Sweet Potato and Miso Dumplings

sweet potato dumplings

These little guys are fall packed into a wonton wrapper.  I used Japanese sweet potatoes (it’s all I can find here), which taste slightly like chestnuts.  Add a touch of umami-packed miso and the sharpness of scallions, then dip it into a little bit of salty soy sauce.  I cook them like gyoza, so they have a crisp, seared bottom and tender, pasta-like tops.  The contrast in textures is really lovely.  You could fold them into different shapes if you’re so inclined, like Japanese gyoza or Chinese wontons.

wrapping sweet potato misodumplings

Full disclosure:  I first attempted a gyoza shape because I think they’re really pretty.  Mine, however, were not so pretty.  I need much, much more practice before photographing that shape!  And I really liked the ratio of crisp bottom to tender top that that this half-moon shape yields, so it turned out to be okay that my dumpling-folding skills leave something to be desired.  

miso sweet potato dumpling before cooking

The inspiration for the filling comes from this delicious Gourmet recipe.  I upped the amount of miso for extra impact, however.  I used closer to 1 tablespoon of miso by the time I was done adjusting the flavors.  But I also LOVE miso and have found a mild white one that isn’t too salty or funky; you may not want to add quite as much!  

Sweet Potato Dumplings
This flavor-packed appetizer is sweet and salty, combining Japanese sweet potatoes, miso, scallions and soy sauce.
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cup mashed, roasted Japanese sweet potatoes (see note below)
  2. 1/2 tablespoon white miso
  3. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  4. 1 tablespoon chopped scallions
  5. 30 small wonton wrappers (you can purchase these in the refrigerated section of most major grocery stores or asian markets)
  6. 3 tablespoons neutral cooking oil, like vegetable oil or canola oil
  7. optional garnish: additional chopped scallions, sesame seeds, chili pepper
Instructions
  1. Combine sweet potato, miso, butter and scallions. Depending on your potatoes, this mixture might be really thick and starchy. You can add a few tablespoons of water to thin it out a little bit. Taste, and adjust seasonings if necessary.
  2. Lay 1 wonton wrapper flat on a work surface. Brush the edges with a little bit of water. Scoop filling into the middle of the wrapper and fold the top over the filling, pressing firmly to seal. I used the tines of a fork to seal the edges even more securely and create a pretty edge. The amount of filling for each dumpling will depend on the size and shape of your wrappers. I used small round wrappers, which held about 1/2 tablespoon of filling. Just make sure you're not overstuffing them, where the filling is bursting out around the edges. This will get messy when we get to the cooking part!
  3. Once your dumplings are done, heat a large nonstick skillet (choose one that has a coordinating lid) over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is shimmering from the heat, arrange as many dumplings as you can comfortably fit in the pan (I cooked about 10 at a time). Cook, uncovered until the bottoms of the dumplings are seared to a golden brown, about 3 minutes. Don't flip them, we only want to sear one side.
  4. Now, this part can get a little messy because you're adding water to hot oil. Keep the lid handy (or you can use a splatter guard if your pan doesn't have a lid). Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan, and quickly cover with the lid. Be careful! Tiny droplets of hot oil will fly around.
  5. Cook, covered, shaking the pan gently every few minutes, until the tops of the dumplings are tender. This should take about 3 minutes.
  6. Repeat with remaining dumplings.
  7. Serve with soy sauce. You could garnish with additional chopped scallions, sesame seeds, or chili pepper flakes.
Notes
  1. I haven't tried this with other types of sweet potatoes, but I don't see why they wouldn't produce delicious results as well. Leave a comment if you attempt this with a different kind of potato; I would love to hear about it!
  2. To roast the potatoes: wrap 1 large or 2 small potatoes in foil and roast at 400 degrees. The time needed will vary based on the size of your potatoes, but it should take between 60 and 100 minutes. They're done when they are soft to the touch.
Alyssa and Carla http://www.alyssaandcarla.com/
Just a fun Japan tidbit for you all: in the winter, there are cute little trucks with woodburning ovens in the truckbed that hang out all over Tokyo around dinnertime.  They sell pre-roasted sweet potatoes that smell heavenly.  They also play a haunting song from a speaker attached to the trucks.  It’s one of those delightful little things that make me love Japan!

sweet potato and miso dumplings

5 thoughts on “Sweet Potato and Miso Dumplings

  1. I made something very similar lately but actually served them like ravioli! You could make a huge batch and serve them both ways – making the most of one effort and providing two TOTALLY different tastes and experiences! I ladled mine with a coconut curry and finished with some bacon, because, obviously.

    Cheryl
    http;//thestylistquo.com

  2. Pingback: Weekly Love Letter for Friday, November 21st - Alyssa and Carla

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