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The Bookshelf: The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide



November 05, 2009


Dumplings and Cocky's JoyAfter the overwhelming response to last month's NYC Dumpling Festival t-shirt giveaway, it became clear that dumplings get everyone talking. So when a book called The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide landed in our inbox a couple weeks later, we knew we needed to mention it here. After five years of rolling, pinching, and steaming, cooking instructor Wai Hon Chu and food writer Connie Lovatt have released this month-by-month dumpling manual that will keep your hands busy all year. The Dumpling has recipes for little doughy globes in every shape and flavor, some easy to whip up, others involving a meditative afternoon in the kitchen. "Our book is a collection of traditional recipes," the authors told us. "There are a number that were easy enough to track down, but also quite a few that were more obscure, either because they were considered old fashioned or were so deeply embedded in their region." When we asked them which of the more elusive dumpling dishes they liked best, they named three from Thailand: the khanom thuay, a small, sweet and savory bean pudding with a coconut cream topping; the sakoo sai moo, a super sticky tapioca dumpling stuffed with pork and peanuts; and the bua loi phuak, a sweet coconut soup with taro dumplings. Chu and Lovatt have included a section of over 20 kinds of dumpling folds—the "fan-knot" and "diamond in the square" among them—so you'll be pinching and sealing like a pro in no time. If you're in a rush to get started, they've shared a recipe that doesn't call for fancy fingerwork. It's a traditional Australian dish called Dumplings and Cocky's Joy: small scoops of eggy dough cooked in simple syrup. "Like glazed donuts minus the frying," the authors explain. We can't wait to get our hands on them. (Photo by Joanne Chan)