Sweet Rice Sesame-Peanut Dumplings with Coconut

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This dumpling recipe comes to us courtesy of Donna Klein, author of the new cookbook The Chinese Vegan Kitchen. The book features over 225 vegan recipes, and the examples that the publisher sent looks pretty mouthwatering:

  • Scallion Pancakes
  • Baked Vegetable Eggless Egg Rolls
  • Spicy Shredded Carrot and Garlic Sprout Salad
  • Hunan Style Hot and Sour Soup
  • Hunan-Style Tomato, Potato, and Cauliflower Soup with Chili Peppers
  • Hunan-Style Shredded Tofu Noodle Salad with Carrots, Celery, and Garlic Chives
  • Pot Stickers with Shitake Mushrooms
  • Chilled Summer Lo Mein Noodles with Sesame-Ginger Sauce
  • Quick Chao Fen with Scallions and Peanuts
  • Cellophane Noodles in Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • Curried Seitan with Potatoes and Onions
  • Silk Road Eggplant and Tofu Pita Pockets
  • Moo Shu Vegetables with Tofu
  • Shanghai-Style Mi Dou Fu with Black Bean Sauce and Scallions
  • Sichuan-Grilled Portobello Mushroom Burgers with Spicy Hoisin Sauce
  • Vegetable Rolls with Garlic–Black Bean Sauce
  • Chinese Yam Cakes with Cilantro and Black Bean Sauce
  • Sesame Balls Filled with Red Bean Paste
  • Green Tea Soy Ice Cream with Sweet Red Bean Paste
  • Sweet Rice Sesame-Peanut Dumplings with Coconut

This list is just a taste of what’s in there, but you can be this is on my holiday wish list! The publishers were kind enough to let us share one of the recipes with you, and I chose the dumplings, because…well..I love dumplings! This recipe is reprinted from The Chinese Vegan Kitchen by Donna Klein by arrangement with Perigee, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., Copyright (c) 2012 by Donna Klein. Check it out:

Sweet Rice Sesame-Peanut Dumplings with Coconut

Soft and chewy on the outside, sweet and crunchy on the inside, these delightful dumplings are best served shortly after steaming. For easy entertaining, the raw dumplings can be refrigerated up to 24 hours before steaming and rolling in the coconut. Make sure you purchase glutinous rice flour, also known as sweet rice flour, and not regular rice flour; the former is made from short-grain sticky rice, which creates the essential chewiness of the dumplings.

Per serving (per dumpling, or 1/12 of recipe): Calories 181; Protein 3g; Total Fat 3g; Sat Fat 1g; Cholesterol 0mg; Carbohydrate 35g; Dietary Fiber 1g; Sodium 8mg; Makes 12 dumplings


  • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
  • 3 cups glutinous rice flour
  • 2/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water (10 tablespoons)
  • 1/2 cup  shredded sweetened coconut, or more, as needed
  • 6 candied cherries or citron, halved (optional)

Cooking Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the peanuts, sugar, and sesame seeds; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine the rice flour and boiling water, mixing until thoroughly combined. Add the cold water and mix until the dough forms a ball. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth, about 5 minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Shape the dough into a long cylinder and cut into 12 equal pieces. Cover with the damp towel. Roll each piece of dough into a 3½-inch circle, re-covering as you finish to prevent from drying out. Place 2 teaspoons of the peanut-sesame mixture in the center of each circle; wrap up to form a smooth ball, pinching the edges of the dough together to seal. Re-cover with the damp towel. (At this point, the prepared dumplings can be covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 24 hours before continuing with the recipe. For best results, store seam-sides up, to prevent leakage of filling.)
  3. Place a steaming basket in a medium stockpot set over about 1½ inches of water. Line the basket with aluminum foil and spray lightly with cooking oil. Working in batches, if necessary, place the dumplings in a single layer in the steaming basket, away from the edge, leaving about ½-inch space between each dumpling. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium, cover tightly, and steam 10 minutes (add a few extra minutes if refrigerated). Remove pot from the heat and leave partially covered for 5 minutes.
  4. Place the coconut in a small bowl. Working with one at time, using oiled tongs (dumplings will be sticky), remove a dumpling from the steaming basket and immediately roll in the coconut. Garnish each with half a candied cherry, if using. Serve at once, or return to the steamer basket (off the heat), cover, and hold up to 1 hour.

2 thoughts on “Sweet Rice Sesame-Peanut Dumplings with Coconut”

  1. Hello Becky,
    thanks for posting this recipe (and thanks to Ms Klein and publishers too).
    I only once made Chinese style dumplings and I used the white rice starch you find in asian grocery stores. They turned out great! This time, I wonder if this can be made with healthier brown rice flour? I worry that it won’t hold together properly. Have you ever tried it?

    1. That’s a good question, Jennifer, and I haven’t tried. My worry is that brown rice flour might not have enough gluten to bind the dough. If you use a different flour, you might try adding some flax meal to the batter to help bind is, but I’m not even 100% sure that would work. If you experiment with this, let us know how it goes!

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