Durham, North Carolina, is known for tobacco, a great minor-league baseball team and incredible southern food. It's also becoming known as one of the best places in the U.S. for the fast-growing Food Truck Movement. Joey spent the day with one of the new stars of this exciting food-scene in Durham, The Chirba Chirba Food Truck.
Meaning "eat, eat" in Mandarin Chinese, Team Chirba Chirba brings high quality Chinese-style dumplings made from an old-family recipe to the hungry lunch crowds of Raleigh/Durham. Joey rode on the truck and worked the fast-paced lunch hour mob along side the Chirba Chirba professionals.
Co-Owners Yin Song, Nate Adams, Ali Safavi and Chela Tu came together while students at University of North Carolina. Their love for Asian food and cultural connections to China prompted them to go into business together.
Twitter and Facebook are a large part of Chirba Chirba's marketing plan. They tell fans when and where the truck will be on the social media websites. Follow @ChirbaChirba on Twitter and check out their fan page on Facebook at facebook.com/chirbachirba.
For more information on Chirba Chirba visit their website at www.chirbachirba.com.
The Chirba Chirba truck is part of a larger, nation-wide food-truck movement that is sweeping the land.
To locate a local Food Truck in your area visit:
For Chicago Food Trucks visit:
For Washington DC Food Trucks visit:
For Los Angeles Food Trucks visit:
Or to get started with your own food truck check out this website concessiontrailerswarehouse.com.
Here is the recipe for what they made.
Servings: 20-25 dumplings
1 cup dumpling flour
2 cups water Option #2: go buy a pack of pre-made wrappers from your local Asian store
1/2 lbs ground pork
4 1/2 tbs vegetable oil
4 tsp sesame oil
4 tsp soy sauce
4 tsp mushroom soy sauce
1/2 cup Chinese celery, chopped
3/4 cup Chinese chive, chopped
1/4 cup scallion
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp white pepper powder
1 tsp ginger powder
3 tbs potato starch
Special equipment: Chinese rolling pin — a smooth wooden stick (no handles) about 2"-3" inches in diameter. Some have a bulge in the middle which helps! Check your local Asian supermarket or get one from a hardware store ^_^
Put one cup of dumpling flour in a mixing bowl. A little at a time, add ~2 cups of cold water and stir briskly with chop sticks. The idea is that little dough balls that resemble spatzle form as you mix. You never want to have wet goopy dough. When all the flour from the sides of the bowl is in dough ball form, you can knead them all together to make on big dough ball. Knead the ball until you have a smooth stretchy consistency. Then let it chill out for 20 minutes, covered, while you prepare the filling!
Combine all of your wet ingredients with the ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Mix well. Next, add your dry ingredients and mix well. Lastly, thoroughly combine the chives, celery and scallion into your meat mixture. Make sure the scallions are the last addition and that you pleat your dumplings right away as the onions can contribute a slimy texture when marinating in the meat for too long. Now, go wake up your dough!
Roll the dough in to a long snake about1.5 inches in diameter. Set it horizontally on a well floured large cutting board in front of you. With a knife cut nuggets about 2 inches long rotating the snake 90 degrees back and forth after each cut. Start with just a few nuggets at first to see what size you like. Make sure your nuggets are well floured and round. Press them down with the palm of your hand so you have a round, flat disc shape. Next, use 3 fingers to hold the top edge of the disc so your fingers are pointing toward you. You are going to be rotating the disc counter-clockwise after each roll of your rolling pin which starts at the edge of the disc closest to you. Roll away from you toward your other hand. Do not roll over the entire disc! Stop in the middle. Then, rotate the disc counter clockwise degrees and roll to the middle again. Repeat until your edges are flat but the center has a little soft bulge. This is easier than it sounds! There is a very helpful video on www.asiandumplingtips.com
Time to wrap/pleat!
First, grab some friends. This is really fun to do in a group — dumpling making party (that is how Chirba Chirba dumpling began). Assign some people to make wrappers, some to pleat, and then one to boil/steam! For the pleaters: take a spoonful of filling (start small and work your way up — less filling is easier to pleat) and place it in the center of your wrapper. Here, you've got form and function to consider.
The function of your pleat should be to seal the meat inside of the wrapper so that no filling can escape during the cooking process. You can do this simply by folding the wrapper over the filling in a half circle shape and pinching the edges closed. If you're using homemade wrappers you shouldn't need a binder. If you're using store-bought wrappers you'll need a little dish of water to wet the edges in order for the wrapper to stick to itself around the filling.
The form of your pleat is to make it pretty with various pleats and folds. Like the cuties pictured above. To make this pleat you fold your wrapper in half around the meat and pinch it on the top. It looks like a taco but sealed at one point at the top. Place the taco round side-up on your index finger that should be hook shaped pointing sideways and hold it steady with your thumb (that has the same curvature as your index finger). Now bring your other hand on the other side of the taco and press the edges of the dumpling against your curved index finger with your two thumbs. The positioning of your thumbs around the edge of the dumplings will feel very awkward at first but you'll get used to it. If you don't curve your thumbs then you'll just end up squeezing the meat filling out of the sides and then you have to start over ^_^
Don't be discouraged, practice makes perfect! You can find lots of helpful videos online with different pleating techniques.
Cook! Steam the dumplings for 10 minutes in a bamboo steamer basket on napa cabbage leaves. OR drop them into boiling water. When the water returns to a boil, add a cup of cold water. Repeat two more times.
Enjoy with black Chinese vinegar ^_^