(photo: Kris Lindenmuth)
Homemade pork and scallion dumplings, no special equipment required whatsoever! (Photo: Kris Lindenmuth.)

The day before the last Food Republic Test Kitchen, I saw the triple-tiered bamboo steamer in use at our studio. The next day, as I prepared to make dumplings, it was nowhere to be found. Thankfully, I also don’t have a steamer at home. Well, it’s not thankful I don’t have a steamer; I need to get one of those! But I’ve been using this simple aluminum foil and ceramic plate hack since college to mass-produce delicious homemade food for my friends.

You can have fresh, steaming hot pork and scallion dumplings on the table in 45 minutes — even less if someone’s helping you fold them! Dumpling making is a great hands-on activity for a dinner party’s first course that incorporates your guests’ cooking skills at any level.