10 dried shiitake mushrooms
1 bunch cilantro, leaves chopped (optional)
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2-inch piece of fresh ginger root, peeled, finely chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1 green chile (jalapeño, serrano, Thai — depends on how hot you like it), seeded and chopped
1/4 cup peeled and grated daikon radish
1 medium carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup firm or extra-firm tofu, patted dry, chopped into 1/8-inch squares
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 Tbsp dark soy sauce
16 round fresh dumpling wrappers
1 Tbsp peanut oil
1 cup vegetable or low-sodium or homemade chicken stock
Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl, cover with warm water, and let soak for 30 minutes until softened. Drain, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop mushrooms finely.
Put the mushrooms in a large bowl and add cilantro, garlic, ginger, scallions, chiles, daikon, carrots, bell pepper, and tofu. Stir to combine.
Mix peanut butter and soy sauce in a small bowl, and stir into the vegetable mixture.
Put 1 dumpling wrapper on a dry work surface and put 1 level Tbsp of filling in the center. With your finger or a pastry brush, paint the edge with water and fold into a half-moon shape, pleating one side 3-5 times as you go (or use a dumpling press). Place on a tray lined with wax paper, flattening the bottom of the dumpling as you do.
While assembling the dumplings, keep the stack of wrappers moist by
covering them with a damp towel. Repeat with remaining wrappers and
filling, covering the also tray with a damp towel as each dumpling is
TO MAKE AS POTSTICKERS: Heat a large nonstick skillet, and brush with 1 tsp of oil. Add as many dumplings as you can (hopefully all of them!) without overcrowding. Saute for 2-3 minutes until browned on the bottom (do not flip them).
Mix the reserved mushroom liquid with the stock and pour half of it over the dumplings until partly covered (use more if needed). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover the pan, and cook 8-10 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the dumplings are slightly translucent.
TO MAKE IN SOUP: Bring desired amount of stock (vegetable or chicken stock) to a boil. Reduce to low heat, and carefully add desired number of dumplings to the pot. Cook 3-4 minutes, and serve hot.