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Review: Ticket To Korea, Setiawalk Puchong

Setiawalk Puchong has seen better days. Once the hottest hangout spot in Puchong, the place has been on a decline, especially in the last few years. There aren’t many restaurants left, but one that has been around since the mall’s inception is Ticket to Korea. Despite having been to Setiawalk many times, I have never thought to try them out — so a recent lunch date with my friend H was as good a time as any.

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The restaurant’s interior is brightly lit by natural sunlight and the space feels cosy and welcoming. A young couple whom I assume to be the owners greeted us enthusiastically, and we were quickly given menus. Aside from authentic Korean fare the likes of bulgogi and pajeon (pancake), diners will also find popular fusion dishes like Korean-style pork ribs with cheese, hot plate cheesy corn, and kimchi quesadilla.

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H ordered a bibimbap bowl, which came in a huge portion — I think it was good enough for two small eaters. It was beautifully presented, with generous heapings of vegetables, grilled pork belly, shredded cucumber, carrots and seaweed, topped off with a fried egg. It was delicious; the sweet and savoury sauce brought everything together really well.

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Despite the sweltering heat outside, I went for the Kimchi Ramen (because I’m masochist that way lol).

The bowl looked fiery red when it came to the table; there were soft slices of tofu swimming within, and the soup’s colour contrasted nicely with the enoki mushrooms and spring onion garnish on top. The soup was the bomb. Some places cut corners and add more kimchi paste, which means you get watery, ‘flavoured’ soup — but with this, I could really taste the texture of fibrous, blended vegetables, and there was a good amount of kimchi within as well. It was thick and sour, perfect for whetting the appetite, and the slight viscosity meant that the soup clung to each strand of ramyeon for maximum flavour. Did I also mention that the pork slices were super tender and had a great ratio of lean and fat?

The owners kept popping by to our table to check if I was okay with the heat. The soup was rather spicy, but hey — what’s pleasure without a bit of pain? *wink wink

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To wash everything down, a cold glass of coffee with condensed milk.
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We had a nice surprise at the end, compliments of the house — ice cream, served on a cold stone plate. They were drizzled over with what tasted like honey, and cookie shavings. Definitely a sweet end to a satisfying meal.

There are lots of good things to say about our dining experience here: the service was impeccable, the dishes that we tried tasted excellent, and prices were not too steep (our meal for two came up to about RM60). I wouldn’t mind a return visit !

PS: They have another branch at Tropicana Avenue, PJ.

TICKET TO KOREA

C-8-1, Block C, Setiawalk, Persiaran Wawasan, Jalan Wawasan 1/1, Taman Wawasan, 47160 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 12PM – 11PM (daily)

facebook.com/tickettokoreafinedining

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This Might Just Be The Best Halal Ramen in Malaysia: Ramen Seirock-Ya, IOI Mall Puchong

Tonkotsu has always been my favourite type of ramen. I mean, what can compare to a bowl of chewy, al-dente noodles, swimming in a rich, savoury pork broth?

The answer: Tori-Paitan, aka Chicken ramen.

Up until recently, I had not heard of this type of ramen – but apparently it’s quite popular in many parts of Japan, especially Osaka, where it is said to originate from. Just like tonkotsu, the broth is simmered for hours with chicken bones and meat, until it’s bursting with umami flavour.

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Now, Malaysians can also indulge in this scrumptious fare at Ramen Seirock-Ya, a ramen restaurant specialising in Tori-Paitan. Founded in Tsukuba City in 2009, the brand has been expanding to parts of Southeast Asia with a large Muslim demographic, including Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s excellent news for our Muslim friends out there who love ramen (which is normally made with pork), since the brand is halal-certified by JAKIM.

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The outlet at IOI Mall Puchong is spacious and comfortable. You check off the items you want on a chit, make payment at the counter, and they’ll send the food to your table.
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The signature is, of course, their Tori-Paitan ramen, which comes in several variants including Extreme (the must-try), Shoyu (soy-sauce based), Shio (salt-based) and Miso. You can also decide if you want the basic, or with additional egg or chicken slices. The noodles come with a slice of lemon – the servers recommend savouring the original flavour of the broth first, before adding the lemon, which gives it a slightly different taste.

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The noodles are good – well cooked, al dente and springy – but the broth is the real star here. After being boiled for hours, the flavour of the meat is condensed into the lip-smacking broth, and the taste is further accentuated by fried shallots and spring onions. Despite the amount of oil swimming on the surface, it does not taste greasy at all.

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On another visit, I ordered a plate of pan-fried chicken gyoza. They were crispy and slightly brown on the outside, and juicy and moist on the inside with lots of vegetables – no complaints here.

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Order a side of fried chicken karaage – expertly marinated and deep fried to golden perfection – before washing down your meal with a cold (or warm) glass of green tea.

If you’re not keen on the signature, also on the menu are items like Tan-Tan Men (a Japanese take on Chinese Sichuan dan dan mian), Tsukemen (cold noodles dipped in hot soup), Japanese curry rice, katsu don and chahan (fried rice) among others. Prices are actually more affordable than my favourite ramen place (which, sadly, has become so popular now that it’s impossible to dine-in without at least a 45-minute wait), ranging around RM18 – RM30 for most mains.

RAMEN SEIROCK-YA (IOI MALL PUCHONG)

1F Food Street, IOI Mall Puchong, Bandar Puchong Jaya, Puchong, Selangor
Tel: +603 5882 1262
Business Hours: 10AM – 10PM (last order 9.30PM)

HALAL

seirock-ya.com.my

*Opinions here are my own. Feel free to agree/disagree with mtaste buds.

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Brunch & Japanese Fare @ Buranchi, Bandar Puteri Puchong

I’ve driven past Buranchi a couple of times before, but never tried it until recently. Suprisingly, it was the Moo who suggested we grab lunch there (she isn’t keen on dining out because of the high number of coronavirus cases here in Selangor).

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Buranchi is Japanese for brunch, a fitting name for a cafe that specialises in all-day breakfasts and Japanese and Western fusion cuisine. Expect items such as sausage puffs, omu curry rice, yakiniku don, potato salad, ramen and udon. They also offer a selection of coffee and cakes.

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The interior is bright and cheerful, and you’ll find cute touches like these Japanese daruma dolls all around the premises.

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Honey Coffee (RM9) for a caffeine boost.

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Moo’s Chazuke (RM13) had exquisite presentation.

Chazuke comes from the Japanese ocha (tea) and zuke (to submerge), and usually comprises rice topped with various condiments such as pickled vegetables and wasabi, and a dashi/tea/broth that is poured over the rice. The one at Buranchi is served with a side of grilled saba (mackerel). It’s a simple meal that is not too heavy, which is probably why it’s popular with the ladies.

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I prefer robust flavours, so I got the Tonkatsu Ramen (RM17), which is one of the cafe’s specialties.

I was very impressed with the quality of the ramen. The noodles were al dente, and it was served with slices of crunchy bamboo shoots, ajitsuke tamago (half-boiled egg) and nori (seaweed). The star was definitely the pork bone soup, which was rich, savoury and full of porky goodness (I emptied the bowl, lol). While I remain devoted to Menya Shishi Do, I think Buranchi’s version is not bad at all for its price, especially if you’re stuck in Puchong and can’t drive all the way to PJ to have your ramen fix.

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To round off the meal, the Moo and I shared a Sea salt Chocolate Mousse (RM10). It was smooth, creamy and luscious; the chocolate was not too sweet and still had a hint of the astringency you get from dark cocoa, while the slight amount of sea salt helped to balance out everything – sort of like the principle of salted caramel.

Buranchi certainly impressed me with its service, quality and price, which is reasonable for the setting. Will be making a return visit to try out other dishes!

BURANCHI

72A-G, Jalan Puteri 5/5, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 830AM – 4PM (closed Mondays)

non-halal

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Tonkatsu by Ma Maison, 1 Utama Celebrates 7th Anniversary – 50% Off All Sets!

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is my favourite place to get authentic tonkatsu. I’ve dined at their Publika and USJ Main Place branches before, but never at the original in 1Utama (don’t ask me why – I just never did it lol). Recently I went back to the office to pack, and since the mall is nearby, I stopped by for lunch. It so happened that the outlet is celebrating their 7th anniversary and are offering 50% off all their sets (from 11am – 8PM) until November 30 – so I got an EXTREMELY value for money deal.

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The shop is tucked within ISETAN. It can be quite difficult to find because it’s hidden in a corner – just follow the signage when you get to the Japanese resto section.

Tonkatsu by Ma Maison was founded in Tokyo in 1976 by Akinori Terazawa  – who after failing to find the perfect tonkatsu, set out to make his own specialty outlet. To date, they have 16 outlets across Japan, five in Singapore and three in Malaysia.

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11am. First customer of the day!

The restaurant boasts a classy interior with cool grey walls, sleek wooden furniture and black and white photos/calligraphy. The aesthetics are standard across all of their branches.

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The highlight at Tonkatsu by Ma Maison is the Rosu Katsu (RM27.90) – a juicy 160g deep fried pork loin cooked to golden brown perfection. What makes it so addictive is the ratio of lean to fat, so you get a wonderful medley of textures in your mouth: soft and tender lean meat, melt-on-your-tongue fat, all enveloped in a crunchy, breaded crust. Each set is served with pickled ginger slices, cabbage and mustard to cut through the oiliness, fluffy white rice and warm miso soup. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing more satisfying than shovelling down big spoonfuls of white rice with something salty and deep fried. (PS: they offer free rice, soup and salad refills!) For big eaters, go the whole hog and order the Jumbo Rosu Katsu (RM32.90), which weighs in at a hefty 250g.

If pork loin isn’t your thing, you can opt for hire katsu (pork fillet, which is leaner). You can also choose to get Miso Rosu Katsu/Hire Katsu, Kakifurai (deep fried oyster), Jumbo Ebifurai (deep fried shrimp), sakana (white fish), chicken or a mix of a few different fried items.

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The food is good on its own, but you can elevate it with various sauces. The spicy offers a good kick, while the sweet goes really well with the meat and balances out the saltiness. I usually put sesame dressing on the salad – but you can use it as a dip for your meat too.

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Thanks to the promo, my meal cost only RM16++ which is a steal for the portion and quality. The promo is available until the end of November 30 at the 1 Utama outlet only. Stop by if you’re in the area! 🙂

TONKATSU BY MA MAISON (1 UTAMA)

Level 2, Isetan, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, 1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, PJ, 47800 Selangor.

Phone: +603-7727 3337

Opening hours: 11AM – 10PM

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Chewy Japanese Noodles! @ Miyatake Sanuki Udon, ISETAN 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Petaling Jaya

My favourite udon joints seem to be closing one by one. First it was Marufuku Udon in Jaya One, then recently, Hanamaru Udon in Sunway Pyramid. Thankfully, I’ve found a new place to satisfy my chewy noodle cravings – and it’s close to my new workplace.

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Miyatake Sanuki Udon has roots in Kagawa, Japan, where they have restaurants and their own noodle factory. They opened their first outlet in Malaysia at ISETAN 1Utama in 2019.  The resto looks like your typical Japanese casual dining joint: lots of wood, attractive photos of the food, and Japanese-style buntings you usually see at sushi spots and robatayakis. Orders are made  for at the counter, and you can also pick your side dishes like chicken karaage, enoki mushrooms, crab sticks, chikuwa, and more.

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It goes without saying that their specialty is udon, and there are several varieties, such as plain, with curry, with thin slices of beef, and with onsen tamago (soft boiled egg). Went for the latter, which featured a full, yellow yolk that sat atop a bed of silky, chewy noodles.

Miyatake Sanuki Udon’s noodles are well known for their quality, and it is also sold in supermarkets around the world. The noodles are made from wheat that has been carefully selected and milled at their factory in Sanuki, giving them a sumptuous, strong-bodied flavour. You can taste the fragrant aroma of wheat, and it is by far one of the chewiest udon noodles that I’ve tasted. If you like chewy noodles, this will be right up your alley.

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Ordered sides of chicken karaage and fried enoki mushrooms.

Enjoying the different textures – crunchy and crispy, soft and chewy – is the ultimate satisfaction! Dip your fried snacks in tempura sauce for extra flavour.

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The onsen tamago was literally perfect: tried lifting it up and the membrane didn’t even tear.

An average bowl of udon here ranges from RM11 – RM20. My meal with two sides and a drink came up to RM25. Green tea is refillable, but the price is steep at RM4.

MIYATAKA SANUKI UDON (non-halal) 

Food Paradise, 2F, 1 Utama Shopping Centre, Central Park Avenue, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

facebook.com/udonwon

Oodles of Noodles @ Kai Xin Restaurant, Taman Wawasan Puchong

I’ve lived in Puchong nearly all my life, but I still haven’t been to the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve. It’s a popular hiking spot on weekends, and there are usually loads of cars parked near the entrance. Just next to it is a row of single storey shoplots with a few cafes and eateries where visitors can go to for breakfast / brunch / lunch after their hiking excursion. One of these is Kai Xin Restaurant, which specialises in simple, homemade noodles. The place has probably been around for some time, judging from the faded signboard which we had to squint at to make out.

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Typical of casual kopitiams, the interior is sparse and no-frills. While some customers seem to be hikers, judging from their attire, the rest are likely from the surrounding neighbourhood. The menu is limited, namely serving Wantan Mee, Pan Mee, Ginger Wine Noodles, Pork Trotters in Vinegar, Curry Noodles, Pork Noodles and Har Mee. You know what they say about good food spots though – quality over quantity!

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The curry noodles are ‘Melaka Nyonya style’, according to the boss who took our orders.

Hawker fare is typically served in a sloppy mess, but this was beautifully presented and came chock full of ingredients: tofu pok, sliced egg, fish cakes, beancurd sheets and charsiew, topped with a dollop of spicy sambal. The curry offers a spicy kick, and you can really taste the fragrant flavours of lemongrass and galangal. Curry noodles in KL tend to be creamy and heavy on the coconut milk, but this is very clear and light.

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Pan Mee is another one of the restaurant’s specialties. You can choose to have it in a soup, or dry / tossed in dark soy sauce. You can also pick from either thick, thin or hand cut noodles. Personally I prefer thick noodles as the extra thickness / bite just adds to that extra mouthfeel / al dente satisfaction! Both the soup and dry versions come with crunchy fried anchovies, minced meat and wood ear fungus.

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Round off the meal on a sweet note with some sweet Chinese desserts, the likes of red bean soup, black sesame soup or barley with pumpkin. 

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Was surprised that our meal for four came up to under RM40 (inclusive of the desserts and 2 drinks), which is very reasonable by today’s standards. Each bowl of noodles is only RM6. Good cheap food in a casual setting – can’t really fault that! So if you’re hiking at Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, drop by Kai Xin for a nice and filling lunch. 🙂

KAI XIN RESTAURANT 

No. 31, Jalan Wawasan 5/1, Pusat Bandar Puuchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor

Opening hours: 9AM – 3PM (Tues – Sun). Closed Mondays.

Quarantine Meals ! – Of Dimsum, Nasi Lemak and Char Kuey Teow

Hey guys! It’s technically Day 51 of the Movement Control Order here in Malaysia. I will be resuming work at the office tomorrow. After nearly 2 months, it’s time to say hello again to traffic jams. :/

Originally, the MCO was supposed to be lifted on May 12 – but the government has already allowed businesses to reopen from May 4. It’s all very confusing: on one hand, the MCO is still in place, but everyone is already allowed out to work anyway so what’s the point of having the MCO? Personally, I feel that the move is too sudden (it was announced on May 1, giving businesses just 2 days to prepare). There’s also been a lot of political bullshit going on. Imho, I think the government is pressured to reopen businesses because the coffers are running out of money and they can’t afford to have the economy collapse. We’re also seeing lots of U-turns in terms of promised aid. Can’t help but think it’s every person for themselves now.

But enough doom and gloom: here’s a #foodpost! Being at home for close to two months has been great for my eating habits because I’m eating out less and having more homecooked food. I am an okay (?) cook, but if it were up to me, we’d be eating pasta, fried chicken, steaks and wraps every day – so it’s my mom that does most of the cooking. Most days it’s simple stuff like boiled vegetables and something like chicken and potatoes, or dishes that are steamed, stewed or stir-fried (deep fried is almost a taboo in my household because it’s ‘unhealthy’). Some days, though, we get better than average ones:

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Roasted chicken wings glazed with honey. 

We have a tiny, portable oven which does the job for roasting and baking. It’s adequate, but not very convenient. Prepping the chicken is easy – you just have to turn it over halfway through to make sure that it’s cooked thoroughly, and keep applying the glaze so that it’s nice and glistening.

I miss the oven I had back in Sheffield when I was a student. My housemates and I had a large oven in our flat, and it was so easy to pop everything in there – fish and chips, sausages, chipolatas, bacon. Much easier to clean up as well.

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Baked chicken and mushroom pies. They didn’t look perfect (the tops were sunken) but they tasted great. The mini ones were adorable, although they were not created intentionally lol (Mom ran out of containers).

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Pork chops with white sauce. I fried the chops while Mom made the sauce with evaporated milk and a bit of flour. It turned out a bit too gooey, but the chops were moist, juicy and succulent so it wasn’t too bad.

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We don’t cook all the time – sometimes we also order takeout.

I am a big fan of dim sum, and I usually have it at least once a month pre-coronavirus days – but none of my usual dim sum haunts was open in the initial days of the quarantine. After 45 days, I finally broke my dim sum ‘fast’ with takeout from Jin Xuan Restaurant in Bandar Puteri Puchong. I don’t usually come here because it’s out of the way and their items are pricier than some other establishments, but at the time, I was just super glad to be able to get my dim sum fix lol. (Above, clockwise from bottom left – fried shrimp dumplings, shrimp rolls, siew mai (pork and shrimp dumplings), and har gaw (shrimp dumplings)).

JIN XUAN HONG KONG DIM SUM: 27, Jalan Puteri 1/6, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Puchong, Selangor (open for take-away only during the MCO) 

 

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Another time for lunch, we bought Nasi Lemak from Brilliant Nasi Lemak House, just a block away from Jin Xuan. The resto specialises in nasi lemak ie rice cooked in coconut milk and served with dishes such as fried chicken, rendang, curry and sambal sotong. Against my better judgment, I had the sambal sotong. It was good but the portions were rather small. If you like spicy food, the sambal here delivers a strong kick.

BRILLIANT NASI LEMAK HOUSE : 2, Jalan Puteri 1/2, Bandar Puteri, 47100 Kuala Lumpur, Selangor (open for takeaway only during the MCO) 

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Last but not least, the all-time Malaysian favourite, char kuey teow or wok-fried flat noodles. This one’s from a famous franchise called Goreng Kuey Teow Tong Shin. You can opt to get kuey teow mee (mix of flat noodles and yellow noodles, as pictured above), and add on items such as cockles, Chinese sausages and other ingredients. The basic char kuey teow will usually have shrimp, egg, kuchai, cockles and chilli sauce. What makes char kuey teow so divine is the smokiness that you can only get from wok frying it over a huge flame. Control of the fire is essential. The one from Tong Shin is pretty good !

GORENG KUEY TEOW TONG SHIN: G, 27, Jalan Puteri 2/6, Bandar Puteri Puchong, 47100 Puchong, Selangor (Open for takeaway only during the MCO). 

 

 

What are some of your quarantine meals? Are you cooking at home or ordering more takeout? Share them with me in the comments below; I’d love to hear about any delicious dishes you’ve had! 

 

Around The World in Dumplings

The humble yet versatile dumpling is beloved all over the world in its many forms, shapes and flavours. In some parts of the world, such as China, it is an ancient cuisine that has been around for thousands of years.

I absolutely love dumplings and can eat them every day. But unlike many other Chinese households that consider dumplings a staple, my family does not make them often – so I only get to eat dumplings when dining out at restaurants, or if I make them myself. My favourite type is the guotie, known in the West as pot stickers (guotie literally translates to pot stick), but I also like wontons, siumai and Japanese gyoza. Dumplings is a blanket term, but each of these has its own specialty, from the cooking method to ingredients – so I thought it’d be fun to do a list of the different types of dumplings you can find around the world.

Since I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, I’ve only listed savoury dumplings:

Jiaozi (CHINA) 

中国饺子(Jiaozi;Dumplings;餃子)

With a history dating back close to two millennia, dumplings are inseparable from Chinese cuisine. One of the most common types that we can find today is jiaozi, which typically consists of minced meat (usually pork, but sometimes chicken, beef or shrimp) and chopped vegetables (cabbage, spring onions, chives) wrapped in a piece of dough skin (the thickness varies). Boiled jiaozi is called suijiao, while steamed ones are called zhengjiao and fried ones (my fave!) guotie. Jiaozi is often eaten on festive occasions such as the eve of Chinese New Year or the Winters’ Solstice Festival, and family members spend time bonding while preparing the dumplings together.

Wonton (CHINA) 

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While wontons are also a Chinese dumpling, they are better known by their Cantonese name rather than the Mandarin, hun dun. My theory is that early immigrants to Western countries were mostly from Cantonese communities, and the popularity of the dish solidified its name among Westerners. Even here in Malaysia, we call it wantan rather than by the Mandarin name. While jiaozi wrappers are usually round in shape, wonton wrappers are square, resulting in a smaller, more rounded dumpling. It can be boiled in a soup, or deep-fried. Fun fact: the name wonton literally means ‘cloud swallow’!

Shumai (CHINA) 

sj-baren-Jinnqw9bHjI-unsplash

There are actually different types of shumai, which differ according to region, but the one that is best known across the world is the Cantonese shumai, which is also the type often served at dim sum restaurants. This version typically features pork and/or shrimp with mushroom, wrapped with a thin, almost translucent wrapper made from lye water dough that has a slightly sweet taste. To quote the anime Cooking Master Boy, jiaozis are akin to a bag that protectively envelops its contents, whereas shumai is more like a soft, silk scarf that gently wraps itself around the meat (anyone remember the Dumpling Brothers episode?) Shumais are steamed, although they can sometimes be fried. Here in Malaysia, they are served in dimsum restos, coffeeshops and even food trucks. In Malaysia, it is best eaten with our local Kampung Koh chilli sauce.

Xiao Loong Bao (CHINA) 

In recent years, xiao loong bao has seen a massive boost in popularity thanks to chain restaurants like Din Tai Fung. They are so called because they are traditionally prepared in small bamboo baskets (xiao loong), while bao is the generic word for bun or dumpling. Xiao loong bao is often associated with Shanghainese cuisine. They are also called soup dumplings, and some variants have crab meat instead of pork, as well as other fillings. When I was younger (before the wonders of the Internet and google), I often wondered how they managed to fill up the dumplings with soup. This is actually done by wrapping a gelatin-like aspic (jelly made with meat stock) together with the filling. When steamed, the aspic melts, resulting in soup. The best way to eat xiao loong bao is to poke a hole so that you can slurp up the soup, before dipping the rest of the dumpling into vinegar and ginger slices. More innovative, modern creations include flavours such as truffle, garlic and even cheese.

Mandu (KOREA) 

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Chloe Lim / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)

Mandu was believed to have been brought to the Korean peninsula by Mongols, and has been part of Korean royal court cuisine for centuries. They can be steamed, boiled or fried – styles vary across the region. Like jiaozi, which has different names according to how you prepare them, grilled or fried dumplings are called gun-mandu, while steamed ones are called jjin-mandu and boiled ones mul-mandu. Though they are quite similar in appearance to jiaozi, mandu‘s ingredients differ, as it uses kimchi (of course), tofu and cellophane noodles along with meat and vegetables.

Gyoza (JAPAN) 

Inspired by the Chinese jiaozi, gyoza is the Japanese version which has a thinner skin and more finely chopped ingredients. It often includes garlic, which is less common in China (the Chinese use garlic as a condiment or in the dipping sauce). Gyoza is typically pan fried. Some places add slurry so a beautiful crust forms around the gyoza pieces.

Momo (SOUTH ASIA – NEPAL, TIBET AND PARTS OF INDIA)

Plateful of Momo in Nepal
Ritesh Man Tamrakar / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)

While similar in appearance to East Asian dumplings like the mandu and gyoza, momo is distinct for its ingredients, which are heavily influenced by the region and features lots of spices and herbs. They are usually steamed or fried. Ground meat is used (although there are also vegetarian versions), along with vegetables like chayote, cabbage, potato and flat-beans, tofu, local cheeses like paneer and chhurpi, as well as spices like garlic, ginger, cilantro, coriander and onions. Nepalese momo often uses meat such as mutton or buffalo, while in the Himalayan regions, herd animals such as yak and lamb are also popular.

Manti (CENTRAL ASIA) 

Kawa manta
Mizu Basyo / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)

Manti is a type of dumpling popular in Turkic cuisine, and since the region is vast (covering not just central Asia but also parts of Russia and the Balkans), there are many different ways of making them. The manti in central Asia is usually larger in size and steamed in dedicated pots. Due to the nomadic culture of the region, meat from animals such as beef, horse, lamb and goat are often used.  The Ughyurs of northern China and Kazakhstan prepare manti with spices like black pepper, plus pumpkin or squash, and the dumplings are then served with butter, sour cream or onion and garlic sauce.

European Dumplings

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Some European ‘dumplings’ do not look like the ones found in Asia, such as Central Europe’s Knodel (pictured), dumplings made from flour, bread or potatoes, which resemble meat balls or bread balls. While it’s generally referred to as pasta, ravioli apparently fits the definition of a dumpling. Sheets of pasta are rolled out to make pockets which are filled with ingredients such as meat, seafood, mushrooms, spinach and cheese. The ravioli is then cooked and served with sauces or on its own. The Maultaschen of Germany is a similar dish.

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Then again, you do get types that look more like the traditional ‘dumplings’ of Asia, such as the Polish pierogi (pictured – dough wrapped around sweet or savoury fillings like potato, sauerkraut, ground meat, cheese and fruits), the Ukrainian uszka (ground meat and wild mushrooms) and the Russian pelmeni (minced meat and spices).

 

 

What are the different types of dumplings available in your country, and which are your favourites? I’d love to hear more about them in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!