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The Dumpling Galaxy

by: Helen You
Flakowitx, Max

New York City NY: Clarkson Potters Publishers 2017, $19.98, Hardbound
ISBN: 978-1-101-90663-7

Reviewed by: Jacqueline M. Newman
Fall Volume: 2017 Issue: 24(3) page(s): 19

With fifty-four recipes written in standard style, one can find them in chapters titled: Classic dumplings, Green Dumplings; Faraway Flavors; Dessert Dumplings; Sauces and Sides. They are discussed, then illustrated by several photographers listed on its first pages, as are pictures of places in the Chinese area of Queens.

In the twelve pages before them is an introduction, a section titled: Chinese Dumplings 101, information about dumpling differences, tools to have on hand when making them, shaping and folding these small bites, and two pages with a picture of what the authors call their ‘Galaxy of Flavors.’

Among the recipes are forty-three for dumplings; the one for Money Bags follows in the next column. All are clearly detailed, with tips accompanying most of them. On the back cover, Pete Wells of the New York Times says this eatery of the same name is “one of the most sought-out food destinations in New York City (that) sits at the end of the number 7 train in Flushing Queens.”

After twenty recipes for the basic or common kinds are new flavor ideas in the Faraway chapter. These can help dumpling lovers create and enjoy new dumpling ideas from this long-line find in the outer borough of Queens just across the river from Manhattan.

Mushrooms with Peach Kernels

2 ounces/50 G dried black mushrooms
1 cup (15 ounces/150 G)) peach kernels
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil and extra for deep frying
2 teaspoons sesame oil
½ ounce /20 G ginger, about an inch in length, half sliced, half chopped
1 cup (8 FL ounces/250 ML)vegetable broth
1 teaspoon thin soy sauce
½ teaspoon granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cornstarch
steamed rice, to serve


1. Put the mushrooms in a bowl, cover with cold water, and soak for at least twenty minutes or until softened. Remove the mushrooms, squeeze dry, and discard the stems.
2. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil, add the peach kernels, and blanch for four or five minutes until the skins begin to wrinkle. Drain and rinse under cold running water. Peel and dry the peach kernels throughly using paper towels.
3. Put the peach kernels into a wok or deep saucepan, add enough vegetable oil to cover them, and deep fry over medium-low heat for 5-10 minutes until the kernels are crunchy. Use a slotted spoon to carefully remove the kernels from the oil and drain on paper towels. Discard the vegetable oil.
4. Heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the ginger slices and stir-fry for one minute until fragrant. Put in the mushrooms and vegetable broth, bring to the boil, reduce to low heat and simmer for one hour. Stir frequently to prevent burning. Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.
5. Heat the remaining two tablespoons oil in the wok over high heat, then add the chopped ginger and stir-fry for one minute until fragrant. Mix the mushrooms and peach kernels, add the soy sauce, sugar, and salt. After mixing the cornstarch with one tablespoon water, stir everything into the wok. Bring to a boil, stir for thirty seconds to thicken the sauce, then transfer to a serving plate and serve with rice, if desired.

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