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Hi there.

We’re Amy and Julie: sisters, keen home cooks and (95 per cent of the time) best friends.

We grew up in beautiful New Zealand and that is where our food story begins.

At the very centre of that story is family. For over two decades of dewy Sunday mornings, our family has been piling into Dad’s temperamental old van. It’s usually five slightly groggy people in the front and a serious game of Tetris in the back: big white buckets of fresh ingredients, jumbo dried noodle nests and plenty of soy sauce – all stacked very neatly and securely to ensure that the short journey doesn’t end in a premature stir-fry.

Towing behind the van is our rickety food cart, which has become much more than a space for selling. It’s a stage for Mum and Dad to showcase their amazing cooking skills, an adored fixture at the Riccarton Rotary Sunday Market in Christchurch, and an honorary member of our family. The cart at stall number ‘A25’ represents the centre of a much larger family, too, for it is where our customers have seen us and our little brother Justin grow into adults.

It was the combination of setting up shop at the market and being immersed in a home where food meant family that taught us how to cook and eat. Our fondest childhood memories are inextricably connected with food: from nightly dinners at a table lovingly adorned with colourful sharing dishes, to road trips with delicious soy chicken packed in the chilly bin and all-hands-on-deck dumpling wrapping sessions.

Although we were oceans away from China, Mum and Dad were creative in the kitchen and gave us a taste of their childhoods. And what a fabulous team they are: Dad is the deep-frying and marinating expert, while Mum’s (all five feet of her) ability to toss an Everest of noodles in a wok never ceases to amaze. They made eager students (and taste testers) of us and we absorbed every lesson.

The same hunger for learning brought us to the other side of the world, where we studied at Cambridge and Oxford in subjects far removed from food. We finished our degrees at around the same time in 2013, and from the closing of one chapter sprung a sudden mutual urge to go back to our food roots – and so the Dumpling Sisters was born.

Armed with a domain name and driven by boundless enthusiasm in London, we set up a website dedicated to sharing what we know and love about Chinese food. We knew that for a lot of people, making Chinese food at home, especially dumplings, might seem daunting or mysterious. So we took things a step further by making YouTube videos. Although it was terrifying and awkward to see ourselves on film at the beginning, we had a hunch that our encouraging video tutorials could help home cooks to feel more confident about cooking our recipes. Above all, the videos are an invitation to cook along with us in our kitchen: anytime, anywhere.

In the first few months family and friends were our loyal (and only!) followers, so when we received the first photos of our dishes being cooked in home kitchens all over the world it was truly heart-warming. Fast-forward to today, and we are still sharing our favourite recipes, tip and tricks online, and have a cookbook that we love.

Thanks for visiting, and we wish you happy cooking – and even happier eating.

Amy & Julie Zhang
– Dumpling Sisters