42-35 Main Street
I. Love. Dumplings. So. Much.
Dumplings are my ultimate comfort food I think. Especially the handmade kind where the skin is not too thin nor too thick… where the skin has this amazing stretchy, chewy texture. Machine-made skin is so boring compared to handmade. It’s just thin. And just thin is never good. Handmade can be thin yet have so many other qualities. But poorly handmade skin where it is so thick it’s like bread is also no good. It’s hard to find a good dump. Ranking would probably be:
Handmade Thin Skin > Machine-made Thin Skin > Handmade Thick Skin
Okay now that you understand the skin, onto the fillings. The best fillings are ones that are not too fat or lean (GOTTA GET ‘EM JUST RIGHT), that have an ingredient combo that when cooked, excretes a juice worthy of having as a standalone soup. My mom makes the best dumplings. The skin is not too thin or thick, the fillings not too fat or lean, and sized just right so you pop one into your mouth all at once each time – maximizing the juice intake.
Dumpling Galaxy is a restaurant tucked away in a random mall in Flushing (not the main one), across from a Paris Baguette… super random. NYTimes tells me that it was opened by a dumpling master by the name of Helen You, the chef behind Tianjin Dumpling House (or “Tianjin Hanmade Dumpling” on Yelp). It’s You’s attempt of a fancier dumpling place. Judging from the photos on Yelp, the dumplings do indeed look very similar, and if you’re looking for a quick dumpling meal (slighter cheaper too), I’d probably just pick some up at Tianjin instead of going to the bedazzled (literally – lots of shiny chandelier things in Dumpling Galaxy) fancy Dumpling Galaxy.
- Wood ear mushroom and cabbage
- Tomato and egg
- Pork and cabbage
- Fish with ginger
- Cod with fish roe
- Tofu with crab roe
- Shrimp, scallop, and crab meat
- Preserved egg with pine nuts
- Pork with dill
- Curry beef
- Lamb with pickled vegetables
- Chicken pan-fried
Each came with 6 dumplings, so we saved the last one for the last round where we played dumpling roulette. While all dumplings are good… some are definitely better than others. The worst for me was the lamb and pickled vegetables. I could taste a sour crying lamb in that one (very… lamby). Favorites were probably the more “traditional” one (pork and cabbage), the fish and ginger (soooo fragrant – like canto steamed fish in a little carb pocket), and surprisingly, the tomato and egg one.
We also got these damn good pea shoots on the side.
Ms. You – you certainly know how to make a good dump. I’ll have to say they are pretty close to my mom’s 😊. Skin just right, fillings juicy, and size is just right. Next time I go back – well, next time I may go straight to Tianjin Dumpling House, but next time I do go back to Dumpling Galaxy – it’ll be for a birthday or something worthy of chandeliers and red walls, and I’ll only get my favorites.