Friday, April 10, 2009

Dumplings: One, Two, Three!

This past weekend was declared dumpling weekend! Most meals consisted of a dumpling of some kind. I am very partial to Chinese dumplings and its traditional flavors which is usually pork and some kind of vegetable. Don't get me wrong, I like dumplings from other cultures (samosas, pierogi's, gyoza, etc.). What I don't like is when some places try to make them taste like Chinese dumplings. I like tradition. Stick to it! Anyhow, I recently purchased 3 bags of frozen dumplings of different kinds. They were: pork and chive pan fried dumplings, pork and shrimp water dumplings, and Shanghai pork soup dumplings. I bought them from a place in Chinatown called Hua Du . It was a good time to determine the favorite. Let the battle begin! First: the pork and chive pan fried dumplings. These have a very thick skin and are best pan fried. I had them boiled once and it wasn't very good. The method I like to use is crisp-boil-crisp. Basically, I heat a non-stick pan with a little oil. Then add the dumplings to fry for a couple of minutes. Then I add enough water to the pan to cover the dumplings 75% up. I cover and wait until all the water is evaporated. This helps cook them thoroughly and also much faster. When the water has evaporated, I let them cook a little longer to re-crisp the bottom again. Thoughts: The chive flavor is really strong but in a good way. The pork is good and not too lean. The skin is very thick. Second: the pork and shrimp water dumplings. These have a thinner and more delicate skin. They are best boiled. I think these are the most simple to make. Just bring a pot of water to boil. Add salt, then dumplings. Bring back to boil. Cook 15-20 minutes. Drain, add soy sauce, and eat! Thoughts: The flavor is much more subtle. Pork is still good. The shrimp is definitely lacking though. The skin is nice and soft. This would be great with a bowl of noodles. Third: the Shanghai pork soup dumplings. The skin on these are thicker but not as thick as the pan fried ones. These are steamed. I usually use a bed of lettuce. Steam on top of boiling water for about 15-20 minutes. This is the only one I would consider not eating with soy sauce because of the soup/juice inside. Some people prefer vinegar. Thoughts: It's very flavorful with the soup. It's all pork. I can eat a lot of these. Some of the dumplings burst and lost it's juice. But it was soaked up by the lettuce which is good too! Be careful biting into one of these because the juice can become a projectile squirt. Some people bite a small hole first. Others eat it in one bite. I'm usually lazy and do the latter. So what's the verdict? We like the pork and chive filling but the skin from the pork and shrimp! Good thing this place can mix and match skins and fillings. So next time, I'll be sure to get the pork and chive water dumplings. Hua Du Dumpling Shop 249 Grand Street New York, NY 10002 (212) 965-9663

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.