Dumplings are one of my favorite party foods. They’re crowd-pleasers, easy finger food, and endlessly adaptable. Plus, they’re fun to make! We’ve got loads of recipes and videos that show you how simple it is to make dumplings at home.
We grew up with lots of Italian food (we’re Sarnos, after all), but our mom cooked a bunch of Chinese food too. We feasted on homemade Cantonese and Mandarin hot pots, spring rolls, and egg rolls with fresh sauces like sweet and sour sauce and fermented black bean sauce. I remember as a pre-teen tagging along with my mom to her Chinese cooking classes. That was pretty formative. I loved all the dynamic flavors and smells of ginger, soy sauce, garlic, vinegar, and even chiles. And I really got into the hands-on process of making this kind of food.
To this day, fresh Asian noodles and dumplings are some of my favorite things to make. At my London restaurant, SAF, the head chef David Bailey specialized in pan-Asian cooking and we always had dumplings on the menu: sweet dumplings, spicy dumplings, soup dumplings, steamed, fried, pan-seared every which way with all kinds of dipping sauces and lively garnishes. I love playing with all the flavor and the texture pairings: a chewy filling paired with a spicy dipping sauce, a creamy filling with an aromatic broth, and the colorful garnishes and condiments. Dumplings have this amazing ability to capture a world of flavor in a single bite. That’s what makes them perfect for a restaurant tasting menu—and as party food! When you come to a party at my house, you’re sure to get some dumplings.
To share everything I know, we’re giving you a whole class on how to make dumplings over the next few weeks. The recipes and videos will show you all kinds of dumpling magic. First up is a simple recipe for Dumpling Skins plus a quick and easy Smoked Tofu Dumpling recipe. Then we’ll release new videos and recipes every week. Check back on this page each week to find more recipes and videos. In the meantime, have a look at some of my dumpling tips and tricks below. My top tip? You can make almost everything for dumplings ahead of time! Then when it’s party time, you just finish and serve!
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