Chicken and Basil Wontons

This wonton filling is proudly—if improbably—fashioned after san bei ji or Three Cup Chicken. This is one of the ultimate dishes from Taiwan, and one I love enough to try to twist into different forms any day. It starts with a deeply satisfying blend of soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine (the eponymous “three cups”), and it’s splashed with copious aromatics—garlic, ginger and basil. I wanted to get its zingy, herbal flavors inside a wonton for a refreshing filling based on … Read More

Philly Cheesesteak Dumplings

What doesn’t taste good in a dumpling? Good question. Another: Is there any festive occasion whose theme can’t be dumpli-fied? I say there is definitely not. So when Super Bowl LII weekend was approaching, and I realized that one of the teams playing was the Philadelphia Eagles, I decided to make dumplings with a filling a la the city’s signature hoagie. Cheesesteak Dumplings aren’t that different from Cheeseburger Dumplings, after all.

Winter Squash Wontons, Two Ways

A good gourd goes a long way. So does a package of wonton skins. Both ingredients have been known to travel afar, to unlikely juxtapositions and international cuisines. So when you’ve got a lot of them, it’s tempting to try em a number of ways. But how do you know—before you’ve tried it—whether two seemingly disparate ingredients will go together in one dish?

Curried Sweet Potato Dumplings

The All-American meal is upon us: Thanksgiving. Apple pie, turkey and cranberry sauce; mashed potatoes, gravy and stuffing. I have always been intrigued by this holiday meal because even though I was born and raised in America, none of these things were really familiar to my palate except for once a year, on Thanksgiving. (A phenomenon also discussed by Andrew of the blog Beyond Chinatown, who compiled some great interviews on the Chinese American Thanksgiving here.) But as I’ve learned through the years, … Read More

Everybody Eats Dumplings (at the 13th Annual Dumpling Festival)

Old people eat dumplings. Babies eat dumplings. Big people, little people, smart people, silly people, black, white, Asian, Hispanic—all people eat dumplings. It’s a phenomenon that I experienced early on, when my mom brought pork and chive potstickers for the elementary school “bake” sale. Everyone—teachers, parents, kids—ate them with gusto. “Dumplings are magical,” said a judge/organizer for the 13th Annual NYC Dumpling Festival last Saturday in Sara D. Roosevelt Park. That’s all there is to it.

Pepperoni Pizza Dumplings

Here’s another notch to add to a wall of recipes that includes the Cheeseburger Dumplings, Buffalo Chicken Dumplings, Broccoli Cheddar Dumplings, Apple Brown Sugar Dumplings, and the Hot Dogpling—stuff you don’t normally see in Asian pan-fried dumplings, or potstickers. Quintessential as they might seem in hindsight (my friends and I certainly feel that way after gobbling up panfuls of these pizza dumplings last night), they’re recreations of favorites in the name of dumpling fun. And fun is what’s on the menu … Read More

Buffalo Chicken Dumplings

Gong xi fa cai! It’s Chinese New Year, and for many — as in more than 25% of the world’s population — that means cooking or just eating a huge amount of home-cooked foods to celebrate. I can’t think of a better time to not eat out in New York. But the eve of the Year of the Monkey 2016 happened to coincide with another great tradition in the US (albeit less than a quarter of the world’s population): the 50th … Read More

How NYC Does Dumplings (at the NYC Dumpling Festival ’15)

New York, I still love you. I think that’s how many people felt when they saw the infamous pizza rat meme. For all the crap that goes through its gutters each day, all the crazies and critters that line its streets, there is a gleeful levity in little moments like these happening in every corner of the city all the time. And so for all the hunger that some of its people suffer, there are events like the NYC Dumpling Festival, pelting food from all … Read More

Shredded Vegetable Dumplings

There are a lot of initiatives around hunger lately, with World Peace Day just behind us and a long winter ahead, but when one happens to involve dumplings, I cannot sit idly. The New York Dumpling Festival (#dumplingfest2015) is this Saturday, and it benefits one of my favorite charities, the Food Bank for NYC. To salute this group and shout-out the event, I thought I’d go orange with this dumpling recipe, a blend of hearty vegetables from my CSA.

Broccoli Cheddar Dumplings

So maybe you consider yourself an aficionado of Chinese dumplings. Maybe you’re a sucker for hearty, all-American food, too. Maybe you’re just searching for a vegetarian dumpling filling that isn’t a mosaic of brown-green ingredients with an ultimately bland, nondescript taste (mei wei dao! if you speak Mandarin, that is). In actuality, you don’t need to hail from any of these persuasions to enjoy the unexpected delight of these dumplings — because it’s so unexpected yet delicious.

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