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Dumplings

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ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 1998 | By Deborah Scoblionkov, FOR THE INQUIRER
Aim your Internet search engine at "dumplings" and you'll come up with hundreds of recipes from all over the world. You also may discover a strong preference by sophisticated computer users for Chinese dumplings, a fact noted in the New Hacker's Dictionary\ (http://www.netmeg.net/jargon/terms/o/orientalfood.html): "Hackers display an intense tropism toward Oriental cuisine, especially Chinese, and especially of the spicier varieties such as Szechuan and Hunan. This phenomenon . . . has never been satisfactorily explained, but is sufficiently intense that one can assume the target of a hackish dinner expedition to be the best local Chinese place and be right at least three times out of four.
FOOD
January 14, 1987 | By Andrew Schloss, Special to The Inquirer
Perhaps the name is the problem. Dumpling sounds so dense, like something better thrown out than eaten - a culinary cannonball ready to pack on unwanted pounds. But a successful dumpling is just the opposite: a puff of batter that virtually evaporates on the palate before it can be swallowed, and one of the most versatile preparations in all of cooking. Dumplings are a part of every cuisine - pot stickers in China, gnocchi in Italy, quenelles in France, spaetzel along the Danube.
NEWS
March 20, 2015
The truck: The dumpling has landed, folks. The missing link in Philly's food-truck scene. Mobile. Boiled. Fried. Go traditional or branch out with a specialty. Also, there are spring rolls. Welcome to Dump-N-Roll, the sandwich-n-taco alternative. Taste test: Peter Tong, who has been cooking for about 10 years, including stints at Susanna Foo and Morimoto, agreed to whip up some dumplings for us yesterday at the mobile-food commissary in Brewerytown. We were not disappointed.
FOOD
February 6, 1991 | By Ethel G. Hofman, Special to The Inquirer
It's a fact. Times are tough and money is so tight that even supper from the local fast-food place makes a hefty dent in the budget. So what's the answer? Eating well on that shrinking dollar means cooking at home. And home cooking is in - just ask career couples, single people (young and old) or young families. They'll agree that dining even in a neighborhood spot is just too expensive to make it a habit. Now we're discovering that cooking is therapeutic and sensually satisfying.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 25, 1998 | By Gerald Etter, INQUIRER FOOD EDITOR
The menu had it as dumpling soup, so we were surprised when our server arrived with a huge bowl filled with cloud-white balls of dough resting in what appeared to be simply water. A quick taste proved that it was just that. Plain water. "[There's] no flavor outside of dumplings," our waitress explained in a matter-of-fact manner. "Flavor is just inside dumplings. " We couldn't argue with her. The water had no savory qualities, but the dumplings, stuffed with coarse-ground meat, were super palatable with a very interesting soft-chewy quality.
NEWS
February 26, 1996 | By Justin Pritchard, INQUIRER CORRESPONDENT
The room was awhirl with frolicking children chirping gaily, the magenta, green and purple ribbons in their hands along for their wild romp of delight. Amid the random blizzard of color bobbed Chrissy Nesbitt, 12, her two ribbons tracing synchronous circles and figure eights. "It's supposed to look very graceful and flowing," she said, eyeing a boy entangled in his streamer. Over the last year, Chrissy has learned Chinese arts - including the ribbon dance - at the Main Line Chinese School in Radnor.
NEWS
February 6, 2008 | By Craig LaBan, INQUIRER RESTAURANT CRITIC
Lakeside Chinese Deli was the kind of restaurant that often looked closed even when it was, in fact, still open. So I figured reports of its demise must have been mistaken. The old hole punched into its sign and the frequently half-drawn window blinds were simply the ideal camouflage from Chinatown tourists who weren't adventurous enough to pass through its unassuming door. For those that did, Lakeside was the ultimate joint. It was home to some of the best hand-crafted dim sum I've ever eaten.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 2, 1998 | By Deborah Scoblionkov, FOR THE INQUIRER
"Name me a culture that doesn't make dumplings, and I'll show you a people who don't know how to boil water," declared my friend, the dumpling aficionado. "Every culture has its dumpling. " The dumpling is the universal comfort food: soft and spongy, it's the primal pillow of the culinary world. The basic dumpling recipe is nothing more than flour, water and a pinch of salt, simmered in a liquid until cooked. Throughout the centuries, men and women have improved upon this simple formula, adding shortening, eggs, baking soda and seasonings.
FOOD
May 22, 2015
There's ironic turnabout in the recent arrival of New York City's Cantonese dim sum classic, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, in a former hardware space on 13th Street. Philly's Chinatown, founded in 1880, was dominated by Cantonese flavors until just the last decade, when menus began veering toward a more diverse menu of regional flavors from Sichuan, Xi'an, and Shanghai, whose "soup dumplings" ( xiao long bao ) are all the rage at Dim Sum Garden and elsewhere. Now Wilson Tang of Nom Wah hopes to sway local diners back to those Cantonese roots: "I want to get peoples' minds away from xiao long baos . " Nom Wah's own lackluster soup dumplings (thick-skinned yet frustratingly fragile)
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
RESTAURANTS Banana Leaf 1009 Arch St., 215-592-8288; bananaleafphilly.com This Penang spin-off has overtaken the original as my favorite Chinatown Malaysian due to consistency and vivid flavors. Don't miss the delicate roti canai pancakes with chicken curry, spot-on satay, steamed poh piah jicama spring rolls, crispy whole fish in tangy Thai sauce, fried squid with funky "special sauce," or the richly curried beef rendang. Bar-Ly 101 N. 11th St., 215-922-2688; bar-ly.com Come here to drink and watch a game more than to eat. But Chinatown's first craft-beer bar has 60 taps with a generally high-quality lineup (Great Lakes, Unibroue, Staropramen)
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ARTICLES BY DATE
FOOD
May 22, 2015
There's ironic turnabout in the recent arrival of New York City's Cantonese dim sum classic, Nom Wah Tea Parlor, in a former hardware space on 13th Street. Philly's Chinatown, founded in 1880, was dominated by Cantonese flavors until just the last decade, when menus began veering toward a more diverse menu of regional flavors from Sichuan, Xi'an, and Shanghai, whose "soup dumplings" ( xiao long bao ) are all the rage at Dim Sum Garden and elsewhere. Now Wilson Tang of Nom Wah hopes to sway local diners back to those Cantonese roots: "I want to get peoples' minds away from xiao long baos . " Nom Wah's own lackluster soup dumplings (thick-skinned yet frustratingly fragile)
NEWS
March 20, 2015
The truck: The dumpling has landed, folks. The missing link in Philly's food-truck scene. Mobile. Boiled. Fried. Go traditional or branch out with a specialty. Also, there are spring rolls. Welcome to Dump-N-Roll, the sandwich-n-taco alternative. Taste test: Peter Tong, who has been cooking for about 10 years, including stints at Susanna Foo and Morimoto, agreed to whip up some dumplings for us yesterday at the mobile-food commissary in Brewerytown. We were not disappointed.
NEWS
January 12, 2014 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
RESTAURANTS Banana Leaf 1009 Arch St., 215-592-8288; bananaleafphilly.com This Penang spin-off has overtaken the original as my favorite Chinatown Malaysian due to consistency and vivid flavors. Don't miss the delicate roti canai pancakes with chicken curry, spot-on satay, steamed poh piah jicama spring rolls, crispy whole fish in tangy Thai sauce, fried squid with funky "special sauce," or the richly curried beef rendang. Bar-Ly 101 N. 11th St., 215-922-2688; bar-ly.com Come here to drink and watch a game more than to eat. But Chinatown's first craft-beer bar has 60 taps with a generally high-quality lineup (Great Lakes, Unibroue, Staropramen)
ENTERTAINMENT
July 27, 2013 | Craig LaBan, Restaurant Critic
A version of this review appeared in the Shore Dining Guide. Revel survived the hurricane but has been under water of a different sort - a bankruptcy it emerged from in May. Of course I knew Revel had issues last year when, during my review of the new casino's restaurants, I shook my head at the lack of an Asian noodle bar. Coincidence that a noodle bar, Yuboka, was one of the first new orders of business? I think not. It may surprise some that Jose Garces has been tapped to run it. But he does have some Asian experience with Chifa, and the sectioned-off platform of raised counter seats, set between the gambling floor and Amada, is already a bustling hub of noodle-slurping and steamer-basket feasts.
FOOD
December 6, 2012
Konstantinos Pitsillides isn't exaggerating when he calls the plump dumplings known as manti a "sensitive issue. " Just ask the diner of Turkish descent who picked a fight with the Kanella chef/owner one recent evening. The diner asked "how dare I make manti?" said the Cypriot chef, culturally conscious of the dish thanks to Turkey's invasion and occupation of part of his Mediterranean island homeland. "I asked, 'Did you like it?' He said it's one of the best he's ever had. " Turks are prideful about manti in part because it can be traced to the Ottoman Empire, but its populist deliciousness has universal appeal.
FOOD
November 23, 2011
Chinatown's Michael Chow and his Sang Kee noodle machine is in rapid suburban expansion mod, branching out simultaneously into Cherry Hill (where he's co-owner) and Newtown Square where he's just consulting). Crafted in the modern spirit of his successful Wynnewood locale, the Cherry Hill space is a sleek but tiny 45-seat BYO with no reservations. But a recent weekend meal showed why there are steady lines already. South Jersey has few Chinese kitchens that can match Sang Kee for its fresh, affordable, authentic Hong Kong flavors.
FOOD
July 14, 2011
Here is an excerpt from Craig LaBan's online chat: C.L.: Anyone visit the Vendy awards in the Piazza Sunday? We've got video of the event, shot by one of our intrepid interns, Greg Thomas (Philly.com/vendys). I was tickled to see that one of our veteran food trucks, Gigi's, was the Vendy Cup winner, not one of the nouveau fusion additions. It would have been so easy for Guapos Tacos to take that prize, but ... I just had a FAN-TASTIC Caribbean lunch from Gigi's.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 21, 2011
You've probably heard by now that some folks believe the apocalypse will get under way Saturday evening, with the four horsemen already clip-clopping up to the starting gate and the seven-headed beast tugging at the leash. Chances are, most of you aren't buying it. Suit yourself, but it never hurts to be prepared. So, in case the end is at hand, here are a few recommendations for music, TV shows, movies, meals, poems, and books (short ones, natch) you might want to sample before time runs out. And if the sun comes up tomorrow, no harm done.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2010 | By Rick Nichols, Inquirer Columnist
I see in the listings in the calendar of months in my copy of The Dumpling: A Seasonal Guide that, along with bacon and sage roly-poly, and always-popular beef-stuffed plantain balls in a cassava-corn soup, the cheddar cheese and potato pierogi (and its lentil-onion version of Polish parentage) gets a shout-out under October. This, it turns out, fits neatly with the trajectory of my latest pierogi safari, begun this summer at Silk City Diner, the hipster hangout on Spring Garden Street, where a now-departed chef turned me on to a short-rib-stuffed pocket, and a secret of his frugal Polish grandmother: Use the water the potatoes cook in for the pierogi dough.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 11, 2010 | By Craig LaBan, Inquirer Restaurant Critic
It's easy to get distracted by the sideline pursuits of Michael Schulson's culinary career, from hosting B-list TV food shows such as TLC's Pantry Raid and Ultimate Cake-Off to a spice-company endorsement and his mail-order line of frozen dumplings. But beyond the poster-boy tousled hair and brand-building ambitions, Schulson has also proven to be a cook with legitimate skills, an Asian fusion ace as adept at truffling edamame dumplings as he is at tracking the spotlight.
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