Dumplings, an ever-present delicacy on the Asian dining table, embody a symbol of blessings, be it during the Lunar New Year or farewell gatherings. In Taiwan, dumpling restaurants are as ubiquitous as Max in Sweden.
As spring drew to a close, we organized a grand international gathering, celebrating the diversity of dumplings. Alongside the customary Taiwanese dumplings, we extended a warm invitation to students from the Czech Republic to share their traditional dumpling recipes, giving everyone an opportunity to enjoy making dumplings together using different techniques!
If you missed this event, fret not!
We organize diverse cultural gatherings in the autumn, providing opportunities to immerse oneself in Taiwanese cultures.
Cut, roll, knead and blend; this comes before making the dough and filling
The three main ingredients of the filling are minced meat, vegetables, and seasoning, and of course there is the crucial part of the dumpling wrapper itself.
For this occasion, we prepared a well-risen dough beforehand, allowing everyone to participate in rolling out the dough and using molds to create exquisite dumpling skins.
(Although dumplings are small in size, the preparation beforehand can be quite time-consuming.)
Dumplings play a significant role within Asian society; since their shape resembles ingots, they symbolize the accumulation of wealth and treasure.
During the Lunar New Year, dining tables are adorned with trays of dumplings, and some people even hide candies or coins within the dumplings, wishing for the fortunate people who eat them to lead lives filled with sweetness and abundant prosperity.
(In the Czech Republic, dumplings can be filled with various types of fruit fillings.)
Edible pieces of art – folding dumplings
With the dough and filling prepared, it's time for the main event: dumpling folding.
In Taiwan, the renowned XiaoLongBao restaurant, "Din Tai Fung," boasts the legendary "Golden Eighteen Folds," claiming that this number of folds offer the ultimate mouthfeel. However, as a group of homesick or curious amateurs seeking to experience dumplings as culture, we used what skills we had to knead dumplings one by one, and our heartfelt efforts were definitely rewarded in full.
(The dumplings made by everyone have their own unique style.)
Boiling the dumplings and time for sampling!
Now that the dumplings have been meticulously folded, it is time to submerge them in boiling water. Determining when dumplings are fully cooked is a skill in itself. One commonly used method is the "Three Floats, Three Sinks" technique.
The dumplings are added to boiling water and boiled until they float to the surface. Then, a little cold water is added to the pot. Once the water boils again, another round of cold water is added. This helps cool down the dumpling wrappers and prevent them from becoming too soft while the filling cooks. Some people also add a bit of oil to the water before cooking the dumplings to prevent them from sticking.
Furthermore, dumplings can be prepared not only by boiling, steaming, or pan-frying, but also with a wide variety of condiments. What is your personal favorite sauce to pair with dumplings? One of the most unusual combinations I've come across is perhaps dipping dumplings in tomato sauce!
Having seen the whole process, from preparing the ingredients to wrapping the dumplings to boiling them, did it seem like an enjoyable experience, or did it look like a lot of effort for the payoff? Regardless, when you finally get to eat them, I hope that you find happiness and satisfaction in every bite!
It was great to see new faces, parents and children and that our participants had fun at the event, learned how to make different kinds of dumplings and made new friends! Thank you for joining us.
A gentle reminder that our autumn classes are now open for registration!
We offer classes for both adults and children. If you have an interest in learning Mandarin or would like to explore Taiwanese culture, please click the link below for more detailed information.
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