DISCOVER YOUR INNER DUMPLING MAKER
Dumpling Mania workshops and masterclasses are limited to just 8 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. The last workshop for 2022 will be on 20 November, but alas, tickets sold out within hours.
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. Access: 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 are served 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: A meal in a magical parcel is the focus of this workshop. Lo mai gai is the lotus leaf filled with sticky rice and a combination of chicken, Chinese sausage (lop cheng), shiitake, baby shrimp (har mai), and flavourful Chinese seasonings. Early that morning, 2 kilos of sticky rice (nu mai) is carefully washed (by moi), 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 cook the chicken (that I’ve trimmed and marinated the night before), along with the 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, then wrapped snugly. 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. This is comfort food.
YUM CHA CLASSICS MASTERCLASS: The 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). 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). Making this this wrapper requires the perfectly timed addition of hot boiling water to the finely-milled flours, followed by just the right amount kneading. This is where I come in…let me show how to master the making this translucent wrapper and the techniques for pleating. Making this dough is the only way to go as it is not sold readymade. These two dumplings are the stars of the yum cha experience.
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 6-8 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.