Chiu Chow Fun Gor at Fan’s Restaurant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
This Dim Sum specialty was described on the menu as ‘Dumpling Diced Meat w/ Peanut’, but the Chinese character listing identified it as the classic 潮洲粉粿 (Cháozhōu fěn guǒ). The filling was very nice, although containing fewer ingredients than other versions, but the wrappers were not that good at all.
These particular dumplings are a specialty of Chaozhou in China’s Guangdong Province, where they are known by the Cantonese rendering of ‘Chiu Chow Fun Gor’, or other spelling variant. Like Har Gow, they have a wrapper made from a combination of starches, rather than glutinous flours, these being Wheat starch, Tapioca, and either Cornstarch or Potato Starch. This combination yields a translucent wrapper once it is cooked, and the dumplings are usually formed as thin-skinned flat half-moons, or the pleated Jiaozi style like the ones made at Fan’s and pictured above.
Unfortunately, if you look at the wrappers in the above picture with a critical eye, you can see that they are not particularly translucent or especially thin. You can just make out the filling as a slightly darker area in the middle of the Fun Gor, but most of the wrapper is opaquely white and has a very ‘doughy’ look. Sadly, they had a very ‘doughy’ texture when bitten in to as well and the stodgy chewiness of it was not very pleasing.
You can get Vegetarian style of Chiu Chow Fun Gor occasionally, but the most common filling ingredients include Ground Pork, Peanuts, and Garlic Chives or Scallion. Dried, or fresh Shrimp are sometimes included, as are Chinese Black Mushrooms (Shiitake), Water Chestnuts, and even Salted Radish.
The filling at Fan’s was fairly simple and included both Peanuts and Pork, although, in this case, it rather seemed as though the Pork was finely diced rather than ground. There was a little bit of Scallion, but the only other solid ingredient was diced, reconstituted, Black Mushroom. There was a slight sweetness to the mix (there may have been a dash of Oyster Sauce in there), and it had good combination of umami flavors, as well as a very pleasant texture. If it were not for the poor job on the wrappers, these would have been excellent.