Every Wednesday morning, Peter Bian, the genius behind Saturday Dumpling Club, posts his upcoming dumpling drop on Instagram Stories. Last Wednesday’s release sold out in 10 minutes, but we still managed to score four dozen dumplings, which we fried up for friends in a backyard brunch that afternoon.
Interest in Bian’s dumplings have exploded since he launched his Instagram sales in February. “Dumplings have been a part of my life as long as I can remember,” writes Bian, who uses his mom’s recipes and does everything from scratch: grinding the meat for the fillings, making the wrapper dough by hand, mixing the ingredients, and finally hand-rolling and -wrapping each individual dumpling. “They are a labor of love and made when celebrating life and community.”
Here’s how it works: Bian posts a menu of available fillings in his Instagram story at 10 a.m. sharp. Our week’s offerings included pork and Napa cabbage, beef with shredded carrot and Szechuan peppercorn, a vegetarian medley (blanched green beans, organic eggs, pressed tofu, minced shiitake mushroom, thin rice noodles, scallions, ginger, and grated carrots), and the most ridiculously delicious lamb. Each pack comes with 12 frozen dumplings priced between $12 and $18. The second you see the story go live, pre-order the dumplings online before they sell out. (And sell out they will—sometimes in a minute or less.)
Pickup is every Saturday between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and locations vary. When we ordered ours, the pickup point was in a parking ramp near the Walker Art Center. The whole experience is mysterious and fun—pulling into a stranger’s garage, wondering if you’re about to be murdered, and instead being handed big, beautiful bags of blessed dumplings and to-go containers of spicy dipping sauce.
Bian’s website includes simple but helpful cooking instructions on steam-frying the dumpling bottoms to golden-brown perfection. Highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended!