Welcome back to Dish Of The Week, a weekly food column where we profile some of San Francisco’s best cheap eats. Every dish we feature will cost less than 10 bucks and is guaranteed to be delicious.
PLACE: Yummy Dumpling (1708 Irving St)
If you’ve spent any time in the Sunset’s myriad of Chinese restaurants, then you’re probably familiar with steamed dumplings, an overly simple name for a dish that packs a ton of savory goodness into a small, frilled package. They’re a good bet at any Chinese restaurant you happen to walk into on Irving or Judah. Places like San Tung, Chang’s Kitchen, and King of Noodles serve them by the platterful, but when you start jonesing for some dumplings, you could fork over eight or nine bucks for a plateful, or you could swing by Yummy Dumpling, a shop that sells bags of frozen dumplings for you to make at home.
I know, I know. Frozen dumplings? The words conjure up images of tasteless, freezer burnt dumplings that fall apart, dry out or grow chewy in the microwave. The dumplings from Yummy Dumpling couldn’t be any more different. They may be frozen, but they’re also about as fresh as you can get without making them from scratch; half the storefront is a flour-coated workspace, where solemn Chinese ladies fold and wrap dumplings over and over, lining them up so they can be easily slipped into packages and frozen, ready for you to take home. Any fresher and you’d be covered in rice flour. They also come with a variety of fillings: pork or chicken paired with Chinese spinach, crunchy Napa cabbage, or fragrant green chive.
Although the regular dumplings are great, the wontons (smaller dumplings that are folded instead of frilled) are practically the same and close to half the price. Assuming you can boil water, and can wait, like, ten minutes or so, you can tuck into a bowl of the Sunset’s best. Toss with a few drops of soy sauce, sesame oil, and sriracha, and you’re in business.
Photo courtesy of David L Garica/Foghorn