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Jiǎozi (餃子) - Shuǐjiǎo (水餃), Zhēngjiǎo (蒸餃), Guōtiē (鍋貼), Jiānjiǎo (煎餃), Dànjiǎo (蛋餃)

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I'm feel like really good chinese dumplings. Would appreciate any place that has a good variety and good quality? I guess the place I'm looking for is somewhere in Rockville.

Soup

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I'll leave someone else to the categorization, but here are the places in the area that I regularly get dumplings, roughly in favorite order:

China Bistro (Rockville) - medium thick homemade wrappers, a dozen different fillings, served steamed or pan-fried, I am told these are Bejing-style. My go-to dumplings.

A&J (Rockville) - "potstickers", which are unlike any I've had before - cigar shaped and about twice the diameter of a cigar; xiao long bao (soup dumplings - only ok); wontons in red hot sauce (sichuan)

Joe's Noodle (Rockville) - wontons with red hot sauce (sichuan - best example of this style I've ever had)

New Fortune (Gaithersburg) - traditional dim sum, but avoid the regular potstickers. Deep fried dumplings are handled especially deftly here, but when fresh the har gow and chive dumplings are also standouts. Place is huge - get a table near the kitchen to get things when they first come out.

Hollywood East (Wheaton) - the "unusual" dumplings such as scallop, duck, shrimp w/snow pea are what I go for first. Fried dumplings are good when hot; steamed dumplings like siu mei and har gow are inconsistent. They are pretty good when stuff is fresh, but they take too long to dump stuff that's been sitting out for a while.

* Burma Road - they have a Chinese and Burmese menu, and the Chinese side used to have the best xiao long bao in the area. The last two times I was there I could not order them - I suspect that chef has left and they are unable to do them any more.

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I am not going to participate in dissecting.

However, if I have a dumpling craving, I usually go to Yuan Fu, the Buddhist vegetarian* place in Rockville. They do a more traditional Northern Chinese style dumpling, rather than a Beijing style**. DanielK and I have a great dumpling debate about China Bistro's dumplings often - great fun and great topic.

*Buddhist vegetarian is more strict than typical vegetarian diet so must be distinguished.

**My maternal side is Northern Chinese, so yes, I must be a dumpling snob, since only these types are the only acceptable style. :-)

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My basic division/differentiator is northern-style dumplings and Cantonese... (my father is from Beijing, mother from Shanghai, then the southern region of China) I'm a big fan or northern-style.

Northern style:

  • Tony Lin's, oddly enough, has excellent spicy red oil hunan wontons (tho not much else that's worth ordering) and ok xiao long bao.
  • Tai Shan in Gaithersburg -- very good xiao long bao soup dumplings, good vegetable dumplings, plus they make something hard to find elsewhere -- steamed puffy bao filled with pork and preserved vegetables - delicious.
  • Agree re: Joe's and A&J.

Cantonese:

  • Wong Gee on weekends does the rolling carts, traditional dumplings for dim sum - served fresh and hot - har gow, sharks fin dumplings, etc
  • Hollywood East - I like the fact that they do "different" dumplings (my daughter loves the fried sweet dumplings made to look like carrots), but due to crowds and volume, they keep a lot of the food in those warming things, so some of the food is not freshly made and hot when served.

I'm getting hungry just writing about this...

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Thanks. I live close to A&J and love their dumplings as do my kids.

I think I will try to make it up to China Bistro this weekend.

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I started a "Shumai" thread here, which I may (or may not) merge into this "Chinese Dumplings" thread.

Dumplings is a German word. Shumai sounds very Mandarin to me. Can someone please sort out a definition of dumpling, shumai, and various regional types of whatever-the-heck these are, so we can properly classify them in their own correct threads?

What is a dumpling?

What is a shumai?

What is a bun?

Why is there air?

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Dumplings is a German word.

Not really. It appears to be formed from a Germanic stem and a Germanic suffix, but the derivation of the stem is uncertain. There certainly is no German "das Dumpling".

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I don’t think of shumai as dumplings, though they certainly share similarities with wontons, which are often considered dumplings (though dumplings seems to be a catchall phrase for English speakers, for a very wide variety of unrelated Asian foods).

Shumai can have any kind of filling, as long the filling consistency is sticky enough to hold everything together. The main characteristics of shumai are (1) its shape, which provides an opening for the filling on top (2) a thin skin, similar to wonton skin, and (3) is cooked by steaming.

Based on the Wikipedia entry, it looks like it started in China but spread to much of East Asia (I'm guessing by the way of Chinese emigrants in the 19th and 20th century).

The shumai I see in this country is very different from what I ate growing up. Here, the shumai fillings, even at Cantonese teahouses, have very finely minced meat and shrimp fillings that have a similar texture to fish balls. The ones I grow up eating had glutinous rice based fillings, usually with pork or shrimp and flavored with soy sauce.

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With the exception of xiaolongbao, which are really specialized shumais, buns are leavened. Chinese buns can be sweet or savory, filled or unfilled. Their main characterists are that they are cooked by steam and are leavened (typically with baking powder though occasionally with yeast).

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[Let me explain where I want to go with these "shumai" and "Chinese dumpling" threads - I'd like to ultimately be able to break apart, with confidence, various regional types of dumplings into multiple threads - just like we have one thread for "Pho" and another for "Hu Tieu" - why not have threads for Mongolian Dumplings, Indonesian Dumplings, and maybe even regional variations within those countries? "Chinese Dumplings" and perhaps even "Shumai" are a bit too generic for the level of depth I'd like to get into. It doesn't matter where the posts go now; I'll split them accordingly at a later time.]

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With the exception of xiaolongbao, which are really specialized shumais, buns are leavened. Chinese buns can be sweet or savory, filled or unfilled. Their main characterists are that they are cooked by steam and are leavened (typically with baking powder though occasionally with yeast).

Can't bao also be baked?

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Speaking of dumplings, I've just been reading the case of Eliza Fenning, who in London in 1815 was charged with attempted murder by way of arsenic-laden dumplings. The case appears as a chapter in the peerless William Roughead's book Malice Domestic. Poor Ms. Fenning was almost certainly innocent of the crime, but they went ahead and hanged her anyway.

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I see xiao long bao as true dumplings, as they are and have to be fully sealed to keep in the "soup". I basically define dumplings in a broad sense as anything fully encased in a dough of some kind: empanadas, calzones, wontons, xiao long bao, baked or steamed bao, pierogies, knishes, you get the picture. Anything with any type of opening at all ceases to be a dumpling, imho.

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What is a dog? An animal with four legs, furry, that barks, a wet nose, domesticated, tail? What if it is a hairless dog? What if it can't bark?

Like identifying the dogness of a dog, this conversation is futile. I know a dog when I see one. I know a dumpling when I eat one

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I see xiao long bao as true dumplings, as they are and have to be fully sealed to keep in the "soup". I basically define dumplings in a broad sense as anything fully encased in a dough of some kind: empanadas, calzones, wontons, xiao long bao, baked or steamed bao, pierogies, knishes, you get the picture. Anything with any type of opening at all ceases to be a dumpling, imho.

I can't agree with this. Empanadas and calzones aren't dumplings, they're pies, much like an English pork pie or a Cornish pasty. Matzoh balls are dumplings, but are not anything encased in dough.

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I can't agree with this. Empanadas and calzones aren't dumplings, they're pies, much like an English pork pie or a Cornish pasty. Matzoh balls are dumplings, but are not anything encased in dough.

But if matzoh balls are considered dumplings, then aren't gnocchi also considered dumplings?

Pies are baked in a pan of some kind, to me, and don't necessarily have to contain a dough of some kind. Shepard's pie, for instance.

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Can't bao also be baked?

Traditionally, baos were steamed because Chinese kitchens didn't have ovens. The baked barbecue pork bun is a relatively new creation from Hong Kong, with its English colonial influence.

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But if matzoh balls are considered dumplings, then aren't gnocchi also considered dumplings?

Pies are baked in a pan of some kind, to me, and don't necessarily have to contain a dough of some kind. Shepard's pie, for instance.

Gnocchi are absolutely dumplings. Pies needn't be baked in a pan. Shepherd's pie should really be called shepherds "pie".

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Jiaozi are generally crescent shaped and baozi are generally round. Shu-Mai is the cantonese name and is neither named jiao or bao. Shrimp and shark fin dumplings are named as jiao. Shrimp dumpling is hargow in Cantonese, gow is Cantonese for jiao, which is Mandarin. The steamed roast pork bun is called Char siu bao. Soup dumplings are xiao Lon bao.

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Jiaozi are generally crescent shaped and baozi are generally round. Shu-Mai is the cantonese name and is neither named jiao or bao. Shrimp and shark fin dumplings are named as jiao. Shrimp dumpling is hargow in Cantonese, gow is Cantonese for jiao, which is Mandarin. The steamed roast pork bun is called Char siu bao. Soup dumplings are xiao Lon bao.

Well that clears things right up :lol:

Is Jiaozi a related word to Gyoza?

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Like identifying the dogness of a dog, this conversation is futile. I know a dog when I see one. I know a dumpling when I eat one.

Lol - this made me laugh. I don't really want to participate in this thread, but I do like researching and learning more, so I found some sites that break things down further.

The only I know is that Shepard's pie isn't a pie - agree with The Hersch - at least per my British friends. Eric - I think you are narrowing jiao definition by a lot - there are danjiao, yutoujiao (fried taro dumplings), xianshuijiao (salt water dumpling -transliterated but is the fried dumpling at dim sum) and zongzi too.

Chinese Food and Culinary Art (China History Forum - also run by Invision!)

Flavor & Fortune's Dumpling History Part I and Part II. <-- This reminds me of the time my family went to Xian. There is a famous restaurant known for its hundreds of dumpling styles. It was a tasting menu of dumplings and it was grand. These articles also make me miss tangbaos. :-(

(Where the mantou conversation? ;-) )

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All I know, if it's wrapped in pastry and cooked in liquid (either by simmering or steaming), that's a dumpling of some variety. If it is wrapped in pastry and cooked in dry heat (empanada, saltena, calzone, turnover), that's not a dumpling.

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I’ve heard of fried buns (shunjianbao is the most delicious variation), but not baked buns. In China, at least, if they’re baked then they’re either (bread) or bin (flatbread).

Defining the range of East Asian dumplings is pretty impossible. Dumpling is just a word used by Westerners to describe a huge range of fabricated foods in a dozen countries.

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