How Many Dumplings Can One Kitchen Make?
A plate of dumplings, no matter how high it's piled, always seems to disappear from the table faster than you can say, "Pass the chile oil." And it's only after these neatly wrapped packages, bathed in delicious dipping sauces, have vanished that you realize just how many dumplings you've packed away.
However, for those responsible for making the dumplings, a task that requires skill and precision, it's all too easy to count each one as it moves down the line. So just how many dumplings can a person (or a factory, as is sometimes the case) really produce in a day?
Chef Chris Santos, the mastermind behind the cheese-topped French onion soup dumplings at The Stanton Social in New York City, estimates that his team churns out 1,000 dumplings a night. Multiply that by the nearly 12 years the restaurant's been open, and we're talking 4 million savory snacks.
At Kachka in Portland, Oregon, chef and co-owner Bonnie Morales's staff serves around 800 pelmeni, Siberian dumplings stuffed with pork, beef, veal and onions, each night. With those numbers, the chef says, a pelmenitsa, a cookie cutter of sorts for divvying up batches of pelmeni, is essential. "To some, it's a throwback to the Soviet Era. . . . To me, [it's] the key to the perfect pelmeni."
Photo: Carly Diaz
At Seattle's Revel, dumplings come in a variety of flavors: short ribs with pickled shallots, bacon po'boy and spicy mapo tofu with Chinese broccoli. To keep up with demand, the kitchen staff roll out dough in 24-foot-long stretches, allowing them to make 600 dumplings in just two hours, Food & Wine reports.
Last year, Molly Schuyler managed to down 115 dumplings in two minutes at Chef One's Annual Dumpling Eating Contest, setting a new record for the competition.
Photo: Michelle Sun/Tasting Table
Helen You, who owns New York's popular Dumpling Galaxy and a small stand in an underground food hall in Queens, says her team makes 10,000 dumplings a day to keep up with demand. Those dumplings come in nearly 100 varieties.
Tucked away in Brooklyn's Bushwick neighborhood, a factory called TMI Trading produces 44,000 dumplings an hour.
At Daoxiangcun, a production facility in Beijing, 220,000 pounds of sweet dumplings, or yuan xiao, are made daily leading up to the annual Lantern Festival.
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