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Dumplings

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I used to make it to Gourmet Dumpling House or Dumpling Cafe once a week but since having a baby it's now more like once a month -- I still have the constant craving though, for the XLB, the vinegar, anything pork, anything spicy. I've done pretty well at home making shredded pork and noodles with sherry vinegar and black bean chili sauce (among other ingredients, obviously) but I don't have time to make dumplings. I dream about dumplings!
I'd love to have some in the freezer -- not frozen and imported from China but made locally. I've been to Mulan many times in the past and love it, and have seen mention of their frozen dumplings here. Are they delicious? I haven't been to Wang's but every thread seems to mention the frozen dumplings. Same for Golden Garden in Belmont (I think?).
If you wanted to fill your freezer with the porkiest, most flavorful dumplings -- more Dumpling Cafe than GDH -- where would you go? I realize XLB are maybe impossible and will happily settle for pork/leek, pork/cabbage, etc.

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Gourmet Dumpling House
52 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111

Golden Garden
63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

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  1. Definitely Wang's in Somerville. The best.

    Qingdao Garden, Mulan, and Golden Garden all have nice dumplings too. If one of those is more convenient, or you feel like variety, go for it. But I wouldn't bother with the frozen ones in the local Chinese grocery stores. Any of those restaurants are better than the Chinatown restaurants for dumplings, with the possible exception of Taiwan Cafe on a good day.

    For dumplings from another culture, Russian markets all carry various frozen dumplings as well. I saw a particularly huge variety at Bazaar on Cambridge St recently.

    As an aside, I doubt that you'll find any dumplings that were made in China and shipped frozen to the United States. When it comes to Chinese food, being "made in China" would hardly be a bad thing, but I doubt it would be at all economical.

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    Qingdao Garden Restaurant
    2382 Massachusetts Ave, Cambridge, MA 02140

    Golden Garden
    63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

    2 Replies
    1. re: lipoff

      We'll definitely try Wang's -- Mulan may make the list as well.
      I bought frozen dumplings and buns from the market on Washington near Herald Street -- the dumplings were unremarkable, the buns fairly tasty but I remember a "product of China" label on the buns, and we never finished the bag. I realize this may be a good thing but I've lately become more and more uncomfortable about meat and where it comes from -- although as long as there are pigs I'll stop short of vegetarianism. Whether or not there's any logic to it I would prefer I not eat imported meat products, even if the local product isn't too much better.

      1. re: ebaba

        a disclaimer on Wang's ... the dumplings are small (but good). they're also not XLB. (not sure if you're looking for frozen XLB.)

    2. Ive been told by people who eat frozen dumplings every week that Jo jo taipei's frozen dumplings are more flavorful than Mulan, Wangs or Qingdao, but have not tried them myself.

      7 Replies
      1. re: barleywino

        That's all I need to hear to finally get us out there for lunch or dinner, thank you!

        1. re: barleywino

          Jo Jo Taipei is my very favorite for dumplings AND buns. I can still remember my first bite! :)

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          JoJo Tai Pei Restaurant
          103 Brighton Ave, Boston, MA 02134

          1. re: Small Plates

            their buns- do they have baked pork bao? curry beef turnovers? th much.

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              I don't know what they have specifically to take out frozen but on their dine-in menu they have sheng1 jian1 bao1 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shengjia...), pot stickers, and Shanghai style soup dumplings, which they also call buns, although I doubt they have the soup dumplings frozen to take out.  No curry beef turnovers at Jo Jo that I know of, but S&I Thai just down the street has the very best versions of those that I had in Boston.  

              1. re: lipoff

                lipoff, do you mean s and i's curried potato turnovers w/ a tiny amount of chicken?that's not my cuppa. my cuppa is the filling in the curried beef turnovers in c'town. but thank you for the other info; we shall go forth and order! i'll do a CH search before we go, but if you have other favs to recommend, i always appreciate your advice.

            2. re: Small Plates

              report:
              i have bought, for years, froz dumplings from Wangs and Mulan. With barley et al's Jojo taipei mention, we cooked up some of jojo's tonight. Result- a VAST difference. JoJo Taipei's meat mixture has a totally different, soft, loose,almost creamy texture and mouthfeel.The meat is march-cut as opposed to ground, so it doesn't hold together in a dense ball when you bite into the dumpling. The meat filling of the dumplings from W and M is a ball of dense/compacted ground meat. Flavor wise, i think the JJT filling has deeper flavor, perhaps w/ more soy in it; the meat mixture is definitely darker(but that's also prob because of less fat content). JoJo's are $3 or $4 more expensive for 50, but so superior that i will only buy from them in the future. Thank you again, Boston CHs.

              p.s. to answer my own questions above, JoJo does not have baked pork bao, and their curried pork turnovers are not pastry but very tasty ( though v. small) deep fried wonton triangles of pork mixed w/ a madras style curry powder; no potatoes or veggies like those at S and I, and also not sweet(ugh) like those at S and I. Heft- wise, the curried pork turnovers(in a flaky baked yellow dough, not a lard puff pastry dough) at 101Bakery in C'Town-at $1.75@- are perhaps the better bet, but the JoJo ones have the best flavor, i think, of those 3 options.

            3. re: barleywino

              Wait - JoJo Taipei sells their dumplings, frozen? How did I not know this? One of our favorite places - we usually get our frozen dumplings at Qingdao but will definitely try JJTP if they indeed do sell frozen!

              GG
              http://www.semisweetonline.com

            4. Formosa Taipei in Lexington: pork and cabbage, pork and leak, veggie. All fresh, all good.

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              Formosa Taipei
              315 Marrett Rd, Lexington, MA 02421

              1. I think Golden Garden's are every bit as good as Wangs. The frozen ones to go are excellent.

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                Golden Garden
                63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                2 Replies
                1. re: StriperGuy

                  I boil then steam my dumplings though you can also fry them. I use ginger, soy sauce, home made hot sauce, green onions, and a large dose of balsamic vinegar for the sauce .

                  I prefer Golden Garden to Wangs in large part because of the difficulty parking at Wangs.

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                  Golden Garden
                  63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                  1. re: cambridgedoctpr

                    I think that if we are talking specifically about frozen 'pork and leek' dumplings, Golden Garden is slightly better than Wang's. The wrappers seem to come out slightly more tender.

                    However, I love the vegetarian dumplings (Spinach or Leek) at Wang's, and I don't think Golden Garden has these.

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                    Golden Garden
                    63 Concord Ave, Belmont, MA 02478

                2. wang's on broadway in somerville. they have a variety of different fillings and are easy to prepare