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Apr 2, 2011 08:54 PM

Truffle dumpings at Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung in Taipei now has a truffle dumpling on the menu. I was dubious, but they are pretty delicious - a rich, earthy punch of truffle flavour in the dumplings.

Naturally, they're significantly more expensive than the standard xiao long bao, and you only get five in a tray.

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  1. I had these the other day. They are very good and have a great truffle flavor. It was my first time at Din Tai Fung, so I didn't know at the time that they are new. I recall them being around NT$ 480 for 5, which is crazy expensive, but they were definitely worth trying.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Condimentality

      Just had the truffle dumplings at the 忠孝 location in Taipei -- wow they're good. I believe it was NT 450 for 5 pieces, but they were definitely worth it in my opinion.

    2. I noticed a lot of high end Chinese restaurants are using Black Truffles in their dishes nowadays.

      eg., The Tofu Mille Feuille with truffle paste ( extreme left dish ) of Hong Kong's 2* Ming Court and the Crab meat with Chinese green and black truffle dumplings of the 1* Yan Toh Heen... to name a few>

      10 Replies
      1. re: Charles Yu

        Obviously the kudos of luxury ingredients. But I also wonder if the truffles now come from new producers like Australia and maybe the PRC so are easier to source and are cheaper.

        1. re: PhilD

          Yes they are now growing and harvesting truffles in southern China; I think Yunnan. I cant vouch for the quality but i'm thinking its going to be like Foie from France vs China

          1. re: epeter03

            That's interesting - given it is a fairly natural process, as long as the geological conditions are OK they may be as good.

        2. re: Charles Yu

          We have had both DTF's truffle dumplings (Causeway Bay) and YTH's crab/truffle dumplings recently.

          I think the earthy truffle flavor works much better with DTF's very porky-tasting pork. The crab dumplings were pleasant, but not wow.

          1. re: chloehk

            Agree with your accessment of DTF's crab dumpling. Looked better than it taste! Good but no 'wow' factor. On the other hand, Fu Sing's version around October/November was 'wow'!! Lovely seasoning, lots of broth and tons of crab roe!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                Why does DTF's pork taste so good?

                Actually all of the local pork here has more flavor than what I've bought (even at premium natural butchers) in the USA.

                Is it a different variety of pig?

                In Spain the pork tasted amazing too, but it was more sweet. Here it seems *porkier* or more concentrated.

                1. re: chloehk

                  Much depends on the feed given to the pigs. DTF in Taipei also touted that their black pigs (similar to Japanese kurobuta) yield superior tasting pork for their products.

                  1. re: chloehk

                    Sorry to pop the bubble of great China pork but if you live here in Shanghai and missed this:

                    Glow in the dark pork:

                    The solution:

                    1. re: chloehk

                      In the USA you would have to source pork and chicken to some organic/free range independent farm in order to remotely achieve the flavor/texture that you will get in say, Taiwan. And we're just talking about something simple, if using chicken, e.g. DTF's signature stewed chicken soup.

                      Part of the differences are biological and a product of the environment (as well as farming practices). The black pig, as klyeoh mentioned is quite unbeatable over there, and if in the USA, even buying Berkshire style kurobuta from a Japanese supermarket (imported from Canada) will not taste the same.

                      There's also something about Taiwan pork bones...their's so different than the Chinese supermarkets in Northern California. As a result, pork bone stock made at home will taste different. And this will inevitably lead to different ramen pork bone broth differences in USA (no matter how good the ramen chef) vs Taiwan and Japan.

                      Such is life.

              2. Yeah this is certainly an interesting trend in Taipei....suddenly in the last year or so everyone is incorporating truffles like no tomorrow, and what used to be a cheap street food item is now a deluxe ultra expensive fusion item.

                鬍鬚張 (Bearded Chang's) who is famous for minced pork rice 滷肉飯 to the point that they expanded to several locations in Japan, as well as 9 other restaurants/vendors, added a new item to the menu....yep...truffle minced pork rice, and now that mofo costs at least NT$650. Looks like they are using truffles from France, but not sure where these other business types cashing in on the craze are sourcing theirs from. Of course it is always debatable in a country where there's always fraud going on, claiming where such and such item is from (and yes PhilD is right, there are truffles exported from China....even to Italy to satisfy demand).

                Even Tu Hsiao Yeh Tainan Peddler Noodle 度小月擔仔面 is doing a truffle peddler noodle. :-o

                4 Replies
                1. re: K K

                  As previously reported by fellow CH'er Klyeoh, its happening in Singapore outposts' of a number of XLB places as well!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    The top kappo + sushi restaurants in Taipei are also incorporating it, from nigiri to small cooked dishes.

                    1. re: K K

                      As another poster asked, where do they source their truffle?

                  2. re: K K

                    hmm wow pretty interesting

                  3. Was there two weeks ago- While they were a bit more expensive, they piled in the truffles...and they were outstanding!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: sockster

                      Good to hear that. Chinese food is always evolving, and it does seem that incorporating truffles into our cuisine actually works beautifully.

                      1. re: klyeoh

                        Talk about evolution of food!
                        I just saw a program on Food Network whence an Indian chef incorporated ' Red Wine' and ' Dark Chocolate' into her Mutton Curry. End product looked pretty good. I think I'm going to give the recipe a try!!

                    2. This blog post describes the DTF black truffle dumplings (in Chinese) in greater detail of its construction


                      So it looks like, assuming the source and infomartion are correct, the small whole piece truffle in the 2nd layer is Italian. Interesting how the first layer of truffles are crushed/little pieces.

                      Also, note the date of the post. We're a year behind in knowing about this :-o

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: K K

                        I had the black truffle version in DTF Shanghai. I am a big fan of truffle, but for some reason this doesn't work very well for me. I much prefer the liver/pork version.

                        1. re: K K

                          I was at DTF the other day and asked one of the waitresses who confirmed that they're black truffles imported from Italy.