10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Fabulous dumplings, if you have the time,
This review is from: Asian Dumplings: Mastering Gyoza, Spring Rolls, Samosas, and More (Hardcover)
I received this cookbook for Christmas, and I couldn't be happier! It is well written and includes sections on the why and how of dumplings (in addition to many recipes), which gives you good information for making substitutions (or making your own recipes, if you are daring enough) and deciding when you really need that hard-to-find or expensive ingredient. I've only made three recipes so far, so I suppose that is the limitation to my review. However, the recipes turned out great. Not yet perfect, though; these recipes definitely take some skill and practice, but Ms. Nguyen includes detailed instructions. Of course, your imperfectly constructed dumplings are still incredibly tasty. The made-from-scratch dumpling dough was very easy to make and to work with and, while it took more time, was even easier to work with than the store-bought dumpling wrappers.
Be forewarned: many recipes do take a lot of time. I enjoy spending a lot of time cooking, so this is not a problem for me. Of course, now that the new semester has started, I won't have as much free time to cook. Never fear, though, as Ms. Nguyen also includes very good information for what can be made ahead of time, frozen, etc., so it's easy to make a ton of dumplings when you want to spend your day off prepping, and then you have easy, delicious dumplings for weeknight dinners.
I can't speak completely to the authenticity, but the xiaolongbao did taste similar to what I had in Shanghai. Overall, I am very happy to add this to my cookbook shelf.
I also highly recommend getting the small wooden dowel for a rolling pin. I don't think I could have rolled out the individual wrappers without it.