Thursday, December 5, 2013

*Expired* Behold My Beautiful Dumplings :) Plus A Giveaway!

I received a thrilling email a few weeks ago asking if I would like to try one of Craftsy's new Food & Cooking classes and review it. Would I?! I couldn't respond fast enough :) After much deliberation (and much wanting of all the classes), I decided to go with the Favorite Asian Dumplings From Scratch Class.
I decided on this class because it seemed the most out of my usual cooking comfort zone, so I would gain the most knowledge from it. I've never made anything like dumplings before :) I was able to watch the first several lessons of the class the next day, and it really made me want to jump right in and make some dumplings! The class starts off with simple wontons and the teacher - Andrea Nguyen, chef and cookbook writer - shows you how to make them with soup as well as fry them. It all looked so easy and delicious, not to mention I already had most of the ingredients on hand except the wonton wrappers. So, I bought some wrappers and got to work :)
I did have to make a few changes to the basic recipe. The class calls for shrimp in the wontons, but I didn't have any on hand and funds are a bit tight. I did, however, have ground chicken, so I just substituted that for the shrimp. Asian dumplings are all about using what you have, so I felt confident it would work out ok. Once I mixed the filling, I let it sit for 30 minutes. While it sat, I started on the soup. The recipe in the class actually shows you how to use canned chicken stock and "doctor" it to make it better - how great is that? It was so simple. Of course, I had to complicate things a little :) My husband seriously loves tofu and said that I just had to put it in because it just isn't wonton soup without it. Plus I was serving this for dinner, not an appetizer, and the tofu would give it a little more filling substance to make it more of a "rib-stickin' meal" :) So, I chopped up a few slices of extra firm tofu and threw them in. I also added garlic because ... well, I just love garlic. I simmered the soup to get it nice and hot and let all the flavors mingle.

Then came the fun part: assembling the wontons :)
The class shows you how to fold the wontons in 4 different ways - triangle, nurse's cap, flower bud and advanced flower bud. I tried all but the "advanced" flower bud and that's only because I didn't have a chopstick on hand. I liked the nurse's cap and the flower bud best - they just look fancier :)
Then I 'poached' the wontons (poaching is a lighter boil so they don't roll around so much and break). The white color in the water in the photo is from the cornstarch on the wrappers.
Once the wontons were finished, I used a slotted spoon and transferred them to the soup pot. This lets them absorb a little of the soup's flavor before serving.

And that's it! Crazy easy, huh? To serve them, you scoop the wontons into the bowl first, then pour some of the soup in, then garnish with scallions and sesame oil. Et voilĂ !
Isn't it pretty?! I just love the colors mixed around in there. Even better - it tasted fantastic! It tasted just like it was supposed to, which I was thrilled about :) My husband loved it too, so this is definitely a successful recipe.
A few days later, Justin and I decided to make more wontons :) This time, I tried frying them. My whole family wanted me to make them some to try, so I actually made a triple batch, lol. I ended up making 63 wontons in all. These also had ground chicken filling (again, I already had it on hand).
These were super simple to make, just a little time consuming because you can really only fry about 10 at a time. And what would fried wontons be without something to dip them in?
The class includes a delicious recipe to make your own sweet & sour sauce - which is incredibly each and so much better than the generic red glop you usually get at take out restaurants. Everyone really enjoyed these. I served them with rice and called it dinner, lol.

So, what did I think of the class?
This class has seriously demystified Asian dumplings for me. I think we are naturally inclined to think of any different types of food as difficult, but that really isn't true. It's not hard at all to make Asian food, just different than I was used to. I never even thought of making my own Asian food before about a month ago and every recipe I have tried has been not only delicious, but also really easy to make. These dumplings are no exception! The class very clearly shows you how to make wontons, siu mai (dim sum), gyoza, wonton wrappers, and more. I've learned quite a bit of useful cooking advice that I've already applied to my non-Asian-cooking as well. Andrea Nguyen really breaks things down so that anyone could make them. She describes different ingredients you can get at an Asian market too, which is a whole different type of welcomed info :)

I'm very into dumpling making now, and it's all because of this class! I've even asked for some of the tools to cook them with for Christmas so I can make more, lol. I love that this Craftsy class made it so easy for me to gain these new skills, and my family is excited about the new foods they get to try :) I give this class an absolute 5 out of 5 stars and I can't wait to make more dumplings!

Want to win a cooking class of your choice from Craftsy?
Enter through the Rafflecopter widget below (give it a few seconds to load if it doesn't show up immediately). This giveaway will run until Sunday, 12/15/2013 at midnught EST. This giveaway is open to international readers, too. The winner will be announced on Monday, 12/16! Good luck!

* This giveaway is sponsored by Craftsy. I was given a free cooking class to review, but all opinions expressed are 100% my own and not influenced in any way. I just really loved this class!


  1. They look SOOO delicious! I didn't even know Craftsy did cooking lessons! I loved these when I was growing up in. Australia but don't get them any where near where I live now, in Scotland. great solution to make these little tasty treats myself!

  2. I've always wanted to make people foodie gifts, but didn't know how :) I'd love to do Sweet & Savory Food Gifts. I especially love the sound of the chocolate bark and limoncello! I'm logged into RC as Katherine Ryan


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