Being in dumpling heaven

15 Nov 2014

Until this year I had never eaten a dumpling.

I was brought up on traditional European or Kiwi BBQ cooking. The most oriental we ever got was when my dad would use peanut satay sauce. We never ate sushi, never got Chinese takeaways and would rarely order Indian Curries. Earlier this year I was at work and got and email that read 'House of Dumplings in kitchen $2 each'. My workmates around me grew wide eyed with the idea of Dumpling Queen Vicky Ha serving her famous dumplings at work. I decided to tag on to the team and try one dumpling. Just one. Since then, I order a minimum of three because eating one just leaves you wanting more.

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Vicky Ha recently opened her House of Dumplings after years of attending local markets to sell her mother-inspired dumplings. She quickly became the talk of the town and lines would show up wherever she went. It's both a blessing and a curse the Vicky set her shop up just around the corner from my house on Taranaki street. Convenient and deadly. I could easily chow down 5 of her dumplings and still have room for her delicious salads and rice. I am yet to invest in buying her Mum's Sauce, but I'll admit it tastes pretty darn good.

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I recently went to a dumpling class held at Vicky's store where she shared her secrets and tips to making dumplings. We watched her make the dough (a lengthy process) and then to my surprise wind it through a pasta maker several times. This makes the dough super thin and allows you to make many dumplings out of just a small amount of dough. I've already put a pasta maker on my Christmas wish list just from attending this class.

The dumplings we made were traditional pork with savoy cabbage. We each got to cut and fill the dumplings, watching Vicky as she showed us the many different ways to fold and make a dumpling. Who knew there were so many ways! Everyone around the table was hanging on to Vicky's every last word as she shared the love and care that she puts into each dumpling she makes.

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Once all the dumplings were made we enjoyed a glass of wine while they cooked in the kitchen. The rest of the night was spent laughing, sharing stories and of course eating dumplings. The room was filled with 'mmm's' and 'oh my god's' and 'this is delicious'. As if the dumplings we had made weren't enough, Vicky surprised us with a dumpling desert made of rose petals and ginger broth. I had never tasted anything like it but my taste buds enjoyed every second.

You can visit Vicky and try her delicious dumplings on Manners St or Taranaki St or visit her website here.

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