Thursday, October 01, 2009
Soup dumplings are a magical thing. A thin skin of dough sealed at the top manages to hold a luscious ball of pork and a spoonful of heavenly soup. How do they get that liquid in there?
Sometimes after work some coworkers and I head down to Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown to gorge ourselves on soup dumplings. The trip is worth it - a lot of good food at a cheap price. An order of pork soup dumplings comes with eight and usually we make it through one order per person and often more than that. And we add a side - fried rice, General Tso's chicken or noodles. On this night, we had three orders of dumplings (for two people) and Shanghai fried flat noodles.
It takes a careful strategy to eat these dumplings. You don't want to lose any of the soup. And it could leak out at any moment - when gently lifting the dumpling out of the bamboo steamer with the tongs or placing it onto the soup spoon or in consuming it. To eat it, first, you bite off the doughiest part of the wrapper on top and then you slurp the salty broth out, probably burning your tongue in the process because these dumplings come out fresh and piping hot. Make sure any soup that slops out stays in the spoon. Then go on to bite into the meat and the dough. One by one they disappear with only a pause to eat some more noodles, which are also delicious.
Joe's Shanghai sticks to the old-fashioned Chinese restaurant way of making people share tables, so you never know who you might end up with. The place is patronized by a mix of tourist and locals. But then you get to see what other people are ordering.
These dumplings are addictive. They're comforting as the weather turns cooler. And in the warmer weather, sometimes you just need to sweat it out. It all hits the spot, filling my stomach and warming my insides. It's a good thing Joe's Shanghai is a bit of a walk to the subway because after eating here, you'll need to roll home.
Posted by kitchenette at 12:26 AM