In Pixar’s new short Bao, which debuted before The Incredibles 2 in theaters Thursday, a mother struggling with empty nest syndrome accidentally creates a baby dumpling that leaps to life.
Writer Domee Shi, the first woman to direct a Pixar short, was inspired by her own experiences as a child molding and cooking the Chinese dumplings with her mother. Shi’s mother even flew into the Bay Area to teach the Bao team how to make the dumplings themselves.
Shi illustrated the recipe for the perfect Bao and shared the instructions with TIME—though these versions of the dumplings won’t come to life.
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