Foodie Friday: Siu Mai

Siu mai: dim sum dumplings, usually filled with meat I can’t believe I haven’t food blogged about this before. Siu mai is a staple of the dim sum cart. The dumplings are quite distinctive because of the pleated edges that decorate their tops. Usually, these dumplings are filled with ground pork, and possibly shrimp. A few other ingredients like mushrooms and scallions round out the flavor. Like other steamed dumplings, the layer of dough is very thin, so it’s the taste of the … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: ROC versus Din Tai Fung

ROC versus Din Tai Fung: two restaurants specializing in soup dumplings Today's foodie post is on the war of the soup dumplings. Xiao long bao are tiny steamed dumpling filled with soup and (traditionally) pork. They're served hot from their steaming baskets, and are often dipped into a mixture of soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger slices. Recently, I went to two restaurants that specialize in xiao long bao: ROC and Din Tai Fung. (Mama Lu's Dumplings is also a good contestant, but I … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Giant Dumplings

Giant dumplings: Huge potstickers I know I've talked about potstickers before. Here's the post. How do you turn something old into something new? Supersize them! These are the largest dumplings I've ever eaten! Happy New Year! … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday First: Green Tea Dumplings

Green tea dumplings: dumplings with tea flavor If you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I love green tea in all its forms (cake, mousse, etc.). So when I saw green tea dumplings on the menu at a local restaurant, I had to try them. The chefs were supposed to infuse green tea into the wrappers. Sadly, all the taste must have boiled off because I could only find the usual dough flavor. My verdict? Give this dish a pass. Any tea-flavored treats you enjoy? … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Potstickers

Potstickers: dumplings, often pan-fried In Chinese, the dumplings are literally called "pot stick." My mom used to make the filling of potstickers from scratch. She'd pull out our food processor and blend together pork and leeks. Any meat and vegetable combo will work, though. Some people prefer these dumplings steamed. I'm a big fan of having them pan-fried because I like mine crisp. This requires steaming the potstickers in the beginning, letting the water reduce, and then frying them in … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Wonton

Wonton: tender dumplings, often boiled Want the quickest meal ever? Toss some wonton with instant ramen noodles. Wontons have a delicate wrapper. In modern-day Chinese, eating them is often known as "swallowing clouds." (The original definition is very different.) Their soft exterior melts in your mouth and contrasts well with the heartier stuffing. (By the way, I hear they have great shrimp wontons in bulk at your local Costco.) During the Tang and Song Dynasties, poets even wrote … [Read more...]

Foodie Friday: Fried Tang Yuan

Fried tang yuan: sweet mini glutinous rice ballsTraditional tang yuan are round dumplings served in soup. They can be made by mixing water with glutinous rice flour, combined with lots of kneading. They contain different fillings, like black sesame or ground peanut. (Asian grocery stores also offer pre-made frozen versions that can be tossed into a pot.) In contrast, fried tang yuan remain hollow.   … [Read more...]

Application Denied

Wahtdaht: ugly, awful in appearanceOriginally the wonton dumpling was called "wahtdaht" or "wahn deuhn." There is a mythical story about the  youngest son of the emperor in heaven. He was called Wahn Deuhn and had no eyes, ears, mouth, or nose. Two of his friends decided to erase his ugliness by digging holes in his face. They finished in seven days, and Wahn Deuhn finally had the face of a human being. Unfortunately, he also suddenly died.  The xiaolongbao dumpling. Not ugly and extremely … [Read more...]