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Soup Dumplings

Dumpling Love & the 2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival

In Festivals, USA by Daryl & Mindi Hirsch17 Comments

Dumplings may be the world’s most perfect food. There’s no better place to celebrate dumpling love than at the Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival.

Soup Dumplings

We first ate dumplings on our third date at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. That restaurant is no longer in business, but nine years later our love for dumplings is still going strong.

Since that pivotal date, we’ve eaten dumplings around the world including soup dumplings in Shanghai, steamed dumplings in Hong Kong, gnocchi in Bologna and gyoza in Tokyo. Wherever we go, we always eat dumplings in some shape or form.

Mindi Eats a Soup Dumpling in Shanghai China

Mindi eyes a soup dumpling in Shanghai. The dumpling is topped with chili sauce and is ready to be eaten.

Dumpling Perfection and History

The dumpling may well be the world’s most perfect food due to its simple structure of dough wrapped around a savory or sweet filling. Perfection may be debatable, but there is no debate that dumplings are a global phenomenon.

Dumplings appear in various versions from Asia to Africa and every continent in between. With ethnic food becoming more accessible, the dumpling is more popular than ever.

This is pretty amazing when you consider that dumplings have been around for many centuries. In fact, dumplings can be traced back thousands of years to the Han Dynasty in China.

Vegetable Dumplings

Dumplings very well may be the perfect food. It’s no surprise that they are popular in every corner of the world.

Our Dumpling Love

Even when we’re not traveling, we love to eat dumplings.

Despite the many dumpling options spanning every cuisine, our favorite dumplings are xaio long bao or soup dumplings. There’s just something about the doughy mounds filled with hot soup and meat. It’s fun to nibble a hole in the soup dumpling and then slurp out the liquid gold before devouring the remaining dough and meaty filling.

Of course, we always dip the dumplings in vinegar and chili sauce for extra kick. Sometimes, once the hot dumplings cool, we go crazy and eat an entire soup dumpling in one bite, creating an explosion of juicy, porky flavor.

Soup Dumplings in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Soup Dumplings as Served in Philadelphia’s Chinatown

The soup dumpling may be our favorite dumpling, but we enjoy eating other dumplings too. Sometimes we get fried soup dumplings, a crispier version of the xiao long bao.

We like shao mai dumplings for their doughy, meaty texture. We also like the more delicate shrimp dumpling. Seriously, we have never met a dumpling that we haven’t liked.

Shao Mai Dumplings

Shao Mai Dumplings

Shrimp Dumpling in Chopsticks

Shrimp Dumpling

2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival

So, in light of our dumpling love, we are absolutely delighted to have a place to properly celebrate the first National Dumpling Day, which is quickly approaching on Saturday, September 26, 2015.

The 2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival will be celebrating dumplings from cultures all over the world. In addition to Chinese dumplings, the festival will be serving dumplings from countries like Italy, Poland and Korea.

2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival Poster

Other than the variety of dumplings to taste, the festival highlight promises to be the dumpling eating contest. Last year, the winner, Molly Schuyler, ate over 90 pieces in two minutes! There will be other fun activities including cultural performances, a dumpling making class, raffle drawings and much more

Admission to the 2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival is free. Tickets to try four different dumpling tastings are just $20, with all ticket proceeds going to the Food Bank for New York City.

We’ll be in New York to celebrate dumplings in style. How will you celebrate National Dumpling Day?

Details on the 2015 Chef One New York City Dumpling Festival:

Location: Sara D. Roosevelt Park at E. Houston Street

Date: Saturday, September 26, 2015

Time: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Dumpling Eating Contest starts at 1:00 pm.)

Cost: FREE Admission; $20 for four tastings

For more information, check out the festival’s official website and follow the twitter conversation at #dumplingfest2015.

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This is a sponsored post. However, our love for dumplings is legitimate and never-ending.

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About the Author

Saveur Magazine's BEST TRAVEL BLOG award winners Daryl and Mindi Hirsch share their culinary travel experiences on the 2foodtrippers website and YouTube. The married Food and Travel content creators live in Lisbon, Portugal.

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  1. I always noticed that every culture seems to have a fried dough dessert, but now I will have to be on the lookout for dumplings too!

  2. Okay so I have never had dumplings before…I know don’t judge me. I have seen them but I like to know whats inside my food lol. You have made them look tempting though as I am getting older I find that I need to at least try some new food items.

  3. I might have to swing by and grab a couple of dumplings before heading to the coffee festival

  4. I have never met a dumpling that I didn’t like. Fortunately we have awesome dumplings here in Oakland and San Francisco that are second to none. The Dumpling Festival sounds like it’s going to fun day of culinary delights for dumpling lovers of all ages. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I LOVE dumplings. Pretty much any kind of dumpling. So yummy! I wish this festival was in my state. I would go for sure. These look amazing. What a fun idea for a festival.

  6. OMG is NYC not the best place in the entire world?? I didn’t know they had a dumpling festival – what a great event for a foodie! I love Chinese dumplings with pork and a salty sauce…so yummy! I don’t know that I’ve had other dumplings (except for old-fashioned chicken and dumplings!)

  7. What gorgeous photos! I am now SO hungry. Thanks for the inspiration to visit NYC again and find some yummy dumplings!

  8. What amazing looking dumplings!! I had no idea that there was such a fun thing as a dumpling festival, what a fun date location. I hope we can find a festival like this the next time that we are in New York.

  9. I love dumplings! I wish I was able to attend the festival. I’ll have to hunt around for a dumpling festival near me!!

  10. I’ve only tasted fried dumplings and they were so good! Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, very delicious! What an amazing event to be able to taste dumplings from around the world? Sign me up! Wish I was in New York to experience that event!

  11. Soup dumplings or Xiao Long Bao as the Chinese call them, are also our favorite. The best ones I have tasted are from Shanghai and Taipei. I haven’t tried the fried version, though. I’m sure they’re just as good.

  12. Omg I love dumplings, especially with a really good dipping sauce. We recently had a pierogo festival here in Indiana. I’d love a dumpling one!

  13. Dumplings, why yes of course. I love dumplings, particularly those stuffed with sausage, spinach, mushrooms and cheese. You guys always have the best food experiences.

  14. OMG I loooooove dumplings! Your post just made me miss Asia so much as well as my home country and all those side-street places that serve such gooood dumplings and whatnot. I really love Chinese cuisine! I still remember the trip I did to Hong Kong wherein we ate the best dumplings. EVER. :))

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