Return to M Shanghai Bistro and Garden, Brooklyn NY

Spicy Wontons

Spicy Wontons

About a year ago I went to see a show in Williamsburg Brooklyn and stumbled upon M Shanghai Bistro and Garden.   Last time around I was pretty impressed with both the quality of the dumplings they were turning out and with the depth of their dumpling menu.  I recently caught another show in Williamsburg and returned to M Shanghai to try some more dumplings.  This time around I tried the Spicy Wontons which come as either pork or vegetable (vegan) wontons – I went with the vegetable wontons.  It is a little dark in M Shanghai but I think the filling was comporised of spinach and mushrooms.  The wontons were really good but the spicy sauce was disappointing.  Instead of a hot chili oil sauce, it was similar to the sauce you get on cold sesame noodles, probably a mix of sesame oil (or maybe tahini) and peanut butter, and had only the barest hint of spice.

The complete dumpling menu at M Shanghai is:

Steamed or Fried Pork Dumplings
Steamed or Fried Vegetable Dumplings
Steamed or Fried Seafood Dumplings
Crispy Fried Chive and Egg Dumplings
Steamed Juicy Pork Buns
Steamed Vegetable Buns
Shanghai Vegetarian Wonton Soup
Shanghai Pork Wonton Soup
Spicy Wontons
Chicken Shu-Mai
Pork Shu Mai
Vegetable Shu-Mai
Sticky Rice Shu-Mai

I like M Shanghai but the Spicy Wontons are not their best dumpling offering.  During this trip I also tried the Sautéed Pea Leaves with Fresh Garlic which was really good.

Posted in Vegan, Vegetarian, Wontons | Leave a comment

Return to Kung Fu Steamed Little Buns Ramen, New York, NY

Shanghai Shu Mai and Shanghai Pan-Fried Pork Buns

Shanghai Shu Mai and Shanghai Pan-Fried Pork Buns

Steamed Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings and Pan Fried Pork Dumplings

Steamed Crab and Pork Soup Dumplings and Pan Fried Pork Dumplings

Kung Fu Steamed Little Buns Ramen has probably got the best name in the dumpling making game.  I previously reviewed Kung Fu back in June 2014, but one and even two reviews are not enough to cover all of the available dumpling options.  This time I tried the sticky rice shao mai, the crab meat and pork soup dumplings, the pan fried pork dumplings, and a repeat try of the Shanghai pan fried pork buns.

The sticky rice shao mai are filled with seasoned gluttonous rice, shredded pork and chopped Chinese sausage, basically a Chinese version of Southern Dirty  Rice.  This is my favorite style of shao mai and Kung Fu does a excellent, home made, version of this dumpling.  The sticky rice filling was savory with little flecks of sweet and salty sausage mixed in.  The shao mai were big and burly, at least three bites per dumpling.

The soup in the crab and pork soup dumplings was like a creamy, long simmered, pork bone Tonkotsu Ramen broth – WITH CRAB ADDED – it was amazing.  Kung Fu puts a full Chinese soup spoon worth of soup into each dumpling and there was enough crab meat mixed into the pork filling that it seemed like I could taste the ocean in these dumplings.  The wrappers were also perfect, they were thin and supple but didn’t rip open and spill the soup when I picked them up.

Considering that both the soup dumplings and the Shanghai pan fried buns contain soup, juicy seems to be the theme of this post, and the pan fried pork dumplings were some of the juiciest Guo Tie I’ve tried.   Inside the crispy fried outer layer of the wrapper the dough was thicker and fluffier than a typical Japanese gyoza style pan fried dumpling and six of these will fill you up.  The pork filling was savory, salty, sweet and juicy, so juicy they were close to being soup dumplings, they were excellent.

Posted in Buns, Chinese, Pan Fried, Pork, Shanghai, Shumai, Soup Dumpling | Leave a comment

40,000th Page View

 
Yesterday Dumpling Hunter had its 40,000th page view.  I never thought the blog would last this long and see so many visitors. Thank you all for loving dumplings and for supporting my blog. 

– Dumpling Hunter

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Japanese Oriental Restaurant, Columbus, Ohio

Japanese Oriental Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio

Japanese Oriental Restaurant in Columbus, Ohio

I recently attended a conference at Ohio State University and imagined I would spend a pleasant evening drinking at a college pub, German Bier Hall or local sports bar near campus.  Instead I discovered that the strip of bars and restaurants bordering the OSU campus was a wasteland of chain and fast casual restaurants, Buffalo Wild Wings anyone? After 45 minutes on foot hunting for anything local, unique or different I finally came across the painfully named Japanese Oriental Restaurant.  JOR is primarily a Korean restaurant with a sushi bar and handful of Japanese dishes on the kitchen menu.  The soon doo boo (spicy tofu stew) was really good with a lot of mushrooms, and seafood and pork, but alas no raw egg to slowly cook in the boiling broth. Finding this place saved my culinary evening and given the limited choices around campus, if you find yourself looking for dinner around OSU head to JOR.

Fried Pork Dumplings

Fried Pork Dumplings

JOR's awesome dipping sauce

JOR’s awesome dipping sauce

The Dumplings:  JOR sells Crab Rangoon and fried pork dumplings.  The pork dumplings are pretty standard pork and scallion Japanese-style gyoza.  They appear to deep fry their dumplings so that the wrapper is entirely crispy.  The dumplings were solid but not remarkable, the filling was juicy and savory, but a little bland. But where the dumplings excelled was as a delivery vehicle for the superior dipping sauce JOR makes.

The Dipping Sauce:  JOR serves a dipping sauce they make of soy, a little vinegar, sesame oil, sesame seeds and Korean red chili powder.  The dipping sauce was a flavor bomb – salty, sour, spicy and smoky.  The sauce completely elevated the otherwise indifferent dumplings to a great appetizer dish.

The Location: Japanese Oriental Restaurant is just east of the Columbus, Ohio, OSU campus, on North High Street between West Northwood Ave and West Oakland Ave.

Posted in Gyoza, Japanese, Korea, Mandoo, Pork | Leave a comment

Potato and Leek Pierogi Recipe

Leek and Potato Pierogi

Leek and Potato Pierogi

Pan fried leek and potato pierogi.

Pan fried leek and potato pierogi.

This is a pretty quick potato pierogi recipe that uses pre-made round Chinese  dumpling wrappers.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb New Yellow potatoes,
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1/2 cup milk or soy milk,
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine,
  • 1 pack of Chinese dumpling wrapper,
  • salt and pepper,

Directions:

  1. Chop off the tough green stalk off the leeks so you have the white and light green portion of them.  Split the leeks length wise and clean the dirt from within the layers of the leeks. Sliver the leeks and saute them until they start to caramelize.
  2. Place the potatoes in boiling water and cook until soft and can be pierced easily with a fork.
  3. Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Mix the sauteed leeks into the mashed potato.
  5. Place a dumpling wrapper flat on a plate and add a heaping table spoon of the mashed potato and leek mixture on the wrapper.  Dab water on the outer edge of the wrapper.  Lay a second wrapper on top and press the edges of the wrappers together.  Press fork tines down on the outer edges of the wrappers to seal the edges closed.
  6. Pan fry the pierogis on each side then add a little water to the pan steam them.
Posted in Pierogi, Recipe, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

National Empanada Day

Jambalya Empanadas

Jambalya Empanadas

Dammit, Friday the 8th was National Empanada Day and I missed it.  Despite some disagreement from readers, I have maintained that empanadas (and related products – Pasty, Piroshkies, and Samosas) are a form of dumpling worthy of hunting.  Empanadas have been with us for a long time, a cookbook published in 1520 in Catalan, the Libre del Coch by Ruperto de Nola, mentions empanadas filled with seafood.  It is unclear who originally created or sanctioned National Empanada Day, but the web is crowded with stories about the Best or Top empanada;  NJ.Com posted an article on the ten best Empanadas in NJ.  On of my favorites in NYC is Nuchus Empanadas.

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The Bao, New York, NY

Wontons in spicy Sauce

Wontons in spicy Sauce

The Bao is the East Village outpost of the Flushing Queens dumpling restaurant, Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao.  The Bao is a calm retreat from the hustle and energy of Saint Marks Place, the ceiling is a lattice of dark wood and the walls are roughened cement with bamboo steamer lids re-purposed as wall decorations.  The decor centerpiece is a print by the Sichuan-born avant-garde artist Yin Jun, from his series of images of children with their heads thrown back shrieking and tears spritzing from their squeezed-shut eyes.

The Dumplings:  The Bao sells the classic Xiao Long Bao varieties – pork and pork and crab – and nouveau forms including, hot chili flavor, another variety spiked with wasabi, and for desert, dumplings filled with liquid chocolate and banana.  They also sell pan fried pork dumpling, steamed vegetable dumplings, and pork and vegetable wontons in spicy sauce.  I tried the classic pork Xiao Long Bao and the wontons in spicy sauce. Continue reading

Posted in New York City, Pork, Soup Dumpling, Wontons | Leave a comment

Mom’s Dumpling and Noodle Restaurant in Amherst, MA Closes

Pan-fried mini-pork dumplings

Pan-fried mini-pork dumplings

According to Masslive.com, Mom’s Dumpling and Noodle Restaurant in Amherst MA has closed.  I enjoyed their mini-sized pan fried pork and vegetable dumplings and really liked their dipping sauce.  Mom’s House Chinese Market will continue on College Street, but it doesn’t sell dumplings from its hot counter.

It looks like a Tibetan restaurant will open in the space, so Lhasa Cafe in Northampton, MA might have some competition.  If everything works out for the new venture I will post a report on their momo.

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Vanessa’s Frozen Vegetable Whole Wheat Dumplings

Vanessa's Vegetable Whole Wheat Dumplings

Vanessa’s Vegetable Whole Wheat Dumplings

Rating:  stars_2

Vanessa’s Dumpling House is a family run, New York City institution that has been selling Beijing style dumplings and sesame breads from Elderidge Street in Chinatown since 1999.  I gave Vanessa’s a full review back in 2012 and would add to that review that the sesame bread stuffed with roast pork is excellent.

Vanessa’s also sells a variety of frozen boiled dumplings; at their Elderidge Street location they sell bags of 50 and at their 14th Street Union Square and Williamsburg, Brooklyn locations they sell bags of 30 and the varieties available differ across these locations.  I tried the Vegetable Whole Wheat Dumplings which are available at the 14th Street location.  These dumplings are filled with chopped mushrooms, carrots and bok choy and are cloaked in a green colored dough wrappers.  After a brief micro-waving the dumplings pan-fried up well and the dough got golden crispy and crunchy.  The problem I had with these dumplings was that they were way over-salted and I couldn’t taste any of the vegetables.  Vanessa’s vegetable dumplings are vegan.

Posted in Boiled, Frozen Dumpling Review, Vegan, Vegetarian | Leave a comment

Dojo, New York, NY

DojoDojo has been an Greenwich Village institution since 1973 when it was born out of the Ice Cream Connection on St. Mark’s Place.  Shortly after it’s opening Dojo introduced its Soy Burger and Tofu Hijiki Burger and its awesome carrot ginger dressing, all of which remain on the menu today.  In 1991 Dojo West opened next to the NYU campus, but in 2007 the original location, then called Dojo East, closed due to escalating rent.  The original Dojo on St Mark’s was one of the first restaurants I ate in during my first trip to New York City back in the summer of 1989.

The Dumplings:  Dojo serves house-made vegetable gyoza, house-made pork gyoza and Takoyaki.  I tried the pork gyoza and the Takoyaki. Continue reading

Posted in Gyoza, Pork, Takoyaki | Leave a comment