Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jade Asian

Oh Jade Asian, how I love your dim sum. Clean, simple, delicious. It's been awhile since I last posted a dish by dish review for dim sum. It's difficult when you're with a large group. But some people don't mind my camera clicking away before they can attack the dish. So without further delay, my dim sum experience (one of many) at Jade Asian in Flushing, Queens.

First up, my favorite dish: fried cruller in rice noodle. I love this dish. Why? It has a crispy deep fried dough/cruller that is wrapped with thin supple rice noodles. Sweet soy sauce and sometimes peanut sauce is added on the side. God, so good. Savory, crispy, soft. Everything is just good. Best served fresh from the kitchen and hot.
Another family favorite is the fried sticky rice. This version at Jade Asian is heavy on the Chinese sauage and dried shrimp. The rice sticks to each other and all the little nubbins in between. A really good dish to have in the winter since it's so filling.
Shrimp in rice noodles. Another classic. Large shrimp wrapped with thin and supple rice noodles and steamed until just right. Sweet soy sauce on top and that's all you'll need.
Lotus leaf wrapped glutinous rice. Another rice dish but this one is so different from the fried version. These are soft and come piping hot from the carts. Unwrap the leaves to find loose rice surrounding ground pork, Chinese sausage, and various other meat products. With all these delectables cooked together, it makes for one fine rice dish. But again, really filling to be careful not to eat a whole one by yourself. You may miss out on other food.
Fried mochi ball. These deep fried rice balls are stuffed with a ground pork mixture inside. The dough is rice based and is chewy. The fried outside helps balance out that chewy texture.
Fried taro ball. Similar to the fried mochi balls, these are also stuffed with a pork mixture. However, instead of a rice/mochi dough, they use ground taro paste then deep fry it in a panko-like flour. The taro is naturally sweet which pairs well with the savory meat filling. The crispy outside also lends a hand in the texture department.
And here is what the inside looks like. A nice balance of the thickness of the taro with the meat.
And here is some tripe for you adventurous eaters. This tripe is from the cow's stomach and from the look of its leafy texture, it's from the third stomach. It's served in a ginger scallion sauce with is the only flavor you'll taste. However, it's the texture that gets most people. It's very chewy and if not cooked for long enough, you'll be chewing as long as a cow chews its cud. But growing up, I loved this dish. I loved the texture even though it can be tough at times.
Another dim sum staple are the shu mai or pork and shrimp dumplings. This version at Jade Asian also including crab roe on top which does nothing for me. I can't even taste it. What I'm more focused on is the quality of the ground pork and the shrimp. They're not skimpy here. They use large pieces of shrimp which you can see in the bottom picture. There's a tail peeking out there.
And here's the famous phoenix feet. These delectable little things aren't for everyone. First, they have a lot of tiny little bones in them. Second, there isn't much meat. In fact, you'll be eating mostly skin and tendons/ligaments. The flavor of the chicken feet usually takes on whatever you cook them in. In dim sum,  you usually see them served deep fried then steamed with black bean and sugar sauce. The resulting flavor is sweet and slightly funky from the fermented beans. I grew up eating these and enjoy them very much. But like I mentioned before, it's not for everyone.
The steamed beef balls can be a hit or miss. The texture is rubbery which is due to the flour that they add to it. It's usually served with worchestershire sauce for a slight tang. I grew up eating these as a kid but as an adult they're less appealing.
And another one of my favorite dishes is the beef short ribs. These black pepper laced ribs are fatty in nature but so delicious. A good balance of meat and fat makes a good dish. Just strip the meat off the bones and enjoy.
A favorite of the table is char siu baos or roast pork buns. These soft breads stuffed with sweet and savory roast pork are lacquered on top with a sweet syrup. They are pretty tasty and must be eaten hot.
And another tripe dish but this one uses honeycomb tripe (from the second cow's stomach). The tripe is cooked for a long time in an anise, cinnamon, and other various spices. They are tender and full of flavor. The accompanying spleen is a miss for me. I don't enjoy the flavor. But the turnips are always fought over. Tender and full of flavor.
Shrimp stuffed eggplant has been gaining ground in my top dim sum dishes. When it's done well, it is amazing. The tender pieces of eggplant are stuffed generously with a ground shrimp paste then deep fried. A thick brown sauce is ladled on top. I love the flavors and texture of this dish. It tastes rich without being heavy.
And here's a new dish that we tried: black bean spare ribs over rice noodles. Oh yeah, this was very good. The spare ribs are cooked in the pot with the noodles underneath. The noodles absorbed all that good pork and black bean flavor. A generous squirt of sweet soy sauce on top is what sealed the deal. I could eat this all by myself as a dish. Maybe with a sprinkle of chopped green onions on top.
And another favorite dish is the shrimp and chives dumpling. The wrapper is made from either glutinous rice flour or tapioca flour. It's thinly flattened out then stuffed with bits of chopped shrimp and lots of garlic chives. The flavors are strong and so it needs no dipping sauce. The combination is just wonderful.
An order of fried spring rolls made it to our table. It's not usually picked but people felt like eating it that day. A nice light fried wrapper encased a ground pork mixture inside. Don't think it's anything like an egg roll. No sir. It's small cigar shaped tubes that fried perfectly. Some worchestershire sauce on the side is the norm.
And to finish off the meal, something sweet. I was the only person to get the sweet tofu. When you order it, the woman lifts off the cover to a large wooden bucket. Then she skims off excess water and then lightly scoops hot soft tofu into a bowl. Then she adds ginger honey on top for flavor. It's definitely something that I really enjoy. Not too sweet and very soft. Spoonfuls of soft tofu slurped down my throat. So good. Try it next time! Be warned though, the bowl can be big so feel free to share. They'll give you an extra bowl with honey!
And there you go, my dim sum meal dish by dish. It was amazing as usual. Jade Asian is definitely my go to spot for dim sum in Flushing, Queens.

Jade Asian Restaurant
13628 39th Avenue
Flushing, NY 11354
(718) 762-8821
jadeasiannyc.com

3 comments:

  1. A vague memory of us dim summing here just came back to me, as I was about to write "I didn't realize you liked Jade Asian that much" - this post definitely makes me crave dim sum, though some of the dishes you listed are definite passes for me (I really don't like taro). I think I'll go to dim sum sooner than later...

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  2. That all looks fantastic! I've never had the sweet tofu before, but it sounds like I would like it. I've never even noticed it actually, but probably because I never get dessert at dim sum... I just save a pork-filled deep fried mochi to end my meal since it's kinda sweet! haha

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  3. I would like to go back again. More dim sum outings!!

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