Vegan sunchoke shuumai

When I was trying to think of new and creative dumpling ideas, I decided to go back to pasta dishes I had in the past. One of them was the trois soleil dish from Baroo, LA. The dish itself featured sunchokes three ways, in pickles, chips, and a “cream” sauce. I use the quotations there because it was vegan. I figured that would be a great launching point for a dumpling idea, and from there, I thought about what I could pair with these. Sunchokes, they’re the bulb of the sunflower, and the taste like artichokes, hence why they are called that. I figured that something that is always welcomed in any dish was umami, and in vegan cooking, mushrooms were a logical fit. For the cream sauce, I figured I would rehydrate some chanterelles in a liquid, braise down sunchokes and almonds in that, puree it, strain out the lumps, and simmer it down until creamy. It actually worked, which is the crazy part! For my wrapper, I dyed it with paprika and a little turmeric, because I wanted to dumpling to resemble a sunflower, as an homage to the flower that the bulb would eventually bloom into. Since there were pickled and fried sunchokes on the original dish, I went ahead and re-introduced those here, and incorporated sunchokes and mushrooms as the base of my filling.

For the wrapper:
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons semolina flour
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon paprika
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup hot water

Combine into a dough. Split into 16 pieces, rolling each out into a flat circle, no more than 1/16th an inch thick.

For the filling:
12 oz button mushrooms, chopped up and sautéed until brown
1/4 cup grated sunchoke, blanched
1/4 cup blanched almonds, skinless
3 tablespoons minced shallots, sweated
a pinch of salt
a pinch of pepper
a pinch of paprika
a pinch of sumac

Combine ingredients and puree in a food process until it forms a meat-like texture. Place about 1 1/2 tablespoons of filling into each 3 inch wrapper and crimp the edges together to form the shumai. Steam for 15-20 minutes in a lined bamboo steamer.

For the cream sauce:
1/4 cup finely grated sunchoke
1/4 cup almonds
1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced
3 tablespoons finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon canola oil
a pinch of salt
1 cup warm water
3 dried chanterelles

Bloom the chanterelles in warm water. Sweat ingredients in the oil, sans mushroom water, until translucent. Add in the mushroom water (and mushrooms) and allow to simmer for at least 15 minutes before pureeing. Pass through a sieve and allow that liquid to continue reducing until thickened substantially. Be sure to sieve so that you can remove the dirt from the mushrooms from your cream.

For the pickled sunchokes:
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup black vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 a sunchoke, shaved

Bring ingredients to a simmer. Add in the sunchoke shavings and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes.

For the sunchoke chips:
1/2 a sunchoke, shaved
canola oil
salt
paprika
coriander

Fry off sunchoke shavings until crispy in 350 degree F canola oil. Drain on a paper towel and season with spices.

For the roasted mushrooms:
8 button mushrooms, quartered
salt
pepper
thyme
oil

Toss ingredients together and lay out on a sheet tray. Roast at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes. Sear off in a pan to finish.

For garnish:
Nasturtium leaves
Shaved button mushroom

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