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Pennsylvania Dumplings

teardrop shaped dumplings at "China King"

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Restaurants & Bars

teardrop shaped dumplings at "China King"

joypirate | Mar 22, 2005 12:08 PM

There’s a newish place in Chinatown in the old spot of Fu Zhou at 922 Arch Street, it’s called, “China King” and so far it’s decent. I’m most intrigued by these two soups they have – Fuzian style I believe – with these teardrop-shaped dumplings that I’ve never seen before. They’re both pretty simply called “soup with dumpling (sweet)” and “soup with dumpling (salty)”. Let me back up a bit and say that the first time I went in here there were about 3 Chinese women sitting around a table making fresh dumplings. The sign in the window said “Sichuan” so I asked if they had anything w/ “Ma La” (the numbing spiciness of the little Sichuan Peppercorn) and they said no, but the chef could whip something up. He made some noodles w/shrimp w/spicy ma la goodness incorporated throughout. Very tasty but not something that was anywhere on the menu. I vowed though, that next time I came, I would order some of those dumplings. Foolishly, my next time I ordered the wonton soup and the pan fried dumplings, thinking I’d get some of these homemade little guys (and seeing nothing else on the menu w/dumplings). Rats! They had a SEPARATE menu with the curious little homemade guys on it, as I concluded after my second visit (wonton soup and pan fried dumplings were fine, soup was especially good, very flavorful broth and homemade wontons that were falling apart a bit). So, I returned a third time and ordered correctly, only to see that they were out of the “soup with dumpling (salty)” so I had to settle for the “soup with dumpling (sweet)”. I decided to make that a dessert and ordered myself Fu Zhou duck as an entrée. Fu Zhou sauce for the duck was amazing, duck was marinated very well, but the duck pieces themselves were overdone and a bit too bony. I expect a fair amount of bones when I’m eating duck, but I also expect some meat, no big pieces of ducky deliciousness here. The soup with sweet dumplings was truly one of the more interesting things I’ve ever eaten. There really isn’t a broth so much as hot water. The dumplings have a standard doughy exterior and a sweet, almost red bean though crystal-like interior. The hot exterior contrasted with the sweet interior is pretty interesting. Don’t know if I’m a convert, but definitely worth trying once. I still haven’t tried the salty ones and I do intend to go back.

If anyone can ID those dumplings I'd appreciate it, I've never seen them before.

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