It is said that during Chinese New Year, a mythical beast called Nian passes through villages and eats the villagers as well as their crops and livestock. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, we have some vegan recipes for a feast so delicious it might even convince Nian to ditch meat.
Veggie Dumplings (Jiaozi)
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup grated carrots
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
2 Tbsp finely chopped red pepper
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
2 tsp minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp sesame oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
35–40 small dumpling wrappers
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, red pepper, onion, ginger, soy sauce and sesame oil. Stir until combined and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Place the wrappers on a dry working surface one at a time, place 1 teaspoonful of the vegetable mixture in the centre of the wrapper, wet the edges of the wrapper with water, fold one side over and then pinch the edges together until sealed. The dumplings will be in the shape of a half moon. Repeat until all the filling is gone.
- Bring 1/2 inch of water to a simmer over medium heat. In a steamer, place as many dumplings as will fit without touching each other. Cover and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Repeat until all dumplings are cooked.
- Serve while hot, with a side of your favourite dipping sauce.
Makes 35 to 40 small dumplings
Chinese Hot Pot
This is a common feature of most Chinese New Year meals as it is meant to symbolise the coming together of family members.
1 small yellow onion, chopped
1 large carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced on a diagonal
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced on a diagonal
6-oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 Tbsp tamari or other soy sauce
8 oz extra-firm tofu, drained and diced
4 oz fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and caps thinly sliced
1 oz snow peas, strings trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
3 scallions, chopped
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil or Chinese hot oil
- In a 4-quart slow cooker, combine the onion, carrot, celery, water chestnuts, garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Add the stock and tamari. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.
- About 20 minutes before serving, add the tofu, mushrooms, snow peas and scallions. Drizzle in the sesame oil.
- Cover and cook until the mushrooms and snow peas are tender.
- Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings
(Adapted from Robin Robertson’s Fresh From the Vegetarian Slow Cooker)
Garlic-Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry
1 small Thai pepper, minced
1 tsp minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp arrowroot powder or cornstarch
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 16-oz pkg firm tofu, drained and cut into 1×1/2-inch pieces
1 tsp soy sauce
2 carrots, cut into 2-inch strips
1 red pepper, sliced
1 large bok choy (or 4–5 baby bok choy), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 medium onion, sliced
1/2 cup courgette, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick pieces
Cooked lo mein or soba noodles
- Sauté the minced pepper, ginger and garlic in the olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes over medium heat. Add the soy sauce and water, stirring until well combined. Stir in the arrowroot powder and simmer over low heat until the tofu and vegetables are cooked through.
- Heat the vegetable oil over medium-high heat in a non-stick 12-inch skillet.
- Add the tofu and cook, stirring frequently (stir-frying) until heated through and browned on all sides, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for 1 minute. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add the carrots, red pepper, bok choy, onions and squash to the skillet and stir-fry until the vegetables are tender but crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the prepared sauce and tofu and stir-fry until all the ingredients are coated and heated, about 2 minutes.
- Serve immediately over the lo mein or soba noodles.
For more ideas for celebrating any holiday with compassion or to receive our free vegan starter kit: