Classic Dumplings for You

More dumplings, anyone?

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Title:  Asian Dumplings
Author:  Andrea Nguyen
Publisher:  Ten Speed Press
Release Date:  August 25, 2009



Is there anything more satisfying than a well-made Asian dumpling? 

Plump pot stickers, spicy samosas, and tender bāo (stuffed buns) are enjoyed by the million every day in dim sum restaurants, streetside stands, and private homes worldwide. Wrapped, rolled, or filled; steamed, fried, or baked–Asian dumplings are also surprisingly easy to prepare, as Andrea Nguyen demonstrates in Asian Dumplings. 

Nguyen is a celebrated food writer and teacher with a unique ability to interpret authentic Asian cooking styles for a Western audience. Her crystal-clear recipes for more than 75 of Asia’s most popular savory and sweet parcels, pockets, packages, and pastries range from Lumpia (the addictive fried spring rolls from the Philippines) to Shanghai Soup Dumplings (delicate thin-skinned dumplings filled with hot broth and succulent pork) to Gulab Jamun (India’s rich, syrupy sweets). 

Organized according to type (wheat pastas, skins, buns, and pastries; translucent wheat and tapioca preparations; rice dumplings; legumes and tubers; sweet dumplings), Asian Dumplings encompasses Eastern, Southeastern, and Southern Asia, with recipes from China, Japan, Korea, Nepal, Tibet, India, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 

Throughout, Nguyen shares the best techniques for shaping, filling, cooking, and serving each kind of dumpling. And she makes it easy to incorporate dumplings into a contemporary lifestyle by giving a thorough introduction to essential equipment and ingredients and offering make-ahead and storage guidance, time-saving shortcuts that still yield delectable results, and tips on planning a dumpling dinner party. 

More than 40 line drawings illustrate the finer points of shaping many kinds of dumplings, including gyōza/pot stickers, wontons, and samosas. Dozens of mouth-watering color photographs round out Asian Dumplings, making it the most definitive, inviting, inspiring book of its kind.

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OK, before you start on me about reviewing another book on dumplings, let me tell you this.  I just have to! I love dumplings! Dumplings are my comfort food. When I'm sad, and need a pick me up, dumplings, here I come! When I can't think of anything to fix, I'll head over to my freezer, and grab some dumplings (if I still have any left).  So when I saw this, I just had to try it out.

Asian Dumplings by Andrea Nguyen is a cookbook with all the classic dumpling recipes from the many different areas with different dialects in China to the classic Japanese gyoza dumplings, to the Korean meat & veggie dumplings.  There are spring rolls and buns that will add to your list of a full-on appetizer menu, Asian style. There is nothing new about these recipes, and they don't deviate from traditional ingredients or styles. These are genuinely the classic of the classics, and they are yummy. Granted, I only tried the Pork & Napa Cabbage Water Dumplings and the Chicken and Vegetable Rice Rolls, and both were delicious!!! Really, you must try the Chicken and Vegetable Rice Rolls. I made some using chicken and some pork tenderloin, and both were just yummy! A great snack or even add a few rolls to make it a nice meal.   The dumplings were also yummy. I followed the instructions to the T, and realized other recipes I've tried, wasn't as extensive as this; and the outcome sure speaks for themselves.  I haven't tried the ones I froze yet, so unsure if that changes things, since others I've made in the past from another recipe book tends to lose a little taste after being frozen.

I must say, I am ecstatic that to have an Asian dumpling & more cookbook in my pantry that will serve as my "dumpling manual".  If I need a little pizzazz for different flavors, I'll check out my other dumpling book.

As to the book itself, Asian Dumplings is a hardcover, fairly long, 7.5" x 11" book with nice thick pages. The layout is easy to read, with standard 10-11 point font. There are also some helpful line drawings on certain preparation instructions, like how to shape wrappers.  The only thing I find lacking, or rather I wish it was different is the lack of pictures. I would like pictures for every single recipe (maybe besides the sauces). It helps me to see if everything turns out all right.  With that said, having only one con, isn't much.  If you love dumplings or Asian buns and rolls, check this one out. You will be satisfied.

NOTE:  I received a complimentary copy of this cookbook from the publisher, through Blogging For Books for an honest review.



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Andrea Nguyen is one of the country’s leading voices on Asian cuisine and the author of the acclaimed Asian Dumplings, Asian Tofu, The Banh Mi Handbook, and the James Beard– and IACP-nominated Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. She has written for Saveur magazine, where she is also a contributing editor, the Los Angeles Times, and many more publications. She is also the creator of the Asian Market Shopper app. Her engaging and knowledgeable writing on cuisine and culture has attracted a loyal and well-deserved readership that actively follows her blog, Andrea lives in Santa Cruz, California.

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