Spring is here marking the time to plant zucchini!  It’s a member of the squash family and it’s one of those veggies that is easy to grow and just keeps giving at harvest time!  Kids love it because it doesn’t have a strong taste, making it easy to incorporate into stir-frys, breads and cupcakes (Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes, Appetite for Life, pg 43).  My go-to recipe for hands-on fun at the Barn are the Yum! Yum! Dumplings filled with zucchini and tofu to give a protein boost to kids’ high carb diets!  It’s by far the most requested thumbs up recipe at the Barn!

Deliciously nutritious finger food!

We call these Yum! Yum! Dumplings because that was our reaction after the first bite!  This authentic Korean family recipe is chock-full of healthy fats and protein.  Make sure to mince as directed and to drain all the liquid from the tofu and shredded zucchini so that your final product will not be soggy.


1 package (14 ounces) firm tofu, drained
1 medium zucchini (10 ounces)
4 scallions, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 package (16 ounces) egg roll wrappers
5 tablespoons olive oil

Dipping Sauce:
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime


  1. Prepare Dumplings: Place tofu between several layers of paper towels and squeeze out excess liquid. Place tofu in large bowl. With fork, mash tofu until it resembles scrambled eggs; set aside.
  2. Shred zucchini. With hand, squeeze out excess liquid. Place zucchini in bowl with tofu.
  3. Add scallions, garlic, sesame oil, and pepper to ingredients in bowl and mix by hand until well blended.
  4. Cut egg roll wrappers into quarters to make 4 squares each. Place ¼ cup water in small bowl to use as “dumpling glue.”
  5. Place 1 wrapper square in your hand and coat 2 adjacent edges with water, using finger as a brush. Place 1 heaping teaspoon dumpling mixture in center of wrapper, then bring 2 opposite corners of wrapper together over filling to make a triangle. Pinch and pleat edges together to seal in filling.   Repeat process with remaining wrappers and mixture.
  6. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat, making sure to coat skillet bottom completely. Place enough dumplings in skillet, in one layer, to cover bottom of skillet.  Cook 2–3 minutes or until browned on the bottom. Turn dumplings over; cover and cook 2–3 minutes to brown other side. Transfer dumplings to serving plate; keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and dumplings.
  7. While dumplings are cooking, prepare Dipping Sauce: In small bowl, stir together soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil, and lime juice.
  8. Serve dumplings with dipping sauce.

Makes 15 servings (5 dumplings per serving).

Nutrition Facts per serving: 160 calories; 7g fat (1g sat fat, 4g mono, 2g poly, 0g trans fats); 5mg cholesterol; 18g carbohydrate (1g fiber, 1g sugar); 6g protein; 290mg sodium; 2% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 8% DV vitamin C; 6% DV calcium; 8% DV iron.

What’s your favorite hands-on recipe?

– Stacey Antine, MS RD, author, Appetite for Life, founder, HealthBarn USA, co-host, Family Food Expert Internet Radio Show, and recognized as top 10 dietitians nationally by Today’s Dietitian magazine for her work with HealthBarn USA.

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