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THE BEST: Chinese Dumplings


slkinsey
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hmph :angry::biggrin:

Dumpling fillings should have clear, discernible flavors and minimal grease. Traditional fillings are best (ground pork with chives, or a mix of vegetables), but sometimes seafood versions can be just as good. Dough shouldn't be thick, which is an indication that the dumplings were frozen and not hand-made. Dipping sauce should be kept as simple as possible -- soy, maybe a splash of black vinegar, chopped scallions or ginger.

The crystal shrimp dumplings at China Fun, while not pork/veg dumplings and more dim sum-like have really thin dumpling skin, and the filling is a whole sweet shrimp. Dipping sauce is a nice combo of black vinegar and soy. Very clean, neat flavors and an absolute pleasure to have. Not bad for a non-Chinatown place. China Fun has several locations in Manhattan. I'm familiar with the one in the east 60s.

As for the others, China 46 is the standard that I hold dumplings to, and Sweet N Tart/Dim Sum Go-Go match that closely. Sorry, even if it is deep in the heart of Fort Lee. :wink:

El Gordo might disagree though. (He lives in the general neighborhood.)

Soba

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Dumping Man, on St. Marks, is extremely good.

I want pancakes! God, do you people understand every language except English? Yo quiero pancakes! Donnez moi pancakes! Click click bloody click pancakes!

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HI:

I live near China Fun and yes, the crystal shrimp dumplings (har gow) are very good. I went to Jing Fong for the first time last Sunday and their range of dumplings, porky and otherwise, blew me away. And I'm a dumpling veteran.

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Some of my favorites include places I visit with some regularity with Fat Guy and Ellen:

  • The two five-for-a-dollar places" -- Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen Street between Delancey and Broome; and, a little better IMO, Dumpling House at 118 Eldridge Street between Broome and Grand.
  • New Green Bo

--

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I'm not a dumpling expert, but I do love them, and last weekend I went to Ocean Port Seafood, which was featured in the $25 & Under column a few weeks ago. I was blown away by the variety and inventiveness (and good looks) of the dumplings, most of which contain seafood.

This place was packed for dim sum but the turnover is constant so we didn't have to wait long.

"I don't mean to brag, I don't mean to boast;

but we like hot butter on our breakfast toast!"

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HI:

I live near China Fun and yes, the crystal shrimp dumplings (har gow) are very good. I went to Jing Fong for the first time last Sunday and their range of dumplings, porky and otherwise, blew me away. And I'm a dumpling veteran.

My first thought when reading the initial post of this thread was Jing Fong, but I held back on posting because I hope there's a better place for dumplings other than xiao long bao that I haven't tried yet.

Anyone have Flushing recommendations?

Also, there seem to be two locations of China Fun: 1221 2nd Ave. and 246 Columbus Ave. Which one are people talking about in this thread?

I've been to a branch of Fried Dumpling once, the one on Allen St. just south of Delancey. Their dumplings were tasty but I liked the little fried baozi best.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Some of my favorites include places I visit with some regularity with Fat Guy and Ellen:
  • The two five-for-a-dollar places" -- Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen Street between Delancey and Broome; and, a little better IMO, Dumpling House at 118 Eldridge Street between Broome and Grand.
  • New Green Bo

I second Dumpling House. What a place to take friends from the suburbs, who are used to paying $5 for five dumplings of the doughy steamed variety -- there's no way you can spend over $5 a person at this place!

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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Also, there seem to be two locations of China Fun: 1221 2nd Ave. and 246 Columbus Ave. Which one are people talking about in this thread?

The crystal shrimp dumplings at China Fun, while not pork/veg dumplings and more dim sum-like have really thin dumpling skin, and the filling is a whole sweet shrimp.  Dipping sauce is a nice combo of black vinegar and soy.  Very clean, neat flavors and an absolute pleasure to have.  Not bad for a non-Chinatown place.  China Fun has several locations in Manhattan.  I'm familiar with the one in the east 60s.

El Gordo might disagree though.  (He lives in the general neighborhood.)

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Some of my favorites include places I visit with some regularity with Fat Guy and Ellen:
  • The two five-for-a-dollar places" -- Fried Dumpling at 99 Allen Street between Delancey and Broome; and, a little better IMO, Dumpling House at 118 Eldridge Street between Broome and Grand.
  • New Green Bo

Both great!!

How about Excellent Dumpling House 111 Lafayette St

very good :biggrin:

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I am responding to this post about your, "NYC" best Chinese Dumplings.

Having the privilege of enjoying the offerings of "Jade 46" with Jason and Rachel I went on several excursions into a wonderful special neighborhood of Asian goodness that has evolved in "Flushing, Queens, NYC" where I enjoyed superlative Chinese Regional Dumplings at 11 different nameless Restaurants that I feel were comparable to the Dumplings offered in Vancouver, BC and Hong Kong.

It is amazing how in a comparably short time there have evolved a community where almost every type of Asian Foods are represented as well as Indian, Mexican, South American, Spanish and many European Ethnic Foods of every type are available within a relatively close radius.

Just grazing we enjoyed snacking on Muslim Kabobs [waiting on line street side], Korean Mon Doo, Malay, Hakka, Cantonese, Shanghai, Peking, Indian, Vegan, Taiwan, Szchewan, Vietnam and Manchurian Treats only touching the surface of all available in only a few blocks.

The only comparable area I have experienced was at night in Hong Kong at Temple and Shanghai Streets in Kowloon but never before anywhere in the States. Wiggling Room only at 11:30 PM on the streets any weekend ?

Vancouver BC may offer some of the finest Chinese Food anywhere, but I feel that is mostly due to Canada's more reasonable Customs and imports allowing many items to be used not available in the States. San Francisco, Los Angeles and Seattle are no longer comparable to NYC especially if you include Brooklyn and China Town.

It would be interesting if eGullet could somehow find a way to make us all more aware of this special place in Queens.

Irwin :unsure:

I don't say that I do. But don't let it get around that I don't.

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New Green Bo has the best soup dumplings I've had in the city. The wrappers are thin and delicate, the broth is rich and the fillings are of high quality. There's a significant step down from New Green Bo to the next best few soup-dumpling places in town. I also think the fried pork dumplings at New Green Bo are very special. They are stylistically different from the ones served at the five-for-a-dollar places: they're longer, bigger and have a firm filling that is sweet and separate from the crispy skin.

I also like the five-for-a-dollar places, and wouldn't necessarily say that the dumplings at Dumpling House on Eldridge are better than at Fried Dumpling on Allen. The issue at both places is that you need to get them right out of the wok; otherwise they deteriorate rapidly. If you order fried dumplings at a regular restaurant, like New Green Bo or most anyplace, they cook your dumplings to order. At the five-for-a-dollar places they cook a hundred or so dumplings at a shot in a big wok and they sit around until they're all sold. Going at a high-volume time would seem the solution, but I think they slam them through the cooking process too hard during the lunch rush. I think the dumplings at these as well as a couple of other five-for-a-dollar places (like Tasty Dumpling on Mulberry next to Columbus Park) are all delicious and best-of-their-kind for hole-in-the-wall/street-food dumplings.

In terms of the dim sum dumpling scene, I've never found a consistent winner over time among the big, high-volume places. Maybe Ping's has on occasion been bigger than the larger spots. Dim Sum Go Go is categorically different, although not a favorite. Ordering dim sum off a menu and having it made to order does have its advantages, but the style at Dim Sum Go Go is too precious for me.

Both China 46 and Silver Pond in New Jersey are exemplary on the dumpling front.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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In Flushing I remember there being two very good dumpling places and, at the time, both were 7 for $1. (This was about two years ago.)

Anyways, the first had only 5-6 kinds and was down a side street of a Main, directly across from a Chinese Shabu Shabu place. The second had nearly 30 kinds of dumplings and was in a kind of food court area with balcony seating overlooking the LIRR tracks. I remember that the pork, mustard green, and chive dumplings there were amazing. My friend, an expat from Beijing, ordered something will jellyfish in it that, although not to my liking, I could see that many people would be really into it.

I wish I had names or more definitive locations, but I usually just ended up at these places by chance.

In the City I love Dumpling House on Eldridge. I also love getting the scallion pancake with vegetables (no beef).

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The place under the LIRR tracks in Flushing sells pork dumplings at four to the dollar now. They're fine and certainly cheap, but I prefer the Fuzhounese sesame cakes I get down the road just south of Roosevelt.

Irwin, it's too bad you can't name any of the places you like or give more exact locations for same.

Fat Guy, have you tried the soup dumplings at Yeah? I'd be curious to get your comparison between those and the ones at New Green Bo.

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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I'd love to read Fat Guy's opinion as I also rate NGB as the best for both soup dumplings and fried dumplings.

As I tried Yeah SD, I find Fat Guy's statement: "There's a significant step down from New Green Bo to the next best few soup-dumpling places in town" to be most accurate. IMO Yeah's soup dumplings are on par with Joe's and both are way inferior in both skin and flavor.

I've enjoyed the fried dumplings at Dumpling House until I "discovered" the NGB ones.

The human mouth is called a pie hole. The human being is called a couch potato... They drive the food, they wear the food... That keeps the food hot, that keeps the food cold. That is the altar where they worship the food, that's what they eat when they've eaten too much food, that gets rid of the guilt triggered by eating more food. Food, food, food... Over the Hedge
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I've enjoyed the fried dumplings at Dumpling House until I "discovered" the NGB ones.

Really? I was appalled when last year at my first and only time at New Green Bo I had rather standard soup and fried dumplings. I've also tried both at Yeah Shanghai, and preferred Yeah's to NGB's. Dumpling House can not be beat, in my opinion, but I'll have to hit NGB again and perform a more systematic comparison. And then I need to go to Flushing!

JJ Goode

Co-author of Serious Barbecue, which is in stores now!

www.jjgoode.com

"For those of you following along, JJ is one of these hummingbird-metabolism types. He weighs something like eleven pounds but he can eat more than me and Jason put together..." -Fat Guy

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      FRESH FUNGI
       
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      One of my favourites, certainly for appearance are the clusters of shimeji mushrooms. Sometimes known in English as “brown beech mushrooms’ and in Chinese as 真姬菇 zhēn jī gū or 玉皇菇 yù huáng gū, these mushrooms should not be eaten raw as they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. This, however, largely disappears when they are cooked. They are used in stir fries and with seafood. Also, they can be used in soups and stews. When cooked alone, shimeji mushrooms can be sautéed whole, including the stem or stalk. There is also a white variety which is sometimes called 白玉 菇 bái yù gū.
       

       

       
      Next up we have the needle mushrooms. Known in Japanese as enoki, these are tiny headed, long stemmed mushrooms which come in two varieties – gold (金針菇 jīn zhēn gū) and silver (银针菇 yín zhēn gū)). They are very delicate, both in appearance and taste, and are usually added to hot pots.
       

       

       
      Then we have these fellows – tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇 chá shù gū). These I like. They take a bit of cooking as the stems are quite tough, so they are mainly used in stews and soups. But their meaty texture and distinct taste is excellent. These are also available dried.
       

       
      Then there are the delightfully named 鸡腿菇 jī tuǐ gū or “chicken leg mushrooms”. These are known in English as "shaggy ink caps". Only the very young, still white mushrooms are eaten, as mature specimens have a tendency to auto-deliquesce very rapidly, turning to black ‘ink’, hence the English name.
       

       
      Not in season now, but while I’m here, let me mention a couple of other mushrooms often found in the supermarkets. First, straw mushrooms (草菇 cǎo gū). Usually only found canned in western countries, they are available here fresh in the summer months. These are another favourite – usually braised with soy sauce – delicious! When out of season, they are also available canned here.
       

       
      Then there are the curiously named Pig Stomach Mushrooms (猪肚菇 zhū dù gū, Infundibulicybe gibba. These are another favourite. They make a lovely mushroom omelette. Also, a summer find.
       

       
      And finally, not a mushroom, but certainly a fungus and available fresh is the wood ear (木耳 mù ěr). It tastes of almost nothing, but is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture. More usually sold dried, it is available fresh in the supermarkets now.
       

       
      Please note that where I have given Chinese names, these are the names most commonly around this part of China, but many variations do exist.
       
      Coming up next - the dried varieties available.
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