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February 2014 Cookbook of the Month --ASIAN DUMPLINGS: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More by Andrea Nguyen

BigSal Feb 1, 2014 02:36 AM

Welcome to the February 2014 Cookbook of the Month. We will dedicate the month to cooking from ASIAN DUMPLINGS: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More by Andrea Nguyen.

To view the history of COTM and how it works, please visit this link:http://www.chow.com/cookbook_of_the_month_archive

To view the nomination thread, please click here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/930519

To view the voting thread, please click here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/931366

Here is the announcement thread (which includes links to online recipes): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/960770

Please use this thread for general discussion of Asian Dumplings. Feel free to discuss which recipes to choose, how you think the whole cookbook process is going, ingredient sources or any general comments about the book.

To post a review of any recipe, please select the link to the appropriate thread below. If you are the first to report on a recipe, please reply to the original post. If a report already exists (please check before posting), please hit the reply box within the original report. This way all of the reports on the same dish will be together.

Here are the links to the reporting threads for:

Filed Pastas;Thin Skins http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962664

Stuffed Buns; Rich Pastries http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962665

Translucent Wheat and Tapioca Starches;Transformations of Rice http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962666

Legumes and Tubers http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962667

Sweet Treasures; Sauces, Seasonings, Stocks and Other Basics http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962668

Lastly, here is a link to the companion thread for those who also wish to cook from Andrea Nguyen’s Asian Tofu. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/962663

Happy dumpling making everyone!

  1. BigSal Feb 12, 2014 05:08 PM

    We are now voting for next month's Cookbook of the Month. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/964361

    1. BigSal Feb 5, 2014 06:29 PM

      The nominations thread is now up. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/963192

      1. s
        smtucker Feb 3, 2014 07:29 AM

        So, my fellow dumpling lovers, I have a question. Many of the dumpling fillings include shrimp. Sadly, I am still allergic to fresh shrimp [though I can now handle shrimp paste and fermented shrimp.] Does the shrimp add flavor? texture? If I wanted to sub out the shrimp with something that is not a shellfish-that-turns-red when cooked or a bi-valve, what might work? If nothing, I can live with that but I just wondered what those of you who can eat shrimp might think.

        6 Replies
        1. re: smtucker
          q
          qianning Feb 3, 2014 07:51 AM

          Kind of depends on whether the shrimp is the star of the filling, or just a add-in to a pork/meat filling.

          If the former, a firm fleshed white fish, hake, cod are local options, or more Chinese-esque, yellow croaker or cuttlefish.

          If the latter, lots of options--re-hydrated shitakes diced fine, steamed Chinese sausage or ham, carrot diced and blanched in a sweet-ish soy/water, winter melon dice, or blanched bean thread all come to mind. The shrimp is supposed to be both a textural counter-point and an extra hit of umami. BTW, if you can handle re-hydrated dried shrimp, that's also an option.

          But really, just leaving out the shrimp or crab isn't going to make a major difference. I for one often can't tell a xiao long bao (Shanghai style soup dumpling) made with crab from one without.

          1. re: qianning
            s
            smtucker Feb 3, 2014 10:49 AM

            I am nervous about adding much dried/fermented shrimp to my diet since being able to eat any at all is such a new thing. I am looking at the recipes that the shrimp plays a supporting role. I can't imagine making "Shrimp" anything that doesn't actually include shrimp.

            Thanks for your thoughts on this. Does open up a number of additional recipes.

            1. re: smtucker
              m
              MelMM Feb 3, 2014 11:19 AM

              Can you eat fish sauce? For the ones that contain dried shrimp, it is really just to boost the savory factor and is not a big component. I'm thinking a little fish sauce would do the trick, if that is something you can tolerate. Wouldn't take much.

              1. re: MelMM
                s
                smtucker Feb 3, 2014 12:36 PM

                Fish sauce is fine... always has been. I didn't think fish sauce used shrimp, but used a small anchovy-like fish. The amount of fermentation should break down the enzyme that causes my reaction.

                Now I need to research fish sauce!

                1. re: smtucker
                  m
                  MelMM Feb 3, 2014 12:50 PM

                  No, I don't think fish sauce contains shrimp. To clarify, "for the ones that contain dried shrimp", I meant the dumpling recipes, not the fish sauce. I think a dab of fish sauce will accomplish the same thing in the dumplings that the dried shrimp does.

                  1. re: MelMM
                    s
                    smtucker Feb 3, 2014 12:55 PM

                    Thanks for the clarification! And the idea. I bought the Red Boat fish sauce during Smoke & Pickles month and have been very pleased with the flavor. Made some Thai peanut sauce with it yesterday and, well, it was better.

        2. Caitlin McGrath Feb 1, 2014 12:22 PM

          Here's a previous thread on cooking from Asian Dumplings, with a bunch of reports and photos; a good place to start and read about others' experiences and advice with the recipes: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/855251

          1. s
            Skamper Feb 1, 2014 11:29 AM

            I picked this book up at the library yesterday and am excited to try some of these recipes. I've never made dumplings, but dough is not my forte, and I'm not sure I have the time/guts to try to make my own wrappers. Any recommendations of the best brands of premade potsticker/gyoza and spring roll wrappers available in Asian markets or grocery stores? Many thanks!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Skamper
              c oliver Feb 1, 2014 11:36 AM

              Others will give you the recs you're looking for. I'd like to encourage you to try the Wheat Starch Dough on p. 132. It's super easy and she, as always, walks you through it. You have little to lose. And, no, yours aren't going to look like hers but she was quick to tell us that it's the taste that counts. After the dough recipe there are a number of recipes that follow using it. I think you'll surprise yourself. Good luck.

            2. meatn3 Feb 1, 2014 10:59 AM

              Craftsy is having a special online class for Favorite Asian Dumplings taught by Andrea Nguyen! Regularly $39.99 on special for $14.99.

              A great resource for getting over the fear of dumplings!

              http://www.craftsy.com/class/favorite...

              8 Replies
              1. re: meatn3
                c oliver Feb 1, 2014 11:26 AM

                As some know, I took her face to face :) class last year and it was so easy to make the dough once she demystified the process. So I highly encourage others to take this class.

                1. re: meatn3
                  Breadcrumbs Feb 1, 2014 12:26 PM

                  That looks terrific meatn...thanks so much for pointing it out! I just signed up! What a bargain.

                  1. re: meatn3
                    herby Feb 2, 2014 06:30 PM

                    I just enrolled too! Many thanks, meatn3 !

                    1. re: herby
                      c oliver Feb 2, 2014 06:37 PM

                      Y'all are gonna love it! She's such a great teacher.

                      1. re: c oliver
                        meatn3 Feb 2, 2014 09:29 PM

                        I went ahead and signed up too! It should be a good motivator since I tend to be very visual when learning new skills.

                    2. re: meatn3
                      delys77 Feb 2, 2014 07:18 PM

                      Hm online classes, interesting concept. Will have to look into this if I find I'm struggling with the shapes in the book.

                      1. re: meatn3
                        m
                        MelMM Feb 3, 2014 06:47 AM

                        Thanks for pointing this out. I was not familiar with this site at all, and I took a look at some of the other classes and was impressed by the teachers they have on there. In addition to Ms. Nguyen, there's Giuliano Hazan, Alice Medrich, Peter Reinhart, Molly Stevens, Peter Berley…. and more. It could become addicting!

                        1. re: MelMM
                          meatn3 Feb 3, 2014 12:50 PM

                          They do a really impressive job of it. Their craft instructors are of the same caliber too.

                          I discovered the site via a Living Social or similar deal a year or so ago. Gotta love the internet - the world delivered to you even while wearing pajamas!

                      2. c oliver Feb 1, 2014 07:54 AM

                        pikawicca and I are meeting up in NYC for a few days and we're hoping to make some dumplings. I wonder how those bags of starch/flours are going to look on xray :)

                        1. s
                          smtucker Feb 1, 2014 05:35 AM

                          Another great job BigSal!

                          This month will be a difficult one and I fear that I won't have time to make dumplings. But I have bought the book, it is sitting on my desk, and I need to find the time to read it and mark recipes that appeal to me.

                          Thank you for all your hard work.

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