At the end of August, one of my friends invited me to join her at a Dumpling Party with none other than the Queen of Dumplings, Lisa Lin.
Lisa has some of the most mesmerizing and beautiful food videos and photos on how to make and fold all sorts of wontons and dumplings. Over the years I've always made wontons the way Popo taught me, and that method is completely different from the methods that Lisa taught.
In person, Lisa is exceptionally patient at explaining the in's and out's of folding dumplings. We started with several simpler ways to fold wontons and then moved on to the standard potsticker fold and the ever more complicated braided pleat. I actually thought the braided pleat was more straightforward than the standard potsticker fold. Somehow learning how to fold potstickers is not something that has been incorporated into my very American Chinese family. Growing up, my parents always bought a bag of Ling Ling Chicken and Vegetable Potstickers from Costco. With it’s slightly spongy texture and onion-y flavor, this was one of the most nostalgic tastes of my childhood.
Lisa also had some very interesting fillings—a chicken filling, a samosa-type filling and a tofu filling. Having never tried tofu in a dumpling filling before, I was impressed with the taste and the texture. I wasn't able to get any photos of the folding process as our hands got quite messy but I did get some photos of the process of cooking dumplings. I only became aware of panfried potstickers later in life (my family always boiled Ling Ling Potstickers) so it was quite the treat to gobble away at some beautifully panfried postickers. They were the most amazing golden brown and perfectly chewy, juicy and savory.
Even though I am writing this at my dessert time, I would love a nice warm plate of dumplings as well. Here's to making an effort to practice in the near future!