Boiled Dumplings, or 水餃, at the Yang Sheng Restaurant in Ottawa
The Yang Sheng Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown was already an older establishment when I first visited over twenty years ago, and it is just a little dingy and rundown inside. I have had a quite a few meals there since that first visit, mostly Dim Sim specialties, and some were good, while others were considerably less so. Their Boiled Dumplings, though not especially pretty, were actually very nice and tasty.
This Dim Sum specialty was identified on the table menu as ‘Poached Pork Dumplings’ in English, and 鮮肉水餃 (xiān ròu shuǐjiǎo) in Chinese characters. The first two characters, 鮮肉, simply translate as ‘fresh meat’, but in Chinese, unless a specific animal is identified, ‘meat’ means Pork by default. The last two characters, 水餃, translates as ‘water dumplings’, with the ‘water’ part being understood to mean that the dumplings are boiled.
The dumpling dough was a simple wheat flour dough prepared in the same way as in my post on Basic Dumpling Wrapper Dough. Here the wrapper was thin, nicely al dente, and, since the dumplings were boiled, likely prepared with cold water rather than hot to form the dough.
The form of the dumplings wasn’t in the typical Jiaozi fold with a nicely pleated edge, rather they were just folded over the filling and pressed together and, rather in the same fashion as some simple soup Wontons. They accordingly weren’t quite as attractive as other versions of 水餃, but the form certainly didn’t impact the taste.
The filling was very finely ground pork that was lightly seasoned with nothing more than White Pepper, and just a little of the white section of scallion finely minced. The texture of the pork was very pleasant, with a slight ‘springy’ quality, and it was fatty enough to make the inside of the dumpling delightfully juicy and tender. Soy Sauce was offered for dipping, but I opted for just a touch of Sriracha Sauce from the bottle on the table, and I found the overall effect to be delicious.