Deep-Fried Lobster Dumplings
I normally like to keep track of where I eat different dishes, but this time, my usual note-keeping discipline deserted me and I cannot recall where I was served the dish you see above. I think, though I am not certain that it was in Edmonton, somewhere, but it might easily have been in Vancouver’s Chinatown as well. In any event, while I was rather expecting be disappointed when I ordered these Deep-Fried Lobster Dumplings, they turned out to be excellent.
The dumplings pictured above appeared on the menu as 香菜龍蝦角. The third and fourth characters translate as ‘Dragon Shrimp’, which is the prettily poetic name for Shrimp. I misread the first two characters as ‘Celery’ when I saw them on the menu, and it was only as the dish was arriving that I finally recognized them as meaning ‘Cilantro’, which I don’t like. Happily, it turned out that none had actually been included (nor Celery, for that matter).
The shape and make-up of the dumplings was a bit surprising. If you look, you can see that each dumpling was cut in half before serving, except that on the right, one looks more or less whole and has the typical shape of shape of Pot-stickers, or steamed dumplings that are a type of ‘jiǎo’ (饺). In this case, the final character identifies these dumplings as 角 which is pronounced the same way, but generally refers to a different type of dumpling, commonly Ham Sui Gok. In any event, the wrappers on these Deep-Fried Lobster Dumplings was delightfully light and crisp.
What really impressed me about this dish was the generous filling. I mentioned above that I was half-expecting to be disappointed, and, indeed, I thought there was a chance I might actually get something other than lobster as I have been fobbed off this way with fake crab-sticks standing in for real crab meat. As it turned out, not only was there real lobster in these dumplings, the amount was more than one might normally expect and the flesh was juicy, sweet, and succulent.
The only thing I wasn’t crazy about was the dipping sauce that was supplied. It was actually just mayonnaise and, while this wasn’t horrible, exactly, I didn’t think it was a good choice and would have preferred something mildly acidic with a little ginger in it. Still, that was only a minor quibble and I really though these Deep-Fried Lobster Dumplings were excellent.