Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The best dumpling is a tasty dumpling

Plate of MandoosImage by su-lin via Flick
Fried Korean dumplings served with two sauces.

Who doesn't like Korean dumplings or mandoo?

They're filled with beef, shrimp or vegetables -- sometimes in combination -- and they're a tasty appetizer for a Korean restaurant meal. 

But if you live in North Jersey, you can buy these wonderful dumplings at Best Dumplings in downtown Englewood, the successor to Mandoo Inc., which opened about 16 years ago down a pothole-filled street in the city's industrial section. 

They are fully cooked, so we steam them from frozen for 10 to 15 minutes and serve them with soy sauce or a dumpling sauce you can get at any Korean or Japanese supermarket. Almost any sauce that contains soy sauce will do or you can choose a spicy Korean red-pepper sauce or paste. 

They also can be pan fried or deep fried or added to soup.

We use a large, metal steamer, but line it with a paper towel to prevent the dumplings from sticking. When they are done, you can lift the paper towel and dumplings out of the steamer and put them on a plate for serving.

I stopped at Best Dumplings on Tuesday, when I had to fill a prescription at the ShopRite in Englewood, and learned a few things. 

I wanted non-meat dumplings, but a young woman who works there said the freezer bags labeled "kimchi" and "leek" contain dumplings that are made with a little beef. 

She pointed to a piece of paper on the wall with the ingredients of each dumpling sold there. She said over the phone today none of the dumplings contain pork.

I bought three freezer bags of dumplings -- vegetable, shrimp with broccoli and shrimp with vegetable. Each bag contains at least four dozen 3-inch-long dumplings. My bill came to $41 or about 28 cents for each dumpling. 

Best Dumplings, 16 Humphrey St., Englewood; 201-568-9337.
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