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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 31 January 2011
Now I didn't mark this book down because the recipes use lots of ingredients like the one reviewer - that is the nature of this food. If you don't like lots of ingredients buy a book on simple cookery. I gave it 4 rather than 5 because I think it could have offered some more really exceptional dumplings, something not found in restaurants in London, New York of San Francisco, maybe only found in the local restaurants of the country. )if you've been to Asia, Hong Kong for example, when you go to a restaurant you will notice that if you are Western, they will give you a special menu, say English, and you will notice that the Chinese menu on your table seems to have about twice as many items on it (it is really frustrating having to ask an English speaking waitress to translate the Chinese menu line by line, but that is the only way to get to order what the locals are eating and not just their choice of dishes that Western taste would want - this also happens in Chinatown in London).
However, this is one of the best books for Asian dumplings, very detailed. There aren't too many out there, I have 4 or 5 just on dumplings and a number of other Asian cook books that also include some recipes. That said, it includes 68 (or so - may have lost exact count - did not count the basic dough recipes) recipes, most are fairly standard - nothing really unusual, but still good. This book covers a number of countries.
A better book in my opinion if you are just interested in Chinese Dim Sum is the book "Chinese Dim Sum" from the Wei-Chuan cook book series. It offers 88 recipes - in English and Chinese - there is no chit chat from the author, just the straight recipes, with some really exceptional. I give that book 5 stars. Both books are both worth owning.
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on 17 April 2013
I am able to recreate in a rather amateur fashion (as I am no great cook) most of the dumplings from this book. The dumpling skins are worth the hassle (or not, as they are actually very simply done especially if you have a pasta machine kicking about in the back cupboard) as they taste better than the ones bought in the Chinese supermarkets (which are rather course and tasteless). Once the basic is learned, you could just experiment with the fillings of your choice.
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Who would have thought that the humble dumpling could have so many variants, be so different and yet relatively simple to make. When one eats a dumpling, whether Dim Sum, Samosa, Spring Roll or other Asian forms one can be forgiven for writing them off as simple fare, yet reality can be a lot different.
In an explosion of mouth-watering colour the author has put the humble dumpling dish under the spotlight and makes the reader understand that a simple-looking foodstuff is, in fact, a collection of many quite intricate items that can showcase some of the best little things from their respective cuisines.
One starts by looking at what, in fact, makes an "Asian dumpling" and to look at the myth, mystique and confusion behind them. Then it is straight into the kitchen with looking at how one makes them and the ingredients that typically can be found within them. Each ingredient can personalise and change the dumpling so that is really can be a fairly individualistic piece of work, made quite unique by the talents of the cook despite following a set-out recipe. Each key ingredient is placed under the magnifying glass so that the reader can understand and appreciate their importance and role as a dumpling building block.
Cooking techniques are also important - you don't just drop them in oil and fry the life out of them - and once you've got a handle on the basics it is straight to the recipes. Recipes themselves are split into key categories - filled pastas, thin skins, stuffed buns, rich pastries, translucent wheat and tapioca starches, transformation of rices, legumes and tubers, sweet treasures and sauces, seasonings, stocks and other basics.
Each recipe is very clearly laid out, starting first with its English and native language equivalent name and followed by a good introduction or scene-setter to the dish. Ingredients are stated clearly (albeit only with imperial measurements) and cross-references to stock items such as a basic yeast dough as required. Each stage of preparation and cooking is clearly written and easy to understand and, at the end, some serving suggestions are also provided. Not every recipe is accompanied by a full-colour photograph but there is a good selection of images to give you much flavour for thought.
This is overall a very engaging book that will encourage you to try a number of recipes from different Asiatic culinary groups. The book ends with a list of resources, select bibliography for further reading and a very comprehensive index. One could consider this book to be suitable for the beginner and more experienced cook alike who wishes to broaden their overall repertoire. Quite a good little gem in fact and something that will carve out a permanent spot on the bookshelf.
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on 3 June 2012
This book is just what I have been looking for. I have to drive quite a distance to find a Chinese grocer so have been experimenting with making my own wrappers with mixed success. This book explains the many different types of doughs and also has great tips when working with the tapioca and wheat flours. I don't mind the American measurements and find them much easier then having to weigh everything. I am so happy to be able to make my own dim sum that actually taste great and look pretty. The author has a web site that has recipes and tips.
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on 11 February 2010
I love asian dumplings and the many and varied forms they come in so I looked for a book to help me make them. This is that book and to be honest there aren't too many other options out there. The good things about this book are that it is quite detailed, it explains recipes at length and if you persevere then the results will be excellent.

The bad things are that many of the dumplings take quite a lot of ingredients which aren't the kind many will have lying around, for UK readers all the measures are given in US cups and spoons, etc.

However, if you are determined then you will get some lovely dumplings.
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on 6 June 2013
Really Terrific. Get the Kindle version for a superb video demonstration and the book for the wonderful pictures.
Both enhance a fabulous experience of Nguyen's Asian kitchen and delicious dumplings.
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on 15 February 2011
Having read the reviews and seen some of the uploaded demonstrations on the author's website, I was really excited about obtaining this book and learning/perfecting my dumpling making skills. I was sorely disappointed by this book. The skills of the author seem very rudimentary and there are dishes that I would hardly classify as "Asian dumplings". I would not recommend this book but rather suggest you search online for recipes and instructions.
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on 25 June 2010
clear concise instructions enabled me to make the most amazing gyoza from my first attempt.
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on 30 April 2014
This is not an easy book so if you don't do much in the way of cooking then it's not for you. But if you love to cook as an ongoing busy addictive habit, then this is the one to try.
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on 4 November 2015
Ingredients lists a little confusing at times - could do with titles (stuffing, dipping sauce)
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