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Hey There, Dumpling!

by: Kenny Lao
Ko, Genevieve

New York NY: Stewart, Tabori & Chang 2015, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-61769-156-0

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2016 Issue: 23(3) page(s): 22

This book has recipes. Its chapters are titled: Dumplings; Dips; Mix and Match Dumplings; Buns & Noodles; Salads & Sides; Finger Foods & Snacks; Drinks; and Desserts. Every recipe in it is preceded with a paragraph about it, many with a color photograph of its completed dish. All are taken by Lucy Schaeffer. Its recipes are interspersed with pages titled: Mix & Match Dumplings, Dip Chart, Party Menus; and Party-Planning Tips.

Before them, an eight-page Introduction about Mr. Lao tells how he entered the dumpling business. A few pages show seventeen of his offerings. A few detail nineteen ingredients, and others show how to fold them. After the recipes there is a page about this author whose book ends with ten pages titled: Index. Each of these have three columns of items included. Lao founded and owns Rickshaw Dumplings where his dumplings generated much enthusiasm, as do his buns, noodles, and other Asian treats he calls ‘snack foods.’ One of our favorites are his ‘Pearl Dumplings encased in sticky rice, not typical dumpling wrappers. There are lots of others we love but this magazine only uses one recipe from each volume; in this case, a pity. Hope you like them, as much as we do.
Pearl Dumplings
1 cup raw sweet rice, covered with two inches of cold water, and soaked for two hours
1 pound ground fatty pork
2 large eggs, beaten well
2 Tablespoons and ½ teaspoon soy sauce
2 Tablespoons finely chopped canned water chestnuts
2 plus a 1/4 teaspoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch>br> 2 teaspoons Shao Xing wine
2 teaspoons peeled minced fresh ginger
2 or 3 large cabbage leaves
a mixture of: ½ cup Chinese black vinegar and 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, and 2 Tablespoons peeled slivered fresh ginger
1. In a large freezer-safe bowl, using your hands, mix the pork, eggs, soy sauce, water chestnuts, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, the sugar, cornstarch, wine and the ginger.
2. Freeze this for half an hour just until firm.
3. Now drain the rice and stir in the remaining soy sauce and the 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil.
4. Now, wet your hands, and roll one heaping tablespoon of the meat mixture into a ball; and roll it gently into the rice mixture pressing until the rice sticks. Freeze them if they feel too soft.
5. Line a bamboo steamer with the cabbage leaves, put the pearl dumplings on it not touching each other, and steam over boiling water for fifteen minutes, then serve with the black vinegar mixture as their dipping sauce.

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