Har Gow (蝦餃) at Chu Shing

Har Gow (蝦餃) at the Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa

Chu Shing is one of my favorite places for Dim Sum in Ottawa. The only thing I don’t like about the place is that I have a preference for ordering from a menu rather than push-cart service and they employ the latter. Still, their Dim Sum selections are almost always good, and their Har Gow, on this occasion, though not the prettiest I have ever had were absolutely delicious.

Read More →

Chiu Chow Fun Gor at Yang Sheng

Chiu Chow Fun Gor at the Yang Sheng Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown

The Yang Sheng Restaurant on Somerset Street in Ottawa’s Chinatown was already a pretty old restaurant in that neighborhood, even when I made my very first visit there some 20 years ago. It is a little dingy and not well-kept inside but they have always managed to serve me decent dishes, including various Dim Sum specialties. I forget exactly how the dumplings you see pictured above were named on their menu, but they were clearly the Dim Sum favorite 潮洲粉粿, or Chiu Chow Fun Gor. They weren’t the absolute best I have ever had, but they were still a fairly decent rendering of the classic dish.

Read More →

Ham Sui Gok (鹹水角) at Chu Shing

Ham Sui Gok (鹹水角) at the Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa

The Chu Shing Restaurant in Ottawa’s Chinatown is one of my favorite spots for Dim Sum when visiting the capital. Usually, the dishes are top-notch, but there are occasional failures. The 鹹水角, or ‘Ham Sui Gok’ I was served on this particular occasion were definitely not up to par.

Read More →

Chiu Chow Fun Gor at Urban China

Chiu Chow Fun Gor at the Urban China Restaurant in Edmonton

I had these dumplings at the Urban China Restaurant in Edmonton, Alberta, where they appeared on the menu as 潮洲蒸粉粿. They were a fairly standard representation of the classic Dim Sum specialty from the town of Chaozhou (Chiu Chow) and were pretty well executed in general. The filling was a bit bland but they were very nice otherwise.

Read More →

Har Gow (蝦餃) at Le Piment Rouge

Har Gow (蝦餃) at Le Piment Rouge in Montreal

The palatial surroundings in the now defunct restaurant once known as Le Piment Rouge suggested something a good deal better than the meal I was served on my sole visit to the place. The best of the few dishes I had barely rose to the level of mediocre, while their ‘Steamed dumplings with shrimp’, or Har Gow, were, despite their deceptively pretty appearance, absolutely atrocious.

Read More →

Har Gow at Fan's Restaurant

Har Gow at Fan’s Restaurant in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Har Gow are used by many Yum Cha afficionados as a benchmark, or standard, for assessing the skills of a Dim Sum kitchen. Fan’s Restaurant in Dartmouth serves Dim Sum on Saturdays and Sundays at lunch time, and mostly, what they offer is pretty good. Unfortunately, even a cursory glance at their Har Gow suggested poor quality and the actual experience only confirmed it.

Read More →

Simple Pork Dumplings
Simple Pork Dumplings

These Simple Pork Dumplings are perfect for those beginners to dumpling cookery who would like to try their hand at making Pot-Sticker Dumplings entirely from scratch, but who are not quite ready enough to tackle any difficult folding techniques with the wrappers. If you follow along here, you can learn a Chinese trick or two for preparing a delicious dumpling filling, as well as the easiest way to make and roll a home-made dumpling dough.

Read More →

Chiu Chow Fun Gor at Fan's

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.

Read More →

Ginger Beef Bean-Curd Roll
Ginger Beef Bean-Curd Roll

Bean-Curd Roll with Beef at the Palais Imperial in Ottawa

The name for this Dim Sum offering at the Palais Imperial in Ottawa appeared on the menu as ‘Ginger Beef Dumpling’ in English. The Chinese characters amplify this to read ‘Ginger Scallion Beef Dumpling’, indicating that scallion is included as well (although, in this case, it was as a steaming ‘companion’ ingredient, rather than as an addition to the filling. What is a bit curious, though, is that the item is identified as a dumpling (餃), and not as a ‘roll’ (卷), which would be more common when dealing with a bean-curd skin (tofu-skin) wrapper as is the case with this particular offering.

Read More →

Homemade Xiaolongbao - 小笼包
Homemade Xiaolongbao – 小笼包

 The Chinese Soup Dumpling Secret

If you have ever tried any of the Chinese delicacies generally known as ‘soup-dumplings’ or their (often) larger, and well-known cousins, Xiaolongbao, you have probably enjoyed the way that the steaming, liquid content squirts in your mouth when you bite into them. Quite possibly, it also occurred to you to wonder how on earth the cook gets the delicious broth into the dumplings in the first place…

Not long ago, when I featured the technique for making a Basic Chinese Pork Stock, I hinted at this ancient Chinese secret. If you haven’t guessed the answer yet, read on…


Read More →