Centercut Squash and Mushroom Dumplings

August 16, 2022


These vegetarian dumplings are tender and savory. While it may seem intimidating to make dumpling wrappers from scratch, practice makes perfect and this is a fun activity in addition to being delicious. You can substitute centercut squash for zucchini or summer squash, or even a steamed butternut squash, depending on what is in season for you.



for the filling:

1 Local Roots centercut squash
1 lb Local Roots mushrooms
4 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp Local Roots soy sauce
1 tsp white pepper
1 bunch cilantro
1 block soon tofu/silken tofu
1 green onion
1 ½ tsp salt

for the dumpling wrapper dough:

4 cups Local Roots all purpose flour
1 ½ cups hot water
½ tsp salt



    1. In a large bowl, stir together 4 cups of all purpose flour and ½ tsp salt. Make a well in the center and drizzle in the 1 ½ cups hot water. Bring the dough together and knead for 10-15 minutes, until the dough is not sticking to you or itself. Cover and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
    2. While the dough is resting, make the filling. Wash the squash, mushrooms, green onion, and cilantro. Cut off the stem of the squash and then grate it into a large bowl.
    3. Finely chop the mushrooms and add to the squash. Slice and chop the green onion and cilantro and add to the vegetables.
    4. Over the vegetables, sprinkle the 4 tbsp sesame oil, 2 tbsp soy sauce, 1 tsp white pepper, and 1 ½ tsp salt. Drain the tofu and then use your hands to break it up into small bits over the vegetable mixture. Mix together with your hands until the seasoning and tofu are well incorporated with the vegetables.
    5. When the dough is ready, divide into four segments. Roll the first segment into a log the thickness of your thumb and cover the rest of the dough to prevent it from drying out. Use a knife or bench scraper to cut the log into segments to a size slightly wider than your thumbnail. Dust with flour.
    6. Use a rolling pin and roll out the edges of each piece of dough, leaving the center slightly thicker than the edges. Try your best to make it a circle. Dust with flour to prevent sticking, then set aside and roll another piece of dough. Repeat until all of the dough has been made into wrappers.
    7. When the dumpling wrappers are all rolled out, check the vegetable filling and drain any water that has been released from the mushrooms and zucchini.
    8. Place a dumpling wrapper in the center of your non-dominant palm. Place a small spoonful of filling in the center of the wrapper. Using your dominant hand, lift the bottom of the dough up to make a closed half moon shape. Use your thumb and index finger to pinch together the right side corner of the half moon. Grasp the front of the half moon and slide it over onto the area you pinched shut, leaving the back portion of the half moon as is. Pinch tightly to create a pleat. Continue to drag the front of the half moon over until the shape curves and closes. Pinch the left side corner of the half moon shut and finish the dumpling! Set aside on a floured plate or baking sheet while you fold the rest. NOTE: Red House Spice has a great dumpling folding guide if you need visuals!
    9. Set a small pot of water to boil. When the water is boiling, cook one dumpling until floating, then continue to boil for another two minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. 

      NOTE: It is helpful to freeze the dumplings on a floured plate or baking sheet. If you store them together at room temperature, stacked, or in a fridge, the dough will absorb too much moisture from the filling and they will stick together or split open. Freeze the dumplings in one layer first, then remove from the plate and once frozen solid you can store them all in one bag in the freezer.

    10. To make shui jiao, simply boil the dumplings in water until they float, then cook for another two minutes. Drain the water and serve the dumplings with your desired condiments like soy sauce or chinkiang vinegar. 
    11. To make pan-fried dumplings, drizzle a non-stick pan with a neutral oil. Arrange the dumplings in a circle, then pour in ½ cup of water. Cover and cook until the water has evaporated and the dumpling dough is crisp and brown on the bottom. Serve with chili oil, soy sauce, or vinegar.


    This recipe was created by Local Roots contributor Irena Huang / @irena__huang

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