado, good crackers, good cheese, or whatever looks tasty, etc.
Here's hoping you are having a great trip and safe return home. These protein-packed dumplings look delicious. I am going to make them and take them with me when we take our family vacation to Chicago soon. If there are any places I should eat at while there let me know. I've done minimal planning for this trip... as I'd rather just have a staycation this time around, so if ANYone reading this has suggestions, I'm all ears. LOL! I'm traveling with my hubby, a 13yo, and a 10yo so Alinea-style dining is not in the cards.
Yes, I always love to see what you travel with for your flights. Please never stop sharing. Thes dumplings could not be a more perfect finger food. You've made it such an accessible recipe too. Definitely going to make this.
These are so unique and I can imagine the wonderful taste! I might have to make these for dinner tonight :)
These sounds really delicious and easy! Do you think I could puree the tomatoes along with the lentils? My boyfriend is weird about tomatoes and doesn't like "chunks" of them, but I think we would both love the flavor of these.
Heidi I so admire your ability to pack delicious and portable meals for your trips, something I aim for but don't always achieve, despite being a seasoned traveller. But I must admit, reading your blog and the various posts on your plane snacks/meals has inspired me to try harder and there have been a few flights in the past few months where I was happily munching on homemade onigiri or dumplings with a simple dipping sauce. These lentil dumplings sound delicious and that picture of the roasted tomatoes is beautiful!
Thanks Heidi, I love dumplings but I never dared making them - until now! Though I've burned a few of the potstickers in the first batch, they are way easier to make than I thought. The filling was a bitter runnier than I expected, so I bulked it up by adding some sunflower seeds to the food processor. I loved the taste of the filling (might have eaten a spoon or two while cooking ...) I have to travel a lot for work and batch no. 2 will be boarding a plane with me very soon I think.
These sound wonderful and inspired; I love the sound of roasted cherry tomatoes and red lentils! I've been trying to use up a bag of lentils (we're leaving the Bay Area after 9 years come August, so all food must go!), and these dumplings seem like the perfect way. I may try steaming them and playing around with a sauce, too (lime, miso, rice vinegar and sesame oil would really make them pop).
Do these make it through security without being flagged as a liquid? I'm always nervous with hummus, or anything of a remotely paste-y consistency. They look amazing.
HS: Hi Tessa! Not a problem :)
Lentils are really versatile. You can really make a lot of healthy and delicious meals out of it.
When I saw you'd posted up a new recipe, I knew something good was coming, and darn was I right too! These look fantastic! I just cannot believe you make lovely food like this even when you're about to hit the road :) I am so glad you are enjoying Hong Kong and I am excited to hear about it :D Enjoy the rest of your time there, and thank you so much for the recipe :D x
These are beautiful and look delicious! I'm so excited to hear how you like Hong Kong!
We love your golden potstickers so can't wait to try these!
What a wonderful idea! I've been making tofu-filled dumplings, so I'll have to try these lentil ones. Simple and fresh flavors - my favorite!
Can you also steam the dumplings or bake them? I'm a novice at making my own dumplings but I was wondering if it'd be possible to make it easier and just leave it and forget it (as I like to do in my batch cooking)! Many thanks!
What a wonderful vegetarian recipe! I love that it can easily be made vegan too! This sounds absolutely delicious.
Hong Kong seems a wonderful metropolis :) Btw, I love these dumplings! The idea of a lentil puree as filling is so simple but so nourishing and healthy. Can't wait to try them ^_^
They look so good! Just curious if you have tried chickpeas before? Can't wait to see pictures from your trip!
Yum! I love the colours and the idea of including tomatoes ... There's something so satisfying about dumplings!
This is such a neat dumpling recipe. I love the flavour!
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