ON THE MENU – MAKE YOUR OWN DUMPLINGS WITH GUEST CHEF AMY FALKENSTEIN

OACC “FLAVORS OF ASIA” CLASS #8: FOOD TRENDS

DUMPLINGS WITH GUEST CHEF AMY FALKENSTEIN

In class #8 we be prepared a trendy dish inspired by an Asian cuisine, but also introduced bigger themes around food like Cultural Appropriation and why “ethnic” cuisines are considered trends. The concept of culture makes food trendy but can lack the foundation of culture behind the intent on making the dish. As we make this dish, we encourage discussion on how to respect, learn from, and acknowledge the cultural relevance, history, and impact a culture’s cuisine can have in the food we make.

Our key points for the class were to

  1. Unpack the terms Cultural Appreciation and Cultural Appropriation. What does each term mean? How can we navigate the fine line respectfully? What do the terms mean to you as an individual?
  2. In regards to food, what is trendy now and why is it trendy?  Paradox of “trendy” ethnic cuisines and how it’s related to our current state of affairs in the US.

Dish: Dumplings (make your own version)*

*The recipe for this dish is adapted from previous guest chef Windy Chen. For this class at the OACC, students tapped into their creativity applying their knife skills to create the filling and understanding of flavor balance to whisk together a dipping sauce. We used produce from our EatWell Farm CSA box, as well as included healthy protein options such as shitake mushrooms and ground turkey for students to create their own kind of dumpling. We purchased the dumpling wrappers at Yuen Hop, a local Oakland Chinatown store who are known for making fresh noodles from scratch. Our students will flex their knowledge of temperature-controlled cooking by opting to fry, steam, or boil their dumplings.

The Dumpling Equation = Protein + Binder + Flavor

RECIPE (yields about 60 dumplings)

  • 2 bundles green onions; diced
  • 1 piece ginger (thumb size); finely chopped
  • 4 pcs carrots; chopped in vitamix
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb ground beef (60/40 lean meat to fat ratio), (OR substitute ground turkey, chicken, or pork for beef)
  • 3 packs of circle shaped dumpling wrappers
  • Soy sauce, sesame seed oil, oriental 5 spice mix, salt and pepper to taste

BEEF AND CARROTS DUMPLING:

  1. Finely dice up 1 bundle of green onions and 1 piece of ginger; set aside.
  2. Cut carrots into 3 inch pieces, and place in Vitamix. Choose “chop” option on blender and chop carrots.
  3. Transfer the carrots from the blender into a strainer, with a bowl underneath the strainer. Make a fist and press into the carrots, so that the liquid falls into the bowl.  Try to squeeze out as much juice from the carrots as you can. Set the carrots aside.
  4. Place the ground beef in a separate bowl and add green onions, ginger and carrots. Add a bit  of soy sauce, sesame seed oil, oriental 5 spice mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour in carrot juice and mix the ground beef + veggies with a spoon until you get a muddy/moist consistency.  Add more water if you feel that it has not yet gotten a moist consistency.
  5. Place filling in dumpling wrapper, dip fingers in water and spread on edges of dumpling wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing edges together with your finger to make folds in wrapper.
  6. For boiled dumplings: Boil water; reduce to medium heat once it has boiled. Add dumplings in water, wait for about 3-4 minutes, strain water and serve dumplings.
  7. For fried dumplings: heat up a non stick pan on high-medium heat with just a drizzle of oil (just enough to coat the pan).  Place the dumplings in the pan, until you see the bottom of the dumpling a bit seared (brown color). Add some water to the pan, just enough to coat about ⅛  of the bottom of the dumpling. Cover pan. Once water dissolves you can take dumplings off of the pan and serve.

EGG AND GREEN ONIONS DUMPLING:

  1. Finely dice up 1 bundle of green onions;; set aside
  2. Scramble 4 eggs in bowl; fry in pan to make a scrambled egg
  3. Combine cooked scrambled egg and green onions in a bowl; add salt, pepper, sesame oil to taste
  4. Place filling in dumpling wrapper, dip fingers in water and spread on edges of dumpling wrapper. Seal dumpling by pressing edges together with your finger to make folds in wrapper.
  5. Boil water; reduce to medium heat once it has boiled. Add dumplings in water, wait for about 3-4 minutes, strain water and serve dumplings.

About our Guest Chef, Amy Falkenstein!

Amy’s love of cooking began at a young age where she stood on a wooden chair helping her mother cook in the kitchen of their South Jersey home. This passion for food and inspiring others to lead healthier lives led Amy to earn her bachelor’s degree in the Science of Nutrition in 2011 at Johnson and Wales University located in Providence, Rhode Island. After several years of honing her skills and cooking in some of the best fine dining restaurants along the Mid-Atlantic, Amy found her home in a non-profit organization by the name of Vetri Community Partnership located in Philadelphia, PA where she was able to combine her love of cooking and passion for food education. It was here that she led the implementation of a from scratch, family style lunch program and launched an innovative modified food truck providing hands-on cooking demonstrations at farmers markets. Amy holds a firm belief that everyone should not only have the access to fresh ingredients, but they should also know how to prepare them. Now a resident of San Francisco, you can find Amy at the farmers market, in the kitchen trying out new recipes, or spending time with friends and family during her free time.

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