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Jun 2, 2009 11:04 AM

What's your favorite dumpling?

My tastes have been all over the place laely; homemade pickles, tomato sandwiches, udon noodles, siracha, etc....
My latest obsession is dumplings. I mean dumplings in all shapes, sizes, forms, cultures, whatever. Is there anything better? Ravioli, shu mai, pierogi, those mysterious leaden things from the Chinese take out place, chicken and dumplings. I did a quick search and didn't see anything recent on any of the boards. What is your favorite dumpling or dumpling recipe? Your favorite way to eat those dumplings? i would have to say I do love those leaden dumplings from the Chinese place cold for breakfast.

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  1. Mmmm...I love periogies, I just get the frozen Mrs. T's potato and cheese or potato and onion. Also, I LOVE chicken paprikash, which is like Hungarian chicken and dumplings (the dumplings are called nueketli-I know I spelled that wrong). Knishes, too. Do Hot Pockets count? :). And I love gnochi.

    8 Replies
    1. re: schrutefarms

      I love to sautee the periogi in a good amount of butter and onions and I totally forgot about a good potato knish.

      1. re: ReggieL.

        I first boil the periogi (because they're frozen), then fry it with butter and onions as well. I actually start the onions before, so they are very very fried. I serve them with sour cream.

          1. re: schrutefarms

            Sometimes after I've fried the onions in a little butter I add a good dose of Hungarian paprika and a couple spoons of sour cream while the onions are in the pan. Stir it around to warm the sour cream and it makes a fabulous sauce for panfried pierogi.

            1. re: KristieB

              Guess what I'm planning for dinner this evening? Wash that down with a couple of cold beers and life is good!

              1. re: KristieB

                Wow. I like the sauce idea. Sort of a periogi/paprikash combo.

            2. re: ReggieL.

              A quick/spicy meal: saute pierogi, add some indian vindaloo sauce from a jar.

              1. re: sbp

                Your pierogi and vindaloo sauce sounds very good. It reminds me of my days as a marathon runner. After a Sunday morning workout of 12 to 20 miles, my sister and I would go to Kiev, a russian coffee shop in the east village in Manhattan. We would load up on pierogi with butter and onions, kasha, challah with butter. This place was near 6th street which is a block populated with many Indian restaurants. There was a car parked in front of mine with a bumper sticker that read I love Allah. Someone had midified it by putting the letters C and H in front of Allah. Had a great NY style laugh.

          2. A cross culture dish. Steak and kidney stew with gnocchi.

            1. i'm also crazy about gyoza, shumai, steamed meat (chinese) dumplings... yum. those chinese dumplings never last long enough at my house to be breakfast, but if they ever do I'm going to try that!
              lately i've been sauteeing some onions and cubed ham with pierogies and a little broth. very tasty and easy.
              now i'm hungry.

              11 Replies
              1. re: jujuthomas

                Never thought about adding ham to my periogi and onions. Sounds delicious. What about some sliced kielbasa instead of ham? Maybe cabbage at the same time and just do a one pot meal.

                1. re: ReggieL.

                  I've done it with kielbasa... VERY yummy! DH doesn't eat cabbage but I'd love it. maybe next time he's out! :)

                  1. re: ReggieL.

                    Bacon works, too, of course.

                    I'm an equal opportunity dumpling eater and love:
                    - potstickers
                    - ravioli (all sorts of fillings, too--recently had two very special ones: asparagus/ricotta and gorgonzola--WOW)
                    - pierogi (both savory and sweet, though I gravitate toward savory)
                    - and even fluffy Bisquick dumplings atop my mom's beef stew

                    Am on a special pierogi mission this weekend thanks to a tip on my local board!

                    1. re: kattyeyes

                      kattyeyes, i **too** love ravioli -- and gorgonzola!
                      and potstickers -- especially with shrimp, pork & ginger.
                      frankly, just about anything "stuffed" with a tasty filling.

                      coincidence? i think not.....

                      1. re: alkapal

                        Exactly--I am all about "stuffed" things. My childhood favorite birthday meal was stuffed shells (those are quasi-dumpling-like)! Why, oh, why did "they" separate us when clearly we play so nicely together, sista? ;)

                      2. re: kattyeyes

                        Bacon and pierogies are a match made in heaven.
                        My grandma used to make a special pierogi sauce for my Ukrainian grandfather which has become legendary in our family.
                        Saute a large diced onion with chopped bacon until golden and bacon is cooked but not quite crispy. Drain, then add whipping cream and simmer until thick. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over pierogi. Make appointment with cardiologist.

                        1. re: MrsCris

                          Wow. Pour over pierogi and pass the statin. Why must it be so good and so bad all at the same time? I'll try to be "good" and just stick to the onion, but YES, you speak the truth. :)

                          1. re: MrsCris

                            ohsweetmotherofpearl! that sounds soooo good!

                              1. re: MrsCris

                                yet another baconarian! hail, hail!!!

                        2. I also adore dumplings of all types, from all cultures. But my favorite has to be the Shanghai soup dumpling! Thin delicate fragile skin, rich fatty soup broth in the center pouring out like gold, meaty exquisite filling. I am completely obsessed by these beauties!

                          18 Replies
                          1. re: moh

                            I saw those on Anthony Bourdain and I knew that I would immediately love them except for the fact that there's not even a Chinese restaurant here in coastal SC. How difficult do you think it would be to try and tackle those myself?

                            1. re: ReggieL.

                              Apparently they are called "xiao long bao" and there's a pretty good post about them. Who knew?

                              1. re: ReggieL.

                                I've made them myself, and they turn out very good, but different from the professional ones you can get in specialized restaurants. For one thing, a very thin skin is a real work of art, and hard for an amateur to perfect. Also, I can never get in as much soup into the dumpling. But if you have no access near your home, well then go for it! But if you travel to a place that has good soup dumplings, make it a priority. I am currently plotting a trip to Toronto now, with the sole purpose being to get soup dumplings. (well, I also have a conference. but I might not have gone had it not been for the possibility of soup dumplings!)

                                1. re: moh

                                  Totally agree with moh. Home made is never as good as the professionally made ones. The key is thin skin (that doesn't break and release all the soup) and a good amount of tasty broth instead and porky goodness. Yummy! Never had them in Toronto, but Vancouver is still the place to beat in my books. Have had them at Joes' Shanghai in NYC and these are not even in the same league as Vancouver. Good intro but that's about it.

                                2. re: moh

                                  I heard about soup dumplings a few years ago from a colleague--they sound wonderful. But I haven't crossed their path yet. Next trip to NYC, maybe.

                                  1. re: moh

                                    Of the Shanghai soup dumplings there are many types, my favorite being the pork and crab meat combination. The pork alone being second.

                                    1. re: moh

                                      I think that they are wonderful. I am lucky enough to live within near a great place for them here in Montreal. Lamb & coriander or pork and sour cabbage, mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

                                      I also love sui mai (sp?).

                                      So european dumplings count? I really love a steqw with dumplings in the winter. Sometimes I add chives to the mix for taste. or dill if it is going in a fish stew.

                                      1. re: bigfellow

                                        Bigfellow, if you haven't already tried them, you need to hunt down some of the thin-skinned soup dumplings. The ones at Qing Hua are awesome, but a totally different beast. Our closest bets from Montreal are Toronto (well, Markham actually) and NYC. So delicate! A truly remarkable item, the thin skinned soup dumpling.

                                        What a greta idea for a thread! I am being reminded about all the wonderful dumplings I love...

                                        1. re: moh

                                          Wait....can you hear it. Yes I can definitely hear it!!!!! Those magic words are in the air: ROAD TRIP!!!!!

                                          Now we have an excuse to go on a road trip.

                                          1. re: bigfellow

                                            You *have* to know how much I wish we were all neighbors, moh and bigfellow!

                                            1. re: bigfellow

                                              Revving the engines as we speak... If I can't get them this weekend, I am guaranteed a soup dumpling fix in the next few weekends. I'm already foaming at the mouth...

                                              A few of us had this wacky idea of renting a bus and organizing a Chinese/Korean/roti/fish and chips and melton mowbray pie trip to Toronto. Basically we would drive into town and just start eating, and eat until the minute we drove away. Would love to see it happen! Until then, any excuse I have to go down the 401 I take... The food scene is different there, and it is a nice complement to the food scene we have here.

                                              I love food road trips! I've also been scheming about a North Carolina BBQ/biscuit/ripe peach run, a cross-country BBQ run, best ball park food run, best diner run. Oh yeah, and East Coast fried clam run. So many wacky ideas, so little time...

                                              1. re: moh

                                                If you reach CT in your East Coast fried clam quest, please, please, please let me know so I can join you guys! Bigfellow, you know how to find me.

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  I'm planning on heading out for a one week road trip at the end of the month. I was planning on going to the east coast. But I am now heading south.

                                                  1. re: bigfellow

                                                    Well, happy travels! Should you get to this neck of the woods, please drop a line and I can steer you toward deliciousness (including dumplings, should you desire) in this neck of the woods. :)

                                                2. re: moh

                                                  Moh, where in Markham will you source out the beloved xiao long bao? I'm a couple hours' drive from Toronto and having a serious craving.

                                                  1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                    I've been going to Din Tai Fung in 1 Markham Square because it has been very easy to get there from the 401 when driving from Montreal. I also have tried ShangHai Bund, but i heard a rumour they had closed. Din Tai Fung has excellent soup dumplings and hand pulled noodle dishes.

                                          2. re: moh

                                            Me too! I haven't met a dumpling I haven't liked, but definitely have a preference for soup dumplings. I love dumplings. I love soup. It's the perfect marriage of the two.

                                          3. Chinese ga li jiao (curry dumpling) are my favorite. They are small pastries shaped like a football with a spiral ridge on top. The outside is a flaky pastry crust coated with golden-brown egg wash and sesame seeds. The inside is curried ground meat and fried onions. Personally I could pretty much write off Chinese pastries in general, EXCEPT for the ga li jiao. It redeems the genre.

                                            Second place is the good old guo tie (potsticker). High quality or low these are all pretty good, but the best ones have as thin a skin as possible, just barely thick enough to resist tearing in the skillet. Dip in a sauce of rice vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, cilantro, and chiles.

                                            6 Replies
                                            1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                              I think ga li jiao might be better described as a pastry than a dumpling, but whatever they are, they're one of my favorite foods, too, and somewhat hard to find in NYC and Boston. I've asked for them by this name several times and gotten puzzled looks. Are ga li jiao a Taiwanese thing, do you think, or maybe a crossover from Thailand? (You can find "Thai curry puffs" in Thai restaurants all over NYC, which are similar.)

                                              1. re: cimui

                                                You are probably right that ga li jiao are dumplings in name only. In all other aspects they are really pastries. I don't know if they are Taiwanese but I know my Taiwanese parents have a great fondness for 'em. How do Thai curry puffs compare?

                                                If you are ever in Chicago you should pay a visit to Chinatown. There are curry dumplings in every corner bakery!

                                                1. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                  alright, me and my lazy self did some quick googling and found that wikipedia attributes "curry beef triangles" (咖哩角) to hong kong, actually. my taiwanese mother made them for us when we were wee tykes, which is what made me wonder...

                                                  as far as i can tell, thai curry puffs have softer, less flaky crusts, but i'm not sure whether this is a real stylistic difference or just a function of quality. i haven't found a thai bakery in nyc and have only eaten them in restaurants, where they were probably reheated from the freezer still encrusted with freezer burn ice crystals.

                                                  i really ought to learn to make these / so i don't have to go trolling around in bakeries / thanks for triggering some great food memories! :)

                                              2. re: RealMenJulienne

                                                I love to have a peanut sauce for dipping, also (for the potstickers).

                                                1. re: kattyeyes

                                                  i like the gingery sweet dark soy & garlic dipping sauces -- and hot ones with the red "oil slick" floating on top. ouch!

                                                  1. re: alkapal

                                                    Right there with you on the red "oil slick"--yum!