I have wanted to do a dumpling course for the longest time. Sometimes it was time, other times finances and sometimes it was my own ego that got in the way of me actually doing it.
So when Xue’s kitchen advertised on one of the Expat groups I belong to, I checked my calendar and realised I had the time and the money to do it so no excuses.
Arriving at the course, slightly nervous but excited, I was greeted so warmly by Xue and the delicious smells coming from her kitchen. When he rest of the participants arrived we went right into the business of making the fillings. Informally standing around in Xue’s kitchen, chatting and asking questions as she worked felt more like a friend was showing you how to make their favourite dish rather than a teacher telling you what to do.
The relaxed atmosphere meant no pressure to get things done or do things “right” and there was never a feeling that a questions was out of place. Making the skins seemed so difficult when I watched videos and even when Xue showed us the full speed way but once she slowed down and showed us how it was actually really easy and fun, like a room full of adults playing with play-doh…delicious play-doh.
The next step was learning to fold. We were shown 3 different way, with 3 different degrees of difficulty and encouraged to find the one that was most comfortable for us. I don’t think we did too badly.
Last step was the cooking. Again, 3 different methods were taught to us and explanations on how to store dumplings we were not planning on cooking straight away. By then, 5 strangers had bonded over giggles and mistakes and all of us were salivating from the smells filling the kitchen.
As if all this was not enough, Xue rounded off our dumpling feast with an amazing Kung Pao chicken dish which made our mouth and eyes water. We all helped clear the table and reset it for lunch and enjoyed sharing our hard work and restaurant suggestions, polishing off every morsel on our plates.
We got to take home some of the left over dumplings and some of the incredible vegetarian filling (which I turned into breakfast the next day.)
I can tell you two things for certain:
I now want to make dumpling EVER.Y.DAY
I plan on doing more courses with Xue
Keep an eye out on her page for more events and other great offers. What are you waiting for?