DISCOVER YOUR INNER DUMPLING MAKER
As of March 2023, I’m taking a break from teaching workshops and masterclasses.
Dumpling Mania workshops and masterclasses are limited to just 10 people. A small group means you receive abundant personal instructions for hands-on learning. Master the pleating of different shapes. Get fact sheets about tips and ingredients. Enjoy devouring dumplings made by you.
WHERE: We gather around the kitchen table at the Made in Japan Tableware store, surrounded by artisan ceramics in a light-filled converted warehouse. Tucked away in a South Melbourne laneway, it’s just a few stops from the CBD via trams # 1 and 12. Off-street parking is available nearby. Accessibility: Entrance from the back parking lot on Park Street is via a wooden deck with three steps; laneway entrance is one small step from the curb and another over the metal frame of the door. Made in Japan, 1-7 Wynyard Street, So Melbourne
WHEN: Workshops are held on Sundays and usually start at 12 noon. The duration is from 2.5 to 4 hours, depending on the complexity of what we make.
WHAT: I teach the making of classic Cantonese dumplings that you find at yum cha restaurants as well as some reinterpretations of the classics. Scroll down for a list of some of the workshops and masterclasses. Ingredients include shiitake mushrooms, bamboo shoots, black fungus (wood ear mushrooms), Chinese sausage (lop cheng), oyster sauce, soy sauce, ground white pepper, and toasted sesame oil…to name a few. I’m sorry but the menu cannot accommodate dietary restrictions like allergies to gluten/wheat, garlic, ginger, and spring onions.
WORKSHOP FOR BEGINNERS: This workshop is where you learn to make three types of dumplings, cooked three different ways, using ready-made wrappers. In addition to recipes of what you make that day, you will also receive fact sheets about ingredients, steaming baskets, plus bonus recipes.
LOTUS LEAF WORKSHOP: This is the ultimate comfort food: a meal wrapped up in a giant lotus leaf. Lo mai gai is the lotus leaf filled with sticky rice and a delicious combination of chicken, Chinese sausage (lop cheng), shiitake, baby shrimp (har mai), and flavourful Chinese seasonings. At the crack of dawn, 2 kilos of sticky rice (nu mai) is carefully washed (by me), then soaked for a few hours. When you show up for the workshop, it will be ready to steam. While that’s happening, we will trim, marinate, and cook the chicken. We prepare the shiitake, and other ingredients. Then the lotus leaves (hall yep) will be rehydrated and filled with the cooked sticky rice (nu mai fan) and the savoury mixture. I show you how to wrap it snugly before the parcel is steamed and served hot. As you unwrap the lotus leaf, the earthy aroma will be released, stimulating your senses and your appetite. These can be stored in the freezer to enjoy at your whim.
YUM CHA CLASSICS MASTERCLASS: The delicate translucent wrapper is the basis of many yum cha classics such as Crystal Prawn dumpling (har gow) and the Crystal Jade dumpling (pan-seared with Chinese chive or gil toy). These two dumplings are the stars of the yum cha experience. Some think the wrapper is made from rice but actually, dear dumpling-lover, it is made from a combination of tapioca and wheat starch (what’s left when the gluten is removed). You won’t find these wrappers in stores and this is where I come in. Making this wrapper requires the perfectly-timed addition of hot boiling water to the finely-milled starches, the quick blending with chopsticks or other Chinese tools, followed by just the right amount kneading. Let me show how to master the making of this delicate, translucent wrapper, the techniques for pleating, and my tips for all those details that make it just right.
VEGETARIAN DUMPLING WORKSHOP: You will make a wonton filled with Asian vegetables (such as bamboo shoots and wood ear), along with carrots, corn, and more. The second dumpling in this workshop is a potsticker (similar to what the Japanese call gyoza). Round wrappers are filled with a mixture of three different mushrooms seasoned with garlic and black pepper. These dumplings are then pan-fried for a crisp finish. Both dumplings are made with ready-made wrappers that are sold at Asian grocers, as well as some Woolworth stores. Vegetable fillings require a lot of chopping but all this is prepared in advance, so you can focus on folding, pleating and eating!
PRIVATE WORKSHOPS: These are for up to 10 people, and held at Made in Japan. Please contact me via the contact form or email me at makedumplings at gmail dot com or use the contact form. You can also contact me by direct message at @dumpling_mania on Instagram.