Discover the Best Dumpling Making Classes in NYC
Dumplings are proof that a delicious meal can be incredibly simple. A dumpling is just a bit of dough packed full of a delicious filling of spiced meats, vegetables, and/or cheeses. Perhaps it is because they’re so simple that they’re found all over the world; virtually every culture in the world has a type of dumpling, and while they all share the same preparation techniques, subtle differences in flavors, textures, and cooking techniques means that no two dumpling recipes are quite the same. Dumplings alone can create a veritable cornucopia of world cuisines.
Any dumpling recipe follows the same basic steps. First, a dough is prepared and partitioned into smaller sheets or pockets to be filled. Next, a spiced mixture of meats, vegetables, and/or cheeses is loaded into a bit of dough. The dough is then wrapped around the mixture and then sealed with a fold, a twist, or a crimp. The dumplings can then be cooked, being either steamed, boiled, fried, or some combination of the three.
Why You Should Learn Dumpling Making in NYC
Dumplings are a perfect food for cultural exchange. While virtually every culture has some version of a dumpling, providing some degree of common ground, no two dumplings are the same; each culture provides its own unique twist to the same basic idea.
Within the past couple of years, a growing number of organizations dedicated to building cross-cultural connections through food have emerged across the United States. It is no surprise that The Smithsonian has identified New York, which is home to organizations like The League of Kitchens, as one of the key hubs the heart of this culinary movement sweeping cities across the nation; with historical landmarks like Ellis Island and a diverse population, New York City has a reputation as a cultural melting pot.
Learning to make dumplings can be a great way to not only pick up a hands-on hobby that produces delicious food, but also taps into the local culture of New York.
In-Person Dumpling Making Classes & Schools in NYC
New York’s vibrant community means that it’s easy to find classes devoted to dumplings from cuisines around the world.
Home Cooking New York, for example, offers a number of dumpling making classes among their selections of intimate, hands-on cooking classes at their cooking school in downtown SoHo. The classes from Home Cooking New York, each of which pairs demonstration-style teaching with a workshop of hands-on practice, are designed to help complete beginners and novice home cooks take their cooking to the next level. With each class capped at a maximum of ten students, learners of all stages are sure to get the attention and help that they need in upping their cooking game.
A wide range of Asian cuisines are represented through Home Cooking New York’s course offerings. Those with an affinity for Japanese food might consider DIY Sushi + Dumplings, which teaches how to make gyoza potstickers alongside Nori sushi rolls, another Japanese favorite. A spicier take on Asian food can be found in the Introduction to Korean Cooking. Learn to how to make Goon Mandoo, which is a type of fried pork dumpling, as part of a larger menu of Korean staples, including bulgogi (Korean-style BBQ), kimchi jjigae (a kimchi, pork belly, and tofu hot pot).
For a culinary experience devoted to the idea that food can be a catalyst for building cross-cultural connections, look no further than NYC’s own The League of Kitchens. The League of Kitchens is a team of immigrant women who invite you into their own homes to share their family recipes and foster an environment for cultural engagement.
Among the immersive experiences available through The League of Kitchens is Uzbek Cooking with Damira, which features a menu of vegetarian Uzbek dishes. While the class emphasizes the aspect of cultural connection rather than dumpling making specifically, the menu features a traditional steamed dumpling known as hanum, which is a multi-layered dumpling filled with a spiced butternut squash filling.
The Brooklyn Kitchen’s studio in Sunset Park in Brooklyn hosts a wide range of interactive cooking classes that foster community and get people to think differently about home cooking.
The hands-on classes at The Brooklyn Kitchen emphasize cooking to your own taste, meaning you’ll learn to get in touch with your taste buds instead of just blindly following a recipe.
Homemade Dumplings are on the menu for this Brooklyn Kitchen class, which teaches the techniques for making three different styles of dumplings. Learn how to properly season the fillings for a simple veggie potsticker, a pork gyoza dumpling, and a fiery chicken sichuan dumpling. Once those fillings are seasoned to personal tastes, get hands-on practice in filling a dumpling with the perfect amount of mixture and folding them so that none of the tasty filling leaks out. These dumplings can be prepared by pan frying, steaming, or deep frying to suit your textural preferences
Back across the river in Midtown Manhattan, CocuSocial, a marketplace for cooking classes, connects food lovers with expert local chefs and restaurateurs by partnering with local restaurants and hotels to organize affordable, accessible cooking classes. By leveraging resources in the local community, CocuSocial is able to provide several quality dumpling making classes.
A crash course on Chinese dumplings can help you learn to Make Your Own Dumplings completely from scratch. Chef Diego invites you into his own apartment to master each stage of the dumpling making process. Starting with making dough from scratch, you’ll learn everything you need to know to prepare a traditional pork dumpling and a veggie dumpling. Get hands-on practice in three styles of traditional folds, namely mandu, gyoza, and shumai, which can be cooked using either a steaming method or a pan-frying method.
Alternatively, another CocuSocial class on Chinese Dumplings offers some insight into the history of Chinese dumplings alongside its practical, hands-on component. Put your fingers to work as you learn the crimping and folding techniques to make three traditional styles of dumpling, which can be made with either a lemon chicken filling or a vegetable medley filling.
For a fun, lighthearted approach to cooking, consider Taste Buds Kitchen in Chelsea, Manhattan. Taste Bud Kitchens seeks to enable budding chefs through approachable cooking classes, offering kid-friendly culinary classes and relaxed BYOB events for adults.
To make rolling and folding delicious foods the centerpiece activity of a date night, consider Taste Buds Kitchen’s BYOB Sushi & Dumplings as a fun culinary experience. This class features a menu of various sushi rolls including Uramaki, Maki, and Temaki, as well as a fresh veggie dumpling with a honey soy dipping sauce. With a focus on the experience, this class is a great introduction to cooking as a social activity rather than a hardcore culinary task.
Virtual Dumpling Making Classes & Schools
In addition to the many dumpling making classes listed above, which are a great resource for New York residents, CourseHorese’s list of online dumpling making classes provides quality supplemental options for those looking for an online course. Whether you’re balancing a busy work-life schedule or looking for a specific recipe or style of cuisine, these online classes can help you to find the hands-on dumpling making skills you need.
If The League of Kitchen’s model of using food to form cross-cultural connections sounded enticing, consider participating in one of their online immersion workshops. Even if you can’t physically enter the home of your host, you’re invited into their space virtually to share in a meaningful culinary and cultural exchange.
League of Kitchens veteran Damira, whose in-person class featured above, also opens up her home to virtual visitors in Uzbek Cooking Online with Damira. The menu in this online course is somewhat different from the in-person offering, and features dumplings more prominently. The principle plate here is a dish called barak, which is a beef-and-onion dumpling that can be either boiled or fried.
Private Group Dumpling Making Classes in NYC
If you’ve seen Constance Wu on Crazy Rich Asians or Fresh Off the Boat, you probably already know that a dumpling folding party serves as a great scene for a social gathering. Don’t let the film representation trick you into thinking the typical experience involves a tense confrontation with a tiger mom; a dumpling making party is a great way to spend quality time with friends and family. Even if you haven’t been making dumplings with your family for years, you can still get involved in this hands-on social activity with one of CourseHorse’s dumpling making classes for private groups in NYC.
Start folding together like a family in a Virtual Dumpling Making class, which teaches every stage of making Chinese style dumpling from scratch. Starting with making and kneading a simple two-ingredient dough by hand, learn how to prepare a pork or veggie filling, pack that filling into your dough and seal it with a traditional folding method, and finally cook the dumpling by steaming, frying, or boiling it.
CourseHorse’s checkout process makes it simple to book a private course. Once you’ve booked a date, you’ll receive a confirmation within 24, and you can expect your host to reach out with a personal introduction and provide additional details about the event. You can even change your group size up to a week before your event, which means you can add or remove people from your booking if your group unexpectedly grows or shrinks. So long as you book with the minimum headcount, CourseHorse will hold your date, but won’t finalize payment until you’ve finalized your headcount. Virtual classes are typically conducted over Zoom, but CourseHorse can accommodate alternative platforms like Microsoft Teams and Google Meets.