As a Vancouverite and a self proclaimed ‘foodie’, I’ve had my fair share of dumplings. But I always thought they all tasted pretty much the same, especially the ones you buy frozen and make at home. Well, not anymore. A couple of weeks ago, a local entrepreneur opened my eyes with his homemade, locally sourced, freshly frozen dumplings.
His name is Matthew and he calls himself “The Dumpling King”. He has lived in both China and Taiwan, recreating and perfecting dumplings along the way, and finally returned to Vancouver to start a frozen dumpling delivery service.
He gave me three of his flavours to try. The first one is his Five Spice Vegetarian dumplings which are made with traditional five spice blend, napa cabbage, wood ear mushroom, white shiitake mushrooms, garlic, rice vermicelli, carrot, Zhenjiang vinegar, and dark mushroom soy.
The second one is his Taiwanese Style Guo Tie dumplings. Shaped differently than the ones most people are accustomed to, I actually found these dumplings to be tastier than the rest because of its elongated bottom part. It’s made with ground 50/50 Chinatown Pork Belly, grated ginger, Taiwanese rice wine, Shaoxing wine, Taiwanese mushroom salt, light premium soy, white shiitake, wood ear, garlic chives.
Last but not least is the Johnnie Walker Pork Belly & Scallion dumplings. And…you read correctly. 🙂 Johnnie Walker Black Label to be exact. He uses it in each of the dumplings and I actually LOVED the flavour of it mixed in with the ground meat. This dumpling is made with fresh ground 50/50 Chinatown Pork Belly, lots of scallions, premium dark soy, Taiwanese mushroom salt, Shaoxing wine, red sugar, and red vinegar.
Look at these beautiful little morsels. It’s like a perfectly wrapped present.
All of these dumplings are meant to be pan fried and thats exactly what I did when I gave them a try. The first thing I noticed was how thin the skin was. Having the skin be so translucent and delicate really made the filling stand out more.
I tried to make the ‘crisp skirt‘ that develops on the bottom of the dumplings and I think I did pretty well! The secret? Mix a little corn starch in the water used to steam the dumplings and it’ll create a bit of a crispy lattice layer on the bottom of the pan. Those crispy bits are….absolutely scrumptious.
Boo yah! It does not get better than this.
These dumplings were a real treat and I am so glad to have tried them. You will never know how much better locally sourced, hand made dumplings taste until you’ve tried these from The Dumpling King. My personal recommendations: Johnnie Walker Pork Belly dumplings or the Taiwanese Guo Tie dumplings. They both taste phenomenal.
To get your hands on these, all you have to do is text your order via the #DumplingHotline: 778-227-0083. They’re $45 for 50 dumplings, and $85 for 100 dumplings. He can deliver it to your doorstep for a $15 charge (Vancouver only) or you can pick it up at his commissary in Chinatown. Check out his website and instagram here.
Service Rating: N/A
Food Rating: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5/5