Behind the Scenes

Kickstarter reward: Dumplings!

Ask me what restaurant I eat at the most frequently and I will tell you all about Helen’s Asian Kitchen.

There are plenty of menus at Helen's – some of which have been translated for us; others require friends, conversation with the staff (often Helen and her husband Paul), or an order list from diners that have gone before you. Of course, you can get the standard Chinese restaurant fare, but if I could just point you to those other menus: the Cantonese, Szechuan, and Shangainese.

Szechuan Cauliflower is always on my order

Szechuan Cauliflower is always on my order

Xia Long Bao - soup dumplings

Xia Long Bao - soup dumplings

On really lucky nights, when the timing is just right, my family and friends walk through those doors just in time to hear Paul playing the piano and to watch Helen forming these dumplings.

Have you ever tried to make dumplings? That stuff is tricky to learn just from watching youtube videos and reading detailed recipes. You are barely fingers deep in dough and stuffing with a few "dumplings" smushed together before you are wishing someone could just teach you the secrets. And the part where you apply heat (steam or pan fry) ends up leaving you with more questions and "next times" than rich, full dumplings to eat.

Guo tie - potstickers

Guo tie - potstickers

That is the case until now, that is. Helen will be teaching 15 lucky supporters of The Commissary how to make Xia Long Bao (soup dumplings), Guo tie (potstickers), and Jiaozi (steamed pork dumplings). Instructors from the Columbus School of Chinese will join us to teach pronunciation, the history, and to share dumpling stories. Everyone will leave with recipes, skills, the tools to make dumplings at home, and Commissary swag.

I've been taught to ask for help from the person that knows the most on the subject. Helen is the person in Columbus that I want teaching me dumplings. The Commissary will be able to create these opportunities for chefs and food makers to share their craft with the community in the very space that community is helping to build. Join us, please