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Dumplings All Day Wong: A Cookbook of Asian Delights From a Top Chef

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Making delicious, unique dumplings has never been easier with celebrity chef Lee Anne Wong's most coveted recipes and techniques. Each recipe in Dumplings All Day Wong will have you creating one-of-a-kind dumplings that wow your family and friends.

Folds such as Potstickers, Gyozas, Shumai, Har Gow, Wontons and more, along with countless fillings and different cooking methods such as steaming, pan-frying, baking or deep-frying, allow you to create awe-inspiring dumplings in innumerable ways. With friends and family begging to come over and try a new dumpling recipe from the master again and again, this book will be a go-to in your kitchen for years to come.

ISBN-13: 9781624140594

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Page Street Publishing

Publication Date: 08-19-2014

Pages: 256

Product Dimensions: 8.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.70(d)

Lee Anne Wong is a celebrity chef with a passion for Asian cuisine. She was one of the top four contestants on Bravo's Top Chef, a judge on Chopped and a guest on Unique Eats, The Wendy Williams Show, Iron Chef America and Unwrapped. Most recently, Lee Anne hosted a one-hour special on the Cooking Channel called Food Crawl with Lee Anne Wong, where she searched New York for the best dumplings and noodles. She lives in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Read an Excerpt

Dumplings All Day Wong

A Cookbook of Asian Delights from A Top Chef

By Lee Anne Wong

Page Street Publishing Co.

Copyright © 2014 Lee Anne Wong
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62414-065-5



A good scout's motto is "always be prepared." The same goes for any decent cook. Like anything else in life, having the right tools and techniques available to you will make the task at hand that much easier. Below are a few highly recommended pieces of equipment you'll need to help you achieve dumpling nirvana. Most are available at houseware and cookware stores or Asian markets.


CHINESE SPIDER STRAINER: This skimming tool is traditionally made with a long bamboo handle and a wide, shallow, wire mesh basket resembling a spidersweb, hence the name. It's great for deep-frying, as well as straining items from hot liquids.

CHOPSTICKS: Once you master how to hold and manipulate a set of chopsticks, these simple wooden sticks can be the perfect utensil for many applications, such as individually turning panfried dumplings, whisking and mixing ingredients and plucking perfectly fried items from hot oil. In some Asian stores you can find large chopsticks used specifically for cooking purposes.

DEEP-FRY/CANDY THERMOMETER: Whether you purchase a digital thermometer or a classic mercury-in-glass thermometer, I find this tool indispensable, for both candy making and especially for deep-frying. Oil temperature is key to properly frying food, letting you know when the oil is too cold (food becomes greasy and oil-laden) or too hot, which can be very dangerous in many ways. Always monitor the thermometer and adjust the heat as necessary for perfect deep-frying temperatures, which range from 325°F/162°C to 375°F/190°C.

MANDOLINE: This is a great tool to have for thinly slicing fruits and vegetables. I prefer the lightweight plastic Japanese models over the heavy stainless steel European versions.

MEASURING TOOLS: Dry measuring cups, wet measuring cups and measuring spoons are a cook's best friends. Level off the top with the straight edge of a knife for precise measurements.

MICROPLANE: This superfine grater is perfect for zesting, grating spices such as nutmeg and long peppercorn, and finely grating items like garlic, ginger and cheese. Look for a microplane that has a grater that resembles a wood rasp (small teeth).

PARCHMENT PAPER: I love parchment paper. It's a great and versatile tool for food preparation, both cold and hot applications. Available in most grocery stores, this cooking paper prevents food from sticking.

RING CUTTERS: You can buy them in sets of various sizes, round and square (Ateco brand is great). The cutters will help trim down fresh dough or premade wrappers to the desired size and shape.

ROLLING PIN: Instead of the large, two-handled rolling pin favored by bakers, shop for an Asian-style wooden dowel rolling pin. Much smaller, skinnier and more lightweight, it's perfect for rolling small delicate dumpling wrappers instead of using a cumbersome large rolling pin. The standard size Asian-style rolling pin measures 12 inches (30.5 cm) in length by ¾ inch (1.9 cm) in diameter and is usually made from a wooden dowel with a smooth, sanded surface. You can find these at restaurant and equipment supply stores, as well as gourmet cookware stores and Asian specialty markets.


BLENDER: A drink blender is great tool for making smooth sauces, purees and vinaigrettes. I recommend a high-speed commercial blender like a Vitamix.

DIGITAL KITCHEN TIMER: If you don't already have a timer on your phone, then an inexpensive digital timer is a must in any kitchen, especially when dealing with precise (and short) cook times.

DIGITAL SCALE: A scale can be a handy permanent addition to your kitchen tools. Recipes can be accurately replicated through weight measurement versus volume. Try and find a digital scale that operates in grams, pounds and ounces and has at least a 5-pound weight limit.

DIM SUM STEAMER: This is one of the most essential tools for cooking and serving up perfectly steamed dumplings. There are two kinds available: bamboo and metal. Both function in the same way in that steam will rise from a boiling water source at the bottom of the steamer and penetrate the stacked layers, which are holding your dumplings.

BAMBOO: A bamboo steamer is the most visually classic representation of dim sum, as the baskets are able to go from the steamer to tableside, but they require a little more love and attention to prevent them from cracking, molding and/or burning. Bamboo steamers can range from 5 inches (12.5 cm) to more than 12 inches (30.5 cm) in size, with the ability to stack multiple steamers of the same size in one tower.

METAL: A metal dim sum steamer is handy for multiple tasks in the kitchen. Usually made from aluminum or stainless steel, the lightweight pot holds the water in the bottom and can be placed directly on the heat source. Two tightly fitted stackable trays hold your dumplings, while the pea-size holes in the tray beds lets the steam to travel upward and cook your dumplings. A domed lid lets condensation drip down the sides of the steamer rather than back onto your dumplings.

FOOD PROCESSOR: This kitchen workhorse can be helpful when making fillings or dough for your dumplings.

NONSTICK FRYING PAN WITH LID: Not everyone has access to a wok, so this is my favorite piece of equipment for panfried dumplings. Make sure you have a wide-bottomed frying pan and a tight-fitting lid to capture the steaming action that will cook your dumplings. Use a 6- to 8-inch (15 to 20-cm) omelet plan if you are making dumplings just for yourself. I like to use a 10- to 12-inch (25.5 to 30.5 cm) nonstick pan for cooking larger batches of dumplings.

ROUND STEAMING RACK: This resembles a wire rack on which to cool baked goods, only it is round (you can still use it as a cooling rack). It is good to keep two sizes around for the recipes in this book — one that will fit the interior of a 6- to 8-quart Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stockpot and one slightly bigger than the diameter of your pot that can sit on the top rim of the pot, creating a platform for your bamboo steamer.

WOK: This is one of the most widely used and versatile cooking vessels in Asian cuisine and can be used for boiling, steaming, panfrying, stir-frying, deep-frying, poaching and smoking. Traditionally made from either carbon steel or cast iron, this round-bottomed pan takes time to season and build a patina, creating a natural nonstick surface that is perfect for all types of cooking. This pan normally sits on a wok ring to stabilize the bottom over a strong gas flame, making the wok perfect for high-heat cooking. Modern versions now come preseasoned and nonstick, with flat bottoms designed to transfer the heat from an electric stove.


I'd say the most important tool in any kitchen is a sharp knife. Maintaining a sharp edge on your knives will not only help you create beautiful food but also prevent accidents and injuries, which are much more common with dull knives that can slip on food and your cutting board. Here are a few cuts employed in this book. Don't worry if your cuts aren't perfect — just remember that practice makes perfect.

CRUSH: Use the side of your knife and the heel of your hand to crush items like garlic or ginger to develop the juices and natural oils of the aromatic ingredient. Use a food mallet or heavy item like a small pot or pan to crush hard items such as spices and lemongrass.

DICE: Cut food into small cubes ranging in size from ? inch (0.3 cm)(fine) to ¼ inch (0.6 cm) (small), ½ inch (1.3 cm) (medium) or ¾ inch (1.9 cm) or more (large). Cut your food item into uniform slices, then sticks of the same thickness, and then into cubes with the same diameter.

JULIENNE: Cut a fruit or vegetable into uniform matchsticks, usually about ? inch (0.3 cm) or less in diameter, or make ribbons out of fresh herbs or leafy greens. A mandoline can be helpful in producing uniform slices before using your knife to make the thin matchsticks.

MINCE: Finely chop food into tiny pieces. This can be achieved with a knife, meat grinder or food processor.


There's more than one way to cook a dumpling. Each of these methods will produce a different texture and mouth feel upon consumption, and to be honest, I love all four methods. Although this book has preferred methods for each recipe, the point is to cook the dumpling. If you don't feel like deep-frying, the other three methods work just as well. When you first delve into this book, make a recipe like the classic Pork and Chive Dumplings (here) with both premade wrappers and fresh dough, and then cook each of the dumplings by one of the four methods (premade wrapper steamed versus fresh wrapper steamed, premade wrapper panfried versus fresh wrapper panfried, and so on). This will give you a pretty immediate insight into your end results before you even get into a new recipe. It also helps you know exactly what to do when you have a craving. Sometimes I want a soft, silky, boiled dumpling; other times I am looking for that fragrant, crispy-bottomed, panfried version. The choice and the adventure are yours.

BOILING: The "three-boil" method was developed in China and is a good standard for cooking boiled dumplings. Bring a large pot of water to a boil (more water means the temperature won't drop as much when you put the dumplings in the water). Add your dumplings in a small batch and return the water to a boil. Add 1 cup (236 ml) of cold water to the pot and then return to a boil again. Add 1 more cup (236 ml) of cold water and after the water boils a third time, the dumplings are ready to be drained and served.

DEEP-FRYING: I don't care what you say, everyone loves deep-fried food, even if they won't admit it and have it once in a blue moon. The texture you are able to get with properly fried fresh and premade doughs will change the way you think about deep-frying. Deep-fried dumplings should not be ignored. Proper deep-frying is actually not all that unhealthy if done right — the oil temperature is key. When the oil is hot and ready (325°F to 375°F [162°C to 190°C]), what actually happens is the oil crisps, browns and seals the outside of whatever you are frying, creating an outer shell around the center filling, which then is essentially steamed through heat transference. Only when your oil is too cold does this outer shell not form and oil can seep into your food, making it grease-laden and heavy. You can deep-fry in a wok or heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or pot. I like to use vegetable oil because it imparts the least amount of flavor to the food, and even though peanut oil can withstand higher temperatures, I avoid using it due to peanut allergies. Use a deep-fry thermometer at all times to maintain the oil temperature. Several inches of oil is adequate for deep-frying dumplings, just make sure that the oil is well below the rim of the pot because the hot oil will bubble and expand when food is added to it. Use a Chinese spider strainer to pull your fried items out of the oil, and have a paper towel–lined surface ready to receive the hot dumplings. One of the most important things to remember when deep-frying is that oil and water do not mix. Moisture is the enemy — oil cooks at very high temperatures, while water (and most other liquids) boil and evaporate at 212°F/100°C, hence the bubbling action when you put something into hot oil. The bubbling is literally the moisture cooking out of that item in order to leave a crisp texture behind. Holes in your dumpling wrappers become dangerous when the moisture from the filling comes into contact with the hot oil. My suggestion is to pull the leaking dumpling immediately from the oil to prevent further incident. Make sure your spider strainer is always dry, too — water on the wire mesh or bamboo handle is no good. It is important to make sure your oil comes back to the desired frying temperature before adding more dumplings. Alternatively, if you happen to have a tabletop deep fryer like a FryDaddy or De'Longhi, those will work fine, too.

PANFRYING: I love this method because of the dual textures it yields in the dumpling skin — crispy and chewy. Have a tight-fitting lid for the pan or wok stoveside and ready because this process happens very quickly. Add a tablespoon (15 ml) of oil to the bottom of a nonstick frying pan or wok and arrange the dumplings in the pan (you can place them spaced apart or lined up together) while heating the pan over high heat. After 1 to 2 minutes the dumplings will begin to brown on the bottoms. Add ½ cup (120 ml) of cold water to the hot pan (it will immediately steam and react with the oil in the pan, so be careful) and place the lid firmly on top of the pan to capture the steaming action. Cook the dumplings with the lid on until almost all of the water has evaporated or been absorbed by the dumplings; cooking times will vary depending on the dumpling. Remove the lid (lower the heat slightly, if necessary) and continue to cook until all of the water has evaporated from the pan and the dumpling skins begin to crisp up again. To create the lacy pancake effect on the bottom of your panfried dumplings, dissolve ½ tablespoon (4 g) of flour in the ½ cup (120 ml) of water before adding to the pan.

STEAMING: For this technique you will need a bamboo or metal dim sum steamer. Line your tray bottoms with greased parchment or blanched cabbage greens. Arrange your dumplings spaced apart in the trays, then stack your trays. If using a metal steamer, bring several inches of water to a boil in the bottom section of the pot. Fit the trays on the pot once the water is boiling and place the domed lid on top. If you are using a bamboo steamer, you have two options. I like to use a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stockpot with a steaming rack in conjunction with a bamboo steamer, rather than use a wok to boil the water (water can ruin the patina on a well-seasoned wok). If you are using a smaller dim sum steamer that fits the interior of the pot, then you can place a small rack inside the pot (make sure it is set above the waterline) to elevate the steaming baskets. If you are using a larger bamboo steamer (8 to 12 inches [20 to 30.5 cm]), then place a large cooling rack (it does not have to be round) on top of the rim of the pot with the boiling water. Make sure the dim sum basket is not wider than the diameter of the pot. Steaming times will vary slightly depending on how close the dim sum basket is to the steam and how vigorously the water is boiling.


If you are making a large batch of dumplings for the same day it is advisable to form them within a few hours before you cook them. Moisture from the filling will soften the wrapper over the course of time, whether it is fresh or premade, which impedes the cooking process and creates problems like holes and tears in the wrapper or the wrappers sticking together. If I am having a party, I get everything ready — filling, wrappers and sauces — and either fold them right before everyone comes over or I save the labor for my friends, who usually get their hands dirty in helping fold the dumplings. Otherwise, you can form your dumplings several hours before cooking and keep them wrapped in plastic wrap in a single layer in your refrigerator. A little flour or starch dusted on the tray will help keep the dumplings from sticking later on.

Dumplings can also be made ahead of time and frozen for easy, ready-to-serve deliciousness. Clear enough space in your freezer to fit a baking tray or several large plates. Form your dumplings and then place them spaced apart in a single layer on a tray or plate. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer. When the dumplings are individually frozen, you can transfer them to a zip-top freezer bag, where you can pull them one piece at a time for when you get hungry (the point is, don't freeze all the dumplings together in a pile or they will freeze into a solid mass). Dumplings will keep in an airtight bag for up to 3 months. Cook without thawing per recipe directions, but note that you will need a longer cooking time.


Excerpted from Dumplings All Day Wong by Lee Anne Wong. Copyright © 2014 Lee Anne Wong. Excerpted by permission of Page Street Publishing Co..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.


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