Dumplings!!! Dumplings feature in so many different cuisines around the world and certainly take up a prominent place in Chinese food. Made in virtually every household, as a child I was taught by my mother to make them and it’s something I still do as it’s pretty straight forward and within a short space of time a tasty snack (or meal if you’re hungry) can be prepared, cooked and eaten!
So when my friend mentioned a dumpling making workshop to coincide with Chinese New Year at Leeds University, I booked my place and turned up on Wednesday evening with lots of other dumpling fans. Organised by The Business Confucius Institute a non-profit public institution, the event was fully booked and a fun way of meeting new people with a common interest.
We were there to make Jiaozi, the classic dumpling, which common dim sum staple and definitely eaten during Chinese New Year. 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, beginning on the 19th February, the first day of the Lunar calendar and ending with the Lantern festival on the 15th day.
I’d never made my own wrappers using flour and water for Jiaozi before, the dumplings we made at home were more like ha gau, the steamed translucent dumplings using wheat starch. After a quick tutorial and a few tips and hints we were given the task of making our dumplings by either rolling out fresh wrappers or using pre-made gyoza wrappers.
I thought I’d have a go at rolling some fresh ones, out, my mother would probably have chuckled watching me have a go at it. The rolling and folding was so skilful, but they made it look so easy. I was definitely out of practise and my first few attempts looked shocking!
I kept at it, and slowly improved with help from the assistants, and with the whole class getting to work we quickly made enough for the first few batches to be cooked up, and then came the best bit; we could try out the fruits of our labour. Cooked two ways; steamed fried (pot sticker style) or boiled. My favourite were probably the fried ones, but they were both pretty tasty.
We’d made so many we were able to leave with takeaway! It was such a great way of meeting new people, all with the same love of dumplings! With Chinese New Year starting on the 19th, I have no excuse not to make dumplings now!