Chinatown Dumplings

One of the wonderful stops we had during our Binondo dump1Food Tour (see previous post) was at a dumpling restaurant. Authentic Northern Chinese cooking was on offer at this small but delicious outlet. I promised our guide I would not publish its whereabouts so you would have to take his tour to find out… but I wouldn’t have been able to tell you the name anyway because I can’t read Chinese characters and that’s all that was posted on the glass doors of the restaurant. At any rate, we had meat and vegetable dumplings poached in broth or water and served with a nice light soy and garlic sauce as well as some of the most wicked and delicious chilli sauce. In addition, we ordered fried dumplings that were also really good. First, the dough was rolled out right in front of our eyes then the stuffed and slow fried in soya bean oil. The fried dumplings were cut into four and eaten with the same sauces as the boiled dumplings.

The dough being rolled out for the fried dumplings pictured above…


Dumplings ready for poaching…


Wicked good chilli sauce, a homemade concoction that was a real hit…



15 Responses

  1. The fried dumplings look familiar but I am unable to identify the stuffing from the photo. Would the stuffing happen to be glutinous rice?

    The meat and vegetable dumpling is delicious and very popular in Malaysia. It is known as “sui kow” (Cantonese name) and differ marginally in ingredient and taste from restaurant to restaurant. But the better ones have excellent followings and are extremely popular.

  2. You may want to put a link to Ivan ManDy’s blog in your main post ( so that your readers can look him up and contact him to take the tour themselves. :)

  3. wysgal, I do have a link to Ivan on the preceding post… I have not had any “soup buns” – what are they? ssk there were two types… a pork filling and a shredded cabbage/vegetable filling.

  4. The soup buns are also known as “xiao long bao”, if you ever go to Shanghai, there’s a place that’s famous for their soup buns. They’re called that cuz you have to be a bit careful when you bite into them, very juicy to say the least. And if they’re hot, well, I’ve had 1st degree burns on my lips after ane encounter. Good though.

    Chinese dumplings or jiaozi are one of my favorite comfort foods. I miss them a lot living in Manila; the ones in Beijing were always delicious, stuffed and yes, the chilli sauce is a good complement to the savory filling. Great for those cold days. Now, I’ll really have to take part of Ivan’s walk to find that store!

  5. marketman, soup buns have cold/coagulated broth (aspic, but made with natural gelatin from meat bones) tucked into them, the seams pressed together very carefully, then cooked. when you bite into them the hot broth spills out into your mouth. totally ingenious, totally delicious! i’m sure you’ve had them before, perhaps they were called something else:)

  6. MM,

    Ive seen how xiao long paos (soup buns) are made. Its really very simple, just scoop a teaspoonfull of ground meat then put in a chunk of semi-frozen (somewhat ground) broth on top hit, wrap it out then steam. When the broth melts, thats when you have ‘soup’…yummy to the last bite!


    Please enlighten this culinary schmuck…what is aspic?

  7. Aha! I have actually tasted these soup buns. I think it was with my sister at a Chinatown restaurant in downtown Manhattan. The stuff bursts in your mouth and if you eat it too soon, you can burn the lining off your mouth! Ivan M. aspic is a sort of jelly. Hmmm, I wonder if the dumpling restaurant has these soup buns…

  8. AM definitely taking this tour, if not for the dumplings alone. They have really good xiao long bao in Peking Garden in Glorietta..the place may be in need of a face lift but some of the food is still good. Alot of my hong kong friends find them to be among the best because the skin is thin, as it should be. In october/november during shanghai hairy crab season try them with the crab and crab roe inside.. divine!
    Marketman, if the restaurant your sister took you to was Joe’s Shanghai then they are in fact xiao long bao

  9. Oh yes…the Xiao Long Paos in Shanghai are absolutely divine…the ones that Ive had here in Manila are not to far behind except for the skin (some of which are a whee to thick) for the likes of me…;o)

  10. oooh i have wonderful breakfast memories of piping hot xiao long baos from street vendors in Taiwan, yum yum.

    i have a rant about local xiao long baos, why is that most of them come to the table already deflated with the juices leaked out? even the one (won’t name names) whose supposed claim to fame is the xiao long bao, i have stepped out of very disappointed…guess I should have headed for Binondo…

  11. Try Suzhou Dumpling Xia Long Bao – no deflation i.e. juice leaking out guaranteed :)They also offer great Kuchay Dumpling too and affordable too!

    …now I wonder where MM went for those dumplings, interested to take a bite of it since Im a dumpling junkie :)

  12. I think i know where you ate, since i eat there also hehe.. anyways..a good way to eat the soup buns is to ask for a straw so you can stick it in the bun ala-ZESTO juice and sip the broth before eating the rest of the bun..yummy!

  13. In mainland China, I’ve noticed that the jiaozi (dumplings) in the north are meatier with less veggies (hardly any), than those found around central and southern China. They are commonly served with vinegar and whole garlic, instead of chili paste. The mother of my friend made divinely delicious jiaozi which I ate non-stop while I was in Hebei (northern China) had a sort of thin, grassy like herb mixed unto the pork meat which I can’t remember the name. Another extraordinary jiaozi fix that I had was around the Muslim area of Xian (Central China), where they mutton and lamb fillings.
    I’ve also tried the jiaozi in Taipei and Hongkong, but there seems to be something more extraordinary with the dumplings in China.
    Lastly, in Xiamen, jiaozi with taro root filling! Sweet dumplings finally – which I had in a monastery.

  14. Hi Marketman,
    Do you know where I can find this place? I’d love to check it out while I’m in Manila!

    Thanks alot!



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