Make Lona’s Lil Eats' mushroom dumplings at home
If you want your dumplings to taste just like Lona’s, you can purchase the restaurant’s unique red spice mix and dipping sauces in Fox Park. Or, Luo recommends experimenting with your own spice blends. Try combining four of your favorite spices starting with smoked paprika and a mild chili powder.
Lona’s Mushroom Dumplings
Courtesy of Lona’s Lil Eats’ Lona Luo
About 60 dumplings
For the filling:
1 lb. Napa cabbage and/or bok choy, very finely chopped
1 tsp. salt, plus more to taste
1 lb. mushrooms, finely chopped
2 to 3 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 garlic clove, smashed
1 Tbsp. Lona Q Sauce or sesame-chili oil, plus more for dipping
1 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 tsp. Lona’s red spice mix or preferred spice blend
For the dumpling dough:
4 cups flour, plus more for sprinkling
2 cups water
1 tsp. salt
For the filling:
• In a large colander, combine the Napa cabbage and/or bok choy with 1 teaspoon salt and mix thoroughly with your hands, rubbing the salt into the vegetables. Let rest about 10 minutes, then squeeze the water out of the vegetables, move to a large bowl and set aside.
• In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine the mushrooms, vegetable oil and garlic. Cook until mushrooms release moisture and become browned and tender, about 10 to 20 minutes. Transfer to the large colander and let drain.
• Stir the mushrooms into the Napa cabbage and/or bok choy. Add the Lona Q Sauce, soy sauce and spice mixture. Stir until combined, then taste for seasoning and add more salt, sauces or spices to taste.
For the dough:
• Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Stir with a fork to incorporate, then knead with your hands until the dough comes together and becomes smooth and tacky. Wrap in plastic and let rest 15 to 20 minutes (you can prepare the filling during this time).
• Roll the dough into a long snake and divide into about ½-ounce portions, roll each into a small ball of dough. Sprinkle your work surface with flour and roll out each ball into about a 2-inch circle.
• Place a spoonful of filling into the center of a circle of dough and fold in half. Seal by pressing the dough tightly together or folding in your preferred pattern. Repeat with remaining filling and dough.
• Cook the dumplings in your preferred method. Boil dumplings in a large pot of water until tender, about 4 minutes. Steam dumplings in a steamer until tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Pan-fry dumplings with a drizzle of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, add a few tablespoons of water and cover until tender, about 4 minutes.
• Serve dumplings with Lona Q Sauce or sesame-chili oil for dipping.
Readers' Choice Favorite Vegetarian/Vegan
Lona's Lil Eats, 2199 California Ave., St. Louis, lonaslileats.com
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