HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Are you making a specialty food? Get great advice

February 2014 Cookbook of the Month — ASIAN DUMPLINGS: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More

BigSal Jan 21, 2014 05:02 PM

It started as a close race, but ASIAN DUMPLINGS: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More by Andrea Nguyen pulled away and was selected as February’s Cookbook of the Month.

On February 1st, I'll post individual threads for reporting your experiences from this book. I will also post a companion thread for those who wish to cook from Nguyen’s Asian Tofu to help prevent dumpling fatigue. In the meantime, you can use this announcement thread for general discussion about the book.

The voting thread that got us here:

The nomination thread is here:

A general explanation of Cookbook of the Month, and a list of past books:

An earlier Cooking from Asian Dumplings thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/855251

Andrea Nguyen’s Dumpling Tips and many more dumpling recipes that are not in the cookbook.

Join in on the fun even if you don’t have the book! Here a few of the recipes available online.

Basic Dumpling Dough

Char Siu Pork Bun Filling http://www.foodgal.com/2010/03/how-i-measure-time-in-char-siu-baos/

Baked Filled Buns http://www.foodgal.com/2010/03/how-i-measure-time-in-char-siu-baos/

Gyoza http://rasamalaysia.com/gyoza/2/

Gyoza in Smoky Chicken Soup http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:32kBYeB-SmIJ:online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052970204555904577165441790258010+&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

Shanghai Soup Dumplings http://kitchenmusings.com/2009/09/10/shanghai-soup-dumpling-plus-a-new-look/

Pork and Napa Cabbage Water Dumplings (Shuijiao)

Spinach and Pork Wontons http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spinach-and-pork-wontons

Fried Wontons http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120715688

Sweet and Sour Sauce http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120715688

Tibetan Beef and Sichuan Peppercorn Dumplings ('Sha Momo') http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120567552

Spicy Roasted Tomato Sauce http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=120567552

Fish and Chinese Chive Dumplings http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/fish-and-chinese-chive-dumplings

Beef, Sweet Potato, and Raisin Turnovers (Empanadas) http://www.fromargentinawithlove.typepad.com/from_argentina_with_love/2011/07/asian-dumplings-book-giveaway.html

Siu Mai Open-Faced Dumplings (Shāomài) http://newasiancuisine.com/4237-steam...

  1. Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. BigSal Jan 21, 2014 05:05 PM

    We are still in need of a volunteer to assume the coordinator duties for the next six months.

    14 Replies
    1. re: BigSal
      delys77 Jan 21, 2014 08:58 PM

      Question for you all on this topic, does the coordinator typically participate each month in the cooking? I recognize that the coordinator will facilitate voting etc, but what about the actual cooking during each COTM.

      1. re: delys77
        Caitlin McGrath Jan 21, 2014 09:26 PM

        Having taken a turn at it, I can tell you that it is no different for the coordinator than for any other CH. In other words, she or he cooks along or doesn't in any given month, as she or he desires/is able, with absolutely no obligation one way or another.

        1. re: Caitlin McGrath
          delys77 Jan 21, 2014 09:32 PM

          Thanks Caitlin.

      2. re: BigSal
        BigSal Jan 28, 2014 04:06 AM

        Is there anyone willing to assume the coordinator duties for the next six months?

        1. re: BigSal
          LulusMom Jan 28, 2014 05:11 AM

          If you don't get an answer I can do a month. Maybe some other former coordinators can also pitch in. But I do hope someone volunteers.

          1. re: BigSal
            dkennedy Jan 28, 2014 05:13 AM

            I am so sorry BigSal, this is a really busy time for me and I don't think I can volunteer to step forward at this time. My situation might be different by March but I can't make the commitment until things slow down. Hopefully someone else will step forward. If not, I'll get back in touch with you once I know my situation.

            What happens if no one steps forward? Does COTM cease to exist?

            1. re: dkennedy
              BigSal Jan 30, 2014 04:04 AM

              Life can be hectic and better to volunteer when you have the time. delys77 has agreed to help March-May, so we have a little time.

              I'm not sure what would happen if no one else volunteers, it hasn't happened before.

            2. re: BigSal
              delys77 Jan 28, 2014 09:58 AM

              Hi Big Sal

              I have been toying with the idea of doing it as well, but February will be a tough month for me and I'm not sure of my holiday plans this summer. If anyone wants to tag team it I could do March, April, and May.

              1. re: delys77
                BigSal Jan 30, 2014 03:56 AM

                Thank you delys77!

                I can help out for one more month in February. So I'll post the nomination, voting, and announcement threads and you can begin with the official cookbook of the month thread on March 1st.

                Is anyone able to take on June, July and August?

                1. re: BigSal
                  LulusMom Jan 30, 2014 04:25 AM

                  Those are tough months for me with Lulu home from school. I could maybe do one of the months if we really can't find a volunteer by then.

                  Adding my thanks to delys.

                  1. re: LulusMom
                    BigSal Jan 30, 2014 04:35 AM

                    Thanks LLM. I'm hoping we'll have another volunteer by then.

                  2. re: BigSal
                    delys77 Jan 30, 2014 01:08 PM

                    Sounds like a good plan. I've never done it before but I am sure I can sort it out. Maybe when we get closer to the date you can give me some pointers since you have done such a great job of it.

                    1. re: delys77
                      BigSal Jan 30, 2014 06:08 PM

                      I'd be glad to give you a quick overview, feel free to send me an email (in my profile). You'll be a great coordinator, your posts are always so eloquent.

                      1. re: BigSal
                        delys77 Jan 31, 2014 09:26 AM

                        Thanks BigSal, you are too kind!

            3. c oliver Jan 21, 2014 05:30 PM

              What a great resource just this one link is!!! We travel a lot so I don't always have access to the book. This is terrific. Thanks.

              1. Gio Jan 21, 2014 06:52 PM

                One word: Dang. But, we will survive.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Gio
                  c oliver Jan 21, 2014 09:36 PM


                  1. re: c oliver
                    meatn3 Jan 21, 2014 09:46 PM

                    It think it is in reference to Gio having voted for the other book...

                2. d
                  dkennedy Jan 21, 2014 09:57 PM

                  Finally, an excuse to gorge myself on dumplings. I'm looking forward to exploring this book!

                  1. LulusMom Jan 22, 2014 03:21 AM

                    Thank you for an amazing 6 months BigSal. And thanks for all the links and the promise of a Tofu companion thread.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: LulusMom
                      BigSal Jan 22, 2014 04:34 AM

                      Thanks LLM. I have to say that I am looking forward to trying additional recipes from Asian Tofu, more so than dumplings, but my husband is firmly in the dumpling camp.

                      1. re: BigSal
                        LulusMom Jan 22, 2014 05:36 AM

                        I'm sure my husband and Lulu will be more firmly in the dumpling camp too. But then again, they're not the ones doing the cooking ; )

                        1. re: LulusMom
                          c oliver Jan 22, 2014 07:41 AM

                          Now YOU have the right attitude! Bob and I have been eating a lot more tofu out but I've cooked perhaps ONE recipe from that book. Looking forward to lots of inspiration.

                    2. jpr54_1 Jan 29, 2014 12:49 PM

                      I picked up the book at the library today.
                      truthfully, I was disappointed with the book
                      I may not make anything from the cookbook.

                      14 Replies
                      1. re: jpr54_1
                        c oliver Jan 29, 2014 12:54 PM

                        Certainly to each his/her own but I'm really surprised. Shocked actually. Do you like to eat Asian dumplings - of any sort? If so, I just can't imagine not liking this book. Can you figure out what disappoints you? Asking sincerely.

                        1. re: c oliver
                          LulusMom Jan 29, 2014 01:10 PM

                          I'd like to know too, especially since I haven't been able to lay my hands on the book.

                        2. re: jpr54_1
                          jpr54_1 Jan 30, 2014 07:55 AM

                          I took a second look at the book
                          I am not into making wrappers from from basic dumpling dough.
                          do the wrappers come frozen?
                          some of the fillings looked good-

                          I may make one of the spring rolls with already prepared rice papers.
                          I also may make the char siu pork

                          1. re: jpr54_1
                            c oliver Jan 30, 2014 08:01 AM

                            If you have access to an Asian market, there are plenty of frozen dumpling wrappers. Regular grocery stores generally have at least won ton and egg roll wrappers, fresh, generally somewhere in the produce area. The fillings, IMO, are very good.

                            1. re: jpr54_1
                              Gio Jan 30, 2014 08:19 AM

                              JPR, we've made Andrea's char siu and thought it absolutely delicious!

                              1. re: jpr54_1
                                lilham Jan 31, 2014 12:20 AM

                                Most Chinese families buy their wrappers frozen. I think Andrea Nguyen said as much in the introductory chapters in the book. If you have access to a Chinese grocer, you'll be able to buy wonton, gyoza (jiaozi) and spring roll wrappers in the freezer section. As far as I know, wonton and gyoza wrappers are the same, other then one being square, the other round.

                                So don't feel you are cheating just because you didn't make your wrappers from scratch.

                                PS. Wikipedia informed me that wonton skins are thinner. And I think they are right because the wonton I ate growing up are definitely thinner skinned. However the packets of wrappers I can get here in the UK definitely feel like they are from the same recipe cut into different shapes!

                                1. re: lilham
                                  BigSal Jan 31, 2014 03:29 AM

                                  I think this article helps distinguish jiaozi from gyoza (the Japanese adaptation of jiaozi). http://sakuraave.com/944/chinese-jiaozi-vs-japanese-gyoza/

                                  I buy gyoza wrappers from the Asian grocer, but my everyday grocery store sells this brand. http://www.jfc.com/images/items/item2...

                                  1. re: BigSal
                                    lilham Jan 31, 2014 05:04 AM

                                    I wanted to say "no no that's not true" when I saw the first sentence that jiaozi "are savory filled dumplings that are pan-fried and gently steamed". Then the author went go to say for the chinese "the dumplings are also often served boiled".

                                    Jiaozi to me are mostly steamed and sometimes boiled. They are rarely pan fried.

                                    1. re: lilham
                                      BigSal Jan 31, 2014 08:03 AM

                                      The article rang true for gyoza which is what I have familiarity with. I was trying to distinguish it from jiaozi- saying similar but not the same. Interesting note about jioazi served mostly steamed. And how does guo tie differ?

                                      1. re: BigSal
                                        lilham Feb 1, 2014 01:28 AM

                                        My family is Cantonese from Hong Kong. Guo tie is definitely a northern thing. We usually have jiaozi as part of dim sum and they are almost always steamed. Like shrimp dumplings, siu mai etc. I can think of one that is pan fried but still served in a steam basket (Shanghai dumplings 上海小龍包). I think they might have been pan fried and then steamed?

                                        If eaten at home we usually boil jiaozi and serve with a dipping sauce.

                                        I have eaten gyoza in Japan and they are definitely more pan fried than the shanghai dumplings I mentioned earlier.

                                        The article is very interesting to me. I didn't know for example Japanese gyoza is more limited in scope. I definitely agree with the author that Chinese dumplings vary hugely in fillings and shape.

                                        Also I wouldn't be surprised if Chinese in another region mainly pan fried their jiaozi.

                                        1. re: lilham
                                          lilham Feb 1, 2014 01:36 AM

                                          I stand to corrected on the shanghai dumplings too. There is an English Wikipedia entry on it

                                          By the way I was using the English meaning of dumpling when I talked about jiaozi. In Cantonese some of the dim sums have names end in jiao, which are strictly the only ones that are jiaozi. Siu Mai isn't probably because the wrapper doesn't enclose the filling?

                                          The Shanghai dumplings are bao.

                                          I'm more skilled in eating dumplings than making them. Already learning lots from the posts here :


                                          I will definitely try making something from the online recipes with frozen wrappers.

                                          1. re: lilham
                                            nonaggie Feb 1, 2014 05:32 PM

                                            Are the pan-fried Shanghainese dumplings you're thinking of sheng jian bao (生煎包)?

                                            They're more like buns but still very delicious!

                                            1. re: nonaggie
                                              lilham Feb 1, 2014 10:20 PM

                                              Yes. I was mixing the two together. Living in a part of the UK without a large Chinese poplation, I don't have a chance to eat Chinese out much anymore.

                                              1. re: lilham
                                                LulusMom Feb 2, 2014 02:41 AM

                                                That is so sad.

                            2. BigSal Feb 1, 2014 02:39 AM

                              The official thread is now up. Join us here. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962669

                              Show Hidden Posts