Forget Willy Wonka! It's Eddie Lin & the Dumpling Factory!! Good Food Show Visit to Green Chopsticks. Sat. Nov. 12 at 11AM on KCRW 89.9FM & KCRW.com.
Army of dumplings!
It's like having the dumpling making power of a hundred Asian moms except without the gossiping and "my kid is better than yours" rivalry. Each dumpling from vegetarian to pork rolls flawlessly off the assembly line. Only fresh and healthy ingredients are allowed in the process. Green Chopsticks in Alhambra, CA wants to be your dumpling making mom just like when you were a kid (that is, if you grew up with a dumpling making momma).
Nothin' but (hair)net!
It's a strict process from the Clean Room all the way to the packaging stages. Hair covering and shoe baths. An "air shower" to rid any stubborn contaminants clinging to clothes. There was even ultraviolet rays to help kill bacteria.
Roll with it, baby!
Industrial rollers bound with enormous sheets of dumpling wrapper suitable for the world's most ginormous potsticker if desired, but, in this case, punched out and used to envelope the various tasty tidbits of filling within the dumplings.
I got a nice feeling about this filling.
Speaking of flavorful filling, a mashup of pork, leeks and a bunch of other veggies and seasonings swirl in the mega-mixer 'til every bite of dumpling is a democratic representation of deliciousness.
Please remain seated at all times.
Buckle up, dumplings! It's gonna be a bumpy ride. Through the wrapper punch, filling filler, sealer-majig and flipperdoodle. If the dumpling can hang on, it makes it to the next step...
Check 1, check 2...
The I Love Lucy dumpling inspection line. Once they pass the eagle-eyed, camera-friendly QC team, it's time to really turn on the heat!
Dream steam machine!
The ultimate steam room quickly cooks each dumpling as it rolls through Dante's dumpling inferno. Momma would've loved to have one of these puppies. The state of the art steam tunnel probably would take up too much counter space though.
When the dumpling come out the other side, they're all grown up, fully cooked and ready to eat.
Spicy & nicey!
My personal fave was the Kimchi Dumpling aka sohn mandu. Packed with kimchi and pork, the spicy juices dribble with Korean flavor.
Tiny & porky.
Pork Bite-size Dumplings are the Hershey Miniatures of dumplings. Pop one in your mouth for a quick hit of Asian home cooking. The size is perfect. No need to bite half or cram into your mouth. The just right size with the same great flavors.
Take a chill!
Now it's the deep freeze for the the freshly cooked dumplings via the "flash freezing freezer". (Please let me know if I'm getting too technical with my descriptions.) After this cryo exposure, the tiny little dumplings literally become hard as stones. I wouldn't recommend biting into anything after it goes through this cold contraption.
It's a wrap!
Signed, sealed and finally delivered! Available at certain Costco and Gelson's around town. Check Green Chopsticks Facebook page for more info.
It's the best frozen dumpling I've ever eaten. That's only until my mom decides to make frozen dumplings herself.
Please check out my audio tour of the Green Chopsticks dumpling factory on KCRW 89.9 FM or at KCRW.com Saturday, November 12th at 11 AM or anytime online.