After all the great meals we are enjoying in Taiwan, the Smarter Cities Challenge team banded together to learn how to make the traditional dish of steamed dumplings at a local Pekingese restaurant. Our hosts were very good at their craft and they had high expectations of us…from the great hats and apron….
…to inspecting every one of our dumplings…they were tough! We figured if Tom Cruise can do it, why not us?
The dumpling making process is intricate like many of the ancient Chinese disciplines, from the dough making to the initial dimple you make in the dough bit (you need to stand it up versus start on the side) to the rolling of the dough and the pinching of the folds. Yes, pinching of folds. It is all very precise.
The process starts with making your dough (pre arranged for us) and then rolling the dough out into the shape of small discs. The professionals use a mini rolling pin in their right hand while quickly rotating the disc with their left…perfect circle and perfect thickness. You then put your filling in the middle using the following professional technique to get the right amount of filling in the disc
It takes precisely 19 folds to tie the perfect dumpling…or in the case of some of us, 6 folds and not that perfect…but either way it gets the job done. The key is not to let any steam out of the dumpling while cooking. The logo for the restaurant, incidentally, is a perfect and beautiful flower with 19 folds.
In the end, the team did a great job creating and cooking their dumplings with a lot of help. Everyone was fed a sumptuous meal of their dumplings and much more made by the experts. We were all thankful for the experts.