Pot stickers, shumai, mandu, momos, pierogi, tortelli, ravioli, even tamales – dumplings come in lots of different shapes and sizes, all of them delicious. That’s why I was so excited this spring when we hosted Karen Akunowicz, executive chef at Myers + Chang, to talk about the art of crafting the perfect dumpling here in the Formaggio Kitchen classroom.
Karen talked us through the basic technique behind different dumpling shapes – from elegantly simple half moons to the tortellini-like curved “belly-button” fold – and sampled out finished products, featuring Myers + Chang’s pork and scallion, braised beef, and wasabi mustard green and edamame fillings. In addition to recipes and reference sheets, participants also got the opportunity for a surprise hands-on session at the end of Karen’s talk! A few extra tips and tricks from Karen’s watchful eye (for example – always fold the belly-button away from you to get the perfect height-to-weight ratio) proved to all of us that a little practice makes all kinds of dumplings an easy and delicious way to impress your friends and family at home.
Check out our classroom calendar for the latest upcoming classes here in Cambridge, and look for Karen’s cookbook pick, The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide, for extra reference on all of your dumpling exploits!
Rob Campbell is a culinary adventurer, world traveler, science geek, and also the assistant tea buyer at Formaggio Kitchen Cambridge.