As a white American, I’m in no position to expound on the correct way to make Chinese dumplings. Jiaozi, bao, mantou, shumai — I will enthusiastically eat these things if you invite me to dim sum, but I’m not an expert in making them. I am an expert, however, in attempting to reproduce my favorite restaurant dishes at home, and at imperiously endorsing my creations. So if you are a person who often orders dumplings at American Chinese restaurants but never makes them in your own kitchen, please read on for a better way to do things.
Homemade Americanized Chinese dumplings are way cheaper than the restaurant version, and you can make many, many times more of them than you get in a typical restaurant order. Plus, they are really not difficult. You can pleat them up all fancy if you’re so inclined, but shaping dumplings can be as easy as folding the wrappers in half and pressing the edges together with your fingers: It’s like sealing an envelope, but with water instead of saliva, and no risk of paper cuts.
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