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"Different" or unique Dumpling fillings?

Ok, I know the standards, pork with (fill in blank), fish (sole)...but does anyone know of SGV places that have dumpling fillings that are, for lack of a better term "out of the norm", less common, etc.?

I can start with the Hai Chang Dumplings at Beijing Duck House. Any other suggestions?

I've seen beef with caraway at JTYH. Anyone else? Bueller?

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  1. Likely you won't find this in the SGV, but in Japan you can get Bao filled with pizza sauce and a little cheese. (They are called "piza-man" since Bao are called "man" in Japanese.) There is also a curry version, "kari-man".

    The "piza-man" is one of the most unique fillings I have experienced.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Tripeler

      wouldn't that be rather similar to a mini-calzone?

      1. re: barryc

        Not really, because the bun is steamed. Also, the filling is more one-dimensional -- just sauce and a little cheese, no real meat.

    2. Why so you consider sea cucumber dumplings unique?

      4 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        How common are dumplings that have sea cucumber (and only sea cucumber) in them?

        I'll even settle for pork with uncommon second items (beyond cabbage, etc.) or fish differing from sole.

        One more to add. Mackerel dumplings at Dalian Small Stone.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          So, who has the best sea cucumber dumplings?*

          *sea cucumber only, no shrimp, no crab, no mix...jus' sea cucumber.

          1. re: JThur01

            I don't know, but I personally think an all sea cucumber dumpling would be on the far side of disgusting.

            FYI. We used to mix in chopped sea dumplings into our pork dumpling fillings to give it extra moist and "slippery" mouthfeel.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              "FYI. We used to mix in chopped sea dumplings..."

              Were those Sea C dumplings or just Sea dumplings? ;-D>

        2. Are there any duck dumplings any more in the SGV? One predecessor of Why Thirsty had them. They weren't very good. Manhattan has all kinds of crazy dumplings that I'm glad we don't have out here.

          8 Replies
          1. re: Chandavkl

            Doesn't (or didn't) Beijing Duck House have them?

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Last menu I have for them, they aren't listed...but, in addition to the sea worm, they have scallop and...

              radish stripe with oyster dumplings

              1. re: JThur01

                "Sea intestine" sounds so much more interesting than "sea worm".

                1. re: JThur01

                  Where do they have sea worms at ?

                  1. re: kevin

                    JThur01 was referring to those offered at Beijing Duck House in San Gabriel.

              2. re: Chandavkl

                Doesn't 101 Noodle? Pretty sure I had them there before.

                1. re: BrewNChow

                  101 Noodle has "xiao long tang bao" made with duck, along with beef, pork and fish (aka 四味小籠湯包 or "four flavor soup dumplings")

                  But no dumplings made with just duck.

              3. I think somebody still does scallop dumplilngs, but I don't remember who.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Chandavkl

                  Sea Harbour has a fish roe with scallop dumpling, an Eggplant Stuffed with Shrimp Paste and one of my favorites is their Sticky Rice Ball Stuffed with Salty Egg.

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      Will be going to 101 Noodle Express a couple of times this month so I can spam the 'ish out of your first DOM :)

                    2. re: Chandavkl

                      i think is the restarurant formerly known as Dumpling 10051 (was that the correct address) ????

                      but now it has a new name name.

                      1. re: kevin

                        Dumpling 10053 made the greatest scallop dumplings in the old days. I believed it changed hands and the new owner took it off the menu. Not sure if the new Fortune Dumpling location in Monterey Park carries scallop dumplings.

                          1. re: ipsedixit

                            That reminds me, I believe 100 Dumpling has some different fillings...

                    3. There's a Beijing style jiaozi restaurant in Hong Kong famous for tomato and egg dumplings/jiaozi


                      西紅柿雞蛋餃. As pedestrian as this is, it's not easy to get this right. Any place serves this in SGV?

                      The last one is fennel and pork, but nothing interesting there.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: K K

                        East Dumpling in Rosemead used to have the tomato egg dumpling, but they closed down a couple of years ago.

                      2. 101 Noodle Express has Fennel and Pork dumplings (茴香豬肉). It's listed as "Hua Vegetable Pork Dumpling". They also have Lamb dumplings.

                        They have "Wild Vegetable Shrimp Pork Dumplings (齊菜 蝦豬). I don't often see 齊菜 as an ingredient, so it may or may not fall under your definition of "different".

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: raytamsgv

                          I think that is jìcài (荠菜/薺菜), not 齊菜. Jicai (shepherd's purse; an herb, different from mustard greens (芥菜), despite the similar appearance in simplified characters, and similar sound) is pretty common ingredient for buns and dumplings in Shanghai area.

                          Dumpling House in Arcadia has (or had, at least) vegetarian dumplings with a filling primarily based on pumpkin. I haven't noticed them anywhere else, though I didn't think they were particularly successful either.

                          1. re: will47

                            Beijing Pie House has pan-fried or steamed dumplings with pumpkin, pork and shrimp. I like them very much.

                            1. re: will47

                              101 Noodle Express has a pumpkin shrimp pork dumpling.

                            2. re: raytamsgv

                              Love the wild vegetables with shrimp and pork or just wild vegetables with pork dumplings at 101.

                            3. I made philly cheesesteak dumplings before. ;)

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: ClarissaW

                                There's a Chinese restaurant in Philadelphia that makes a Philly cheesesteak dumpling of some kind. Never got a chance to try it because it's outside of Chinatown.

                              2. not technically in the SGV, but polka serves pierogis filled with sauerkraut & stewed mushrooms. & IIRC, one of the better known trucks (that is not confined to the SGV but when i patronized it, it was in pasadena) serves dumplings that include kimchi in the stuffing. i also recall a pierogi truck at the altadena farmers market (wednesdays). no esoteric fillings, but being from NE ohio settled by central europeans i miss a good pierogi and these were pretty good and yes, they have grilled onions and sour cream on the side.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: barryc

                                  polka is that in eagle rock ???

                                  1. re: kevin

                                    if not eagle rock, then just south of eagle rock. near verdugo

                                2. So, who has the best lamb dumplings? And with 100 Dumpling House closing, does anyone know of anywhere else that has lamb with cumin dumplings?

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: JThur01

                                    Pretty good lamb dumplings at Little Sheep OC. No cumin though.

                                    1. Is anyone aware of any current place with duck filled dumplings? Any rabbit?

                                      Any unique veggie fillings? (I'm aware of pumpkin in various iterations and also the shepherd's purse)

                                      10 Replies
                                      1. re: JThur01

                                        Not that I know of in LA. Predecessor to Why Thirsty in San Gabriel did have duck dumplings. Of course somebody could make duck dumplings that are terrible, such as Rickshaw Dumplings in Manhattan.

                                        1. re: Chandavkl

                                          What's good at Why Thirsty ?

                                          I have to say that is by far the strangest name for a Chinese restaurant.

                                          Is it more of like a boba parlor of sorts ?


                                          1. re: kevin

                                            Hopefully others that have sampled more of the menu came chime in, but the Railroad Pork Chop is good and seems to be what they're most proud of. They have a small menu and the tea selection is smaller, and of higher quality, than the average boba joint.

                                            1. re: kevin

                                              Pork chop rice, mince meat and sweet potato fries (get it with fried fish nuggets)

                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                I don't mean to offend but it's kind of like a SinBaLa menu ?

                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  Yes, but much more limited. No shaved ice, either.

                                                  If SinBaLa's original claim to fame was its house-made sausages, Why Thirsty's flagpole on the SGV Taiwanese small eats scene are its boba/tea drinks. Tripled filtered, reverse osmosis, alkaline Ionized, blah-blah water no less.

                                                    1. re: ns1

                                                      They also have fishball tacos.

                                                    2. re: ipsedixit

                                                      Good grief, typo city "hopefully others can chime in"

                                                      Thanks ipse, that's what I was trying to convey, the menus boast of the filtering, reverse osmosis, ionization, etc.

                                                      Their pork chop is easily one of the most moist I've had.

                                              2. re: Chandavkl

                                                Thanks Chandavkl. I figured as much...but I figured no harm in asking for an update.

                                            2. Cai in Chicago recently introduced eel dumplings. I'm not inclined to try it.

                                              1. I was eating these damn things the other day and came to the realization that these were vietnamese dessert dumplings.

                                                Chè trôi nước (or sometimes is called Chè xôi nước) is a Vietnamese dessert consisting of balls made from mung bean paste wrapped in a shell made of glutinous rice flour. The balls are served in a thick, sweet clear or brown liquid made of water, sugar, and grated ginger root. It is generally warmed before eating and garnished with sesame seeds.
                                                Two northern Vietnamese desserts, bánh trôi (also called bánh trôi nước) and bánh chay, are similar to chè trôi nước (the latter being served with coconut milk). Chè trôi nước is also similar to a Chinese dish called tangyuan.

                                                Can be found at numerous vietnamese delis, currently eating the ones from Hien Khanh.

                                                22 Replies
                                                1. re: ns1

                                                  ns1: htf do i tell the VNese obasans to step the fuck off when they keep cutting in front of me at HK? I can handle the various banh mi lines in Westminster, but at the che shops it's like they haven't eaten a dessert in a year.

                                                  1. re: TonyC

                                                    Review Roller Derby videos on Internet. Employ reviewed techniques against wily old Vietnamese ladies. Enjoy treat.

                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                      That's the vietnamese way. The only way around it is to be more savage than the 40-50 year old women in front of you.

                                                      if you're 2nd generation vietnamese like me, make eye contact with the english speaking girls behind the counter and just talk straight to them in english, w/o any regard to the women in front of you.

                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                        Ok, this place would definitely not be for me.

                                                        I'd be literally eaten alive.

                                                        1. re: ns1

                                                          That reminds me as a nonsequitur of sorts, I'm overdue on a visit to di vang 2.

                                                          They make some great iced cafe sua dua there, no seriously.

                                                          no joke.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            sure if you want to pay $7 for a CSD, just so you can see some T&A.

                                                            Really nice pictures on yelp though. Really nice.

                                                            1. re: ns1

                                                              yeah, but you can chill and play checkers too. but it's actually 5 bucks, plus tip. But oh, do you have to tip.

                                                              not a bad deal for a very unqiure experience.

                                                              like a vietnamese starbucks crossed with hooters.

                                                              but it is actually good, though, tiny. And the sua dua is exceptionally strong here. so is the ice tea water that they copiously refill (like a half dozen refills in a barely half hour span).

                                                              great stuff, though off topic.

                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                Some "pals" have done thorough VN TT cafe "research" for the last 6MO or so. DV2 was really foul. Super thug, ghetto, staff your mom's (or your wife's, depends) age. But Starz, which is walkable from DV2, was pure win. Friendly, young, mixed ethnicity, no Harley types (like GZ), not THAT smokey, good avo shake, etc.

                                                                This doesn't include the latest two to open: Cafe 166 and another one.

                                                                1. re: TonyC

                                                                  nah, the ones at DV2 were never older, etc. like you mentioned. unless that changed in the past couple years or so.

                                                                  that remains the original for me.

                                                                  super thug/ghetto, maybe (?) perhaps: but i don't reallty ask questions.

                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                    That Chow report is less than 30-days old. Take it with a grain of salt and don't say no one warned you. After you pound DV2's CSD, walk down to Starz, log onto Chow and thank me.

                                                                    DV2 was da shit in its heyday. That is no longer the case.

                                                                    1. re: TonyC

                                                                      TonyC, dropping critical chow knowledge once again.

                                                                      Adding Starz to yelp bookmarks now.

                                                                      1. re: ns1

                                                                        I always go to TonyC for my VN coffee bar updates. Tony, what were your "pals" assessments of some of the other spots? (Cafe Lu, Miss Cutie, Temptation, etc.)

                                                                        And, what of Cafe Cau Vong, the SGV's sole rep?

                                                                        1. re: JThur01

                                                                          ...and we are talking about dumpling filling aren't we?

                                                                          1. re: JThur01

                                                                            My apologies. Someone mentioned Vietnamese food, maybe banh mi, and then I thought of delicious, cold, refereshing cafe sua dua.

                                                                            1. re: kevin

                                                                              No need. My tongue was firmly in cheek. I'm greatly enjoying the discussion on the VN coffee establishments.

                                                                          2. re: JThur01

                                                                            Yes, please report back. Inquiring minds, like my friends and acquaintances, would love to know.

                                                                2. re: ns1

                                                                  You're there for the free tea refills of course..

                                                            2. re: TonyC

                                                              When they try to cut, stick your arm out to stop them or step in front of them. If that doesn't work, cut in front of them, and don't be afraid of body contact.

                                                              1. re: TonyC

                                                                When I grab lee's coffee @ the rosemead branch, the lines are a bit ambiguous because they moved the line around without a giant obvious sign (just a small placard on the front/rear ends).

                                                                I've had, on a pretty much weekly basis, people just walk right infront of me (and the whole line), then pretend not to see me or speak english or chinese (lots of chinese viets around there). I got so fed up with it that i just started cutting back directly infront of them right before they place the order. The workers don't help the situation at all, and staring them (the cutters) down doesn't work because they're shameless, so I ended up being as bad as them.

                                                                What I can't really deal with is when there's more than one of them and they all cut at once. Then it's up to either the crowd behind me or the workers.