Lanlan emigrated from China to join her Fiancé, Mark Young, who is now her husband. She launched her business partly to combat boredom. At her first market foray, in Wollongong, She knew she had made the correct decisions. It took only 90 minutes for Lanlan Young to sell out her first batch of 500 home-made dumplings.
Lanlan arrived in Dapto, near Wollongong in 2006. While Mark had employment, tedium at home for the formerly busy retail manager saw Lanlan spend more time in the kitchen. With Mark’s encouragement, she began selling her grandmother’s signature pork mince Shanghai style dumplings.
Lanlan grew up in a home where staff prepared the meals. “I started cooking when I was 23 band I’d never really cooked before then. Only my grandmother cooked and she taught me a lot.”
Rapidly selling out of dumplings at a small market at Wollongong’s Towradgi Hotel gave Lanlan the shot of confidence she needed to start making dumplings full-time under the name Lanlan’s Shanghai dumplings.
Lanlan can now assemble 300 dumplings in an hour by hand for her booming business and swears by her Chinese butcher, who makes pork mince from female pigs.
Chinese butchers believe the best pork comes from the female pig. It’s quite different in flavor and (the butcher) created the right mix of fat and meat. ” We’d be lost without him, “ says Mark
The dumpling mixture is a combination of pork mince, onion, Chinese’s cooking rice wine, soy sauce , sugar and salt. In the style of a traditional Shanghai dumpling, it has chicken soup or stock with the filling.
Lanlan also sells Shaomai dumplings and a Moist Spring Roll at the markets. Shoppers buy fresh dumplings or take home bags of frozen ones, with a set of simple instructions and a container of special dipping sauce.