It started with the arrival of Andrea Nguyen's Asian Dumplings cookbook and the arrival of Pat Tanumihardja's Asian Grandmother's cookbook. Here you'll find a mostly pictoral post, with descriptions of these fine books and my maiden voyage to H Mart, as well as pictures of my first attempts at making gyoza skins from scratch. Making dumplings is sort of like having sex: it's not hard to do, but to do it well, is another matter. Either way, it's delicious and fun so don't be intimidated, try some homemade dumplings.
First, the books. Read my review here: Asian Cookbook Explosion is a Boon to Home Cooks.
Andrea's got a wonderful website Asian Dumplings, including many video clips and how to pictures.
Pat's website includes many recipes not in the book, along with recipes like these Sardine Puffs which are Sustainable, too!
Then my husband announced his birthday wish: "Dumplings, at least 39, one for each year, or as many as I can eat." And, I have the Oishinbo Ramen and Gyoza edition on loan from the Passionate Foodie's lending library (my friend Rich, AKA the Passionate Foodie is generous about loaning books that he knows I'd enjoy. He's introduced me to many great books, three on my nightstand right now!) Read about Rich's Saké class here, Saké Wins Over Some New Fans.
Still, reading and doing are not the same, as the Chinese say: talk does not cook the rice.
When the Kotobukiya Japanese grocery store closed in Porter Square, many of the essential ingredients were hard to find. Later the new H Mart in Burlington opened. A plan came into focus. So the quest began. Could we find the ingredients we needed? Could we make proper gyoza? It was time to try!
You will have noticed that the Oishinbo book is entitled: Ramen and Gyoza. Both are Chinese in origin and beloved by Japanese as well as many of the rest of the world. Just today as I was finishing the edits on the Suite101 book review post, I saw this article in the New York Times, One Noodle at a Time. As the excellent glossary notes, Ramen and Gyoza are often served together. Reading this article will make you hungry for a big bowl of ramen. I need to make it to Ken's Ramen in the Super88 Food Court.