Whether steamed, boiled, pan-fried, or even deep-fried, dumplings are an international dish of deliciousness. With so many Asian influences in the area, Seattle is lucky to have so many choices in this arena. Eater Seattle has dipped and devoured its fair share of dumplings to present you with our pick of the best of these doughy delights.
1. Annapurna Cafe
Annapurna, which serves Tibetan, Nepalese, and Indian food, is the place to go for Spinach MoMo. These Tibetan-style dumplings are vegan, filled with spinach and aromatic spices. Best of all, they come with peanut (slightly spicy), sesame (slightly sweet), and tomato (slightly tangy) chutney sauces, offering a variety of flavors to enjoy.
2. Ba Bar
The Hue dumplings known as Banh Bot Loc Chay are available weekdays at Ba Bar. Made from tapioca, they have delicious mung bean filling and come with spicy soy vinaigrette. (Huong Binh has non-vegetarian Banh Bot Loc on the menu, but availability is hit-or-miss. Dip these shrimp- and pork-filled tapioca dumplings into a sweet, spicy, pungent nuoc cham sauce that’s savory and addictive.)
3. Din Tai Fung Dumpling House
Fans flock to Din Tai Fung for baskets of xiao long bao (called “Juicy Dumplings” on the menu). They’re delicious, even if they lack the tell-tale droop and hot broth found at DTF’s home in Taiwan. Don’t overlook the Shrimp & Pork Shao Mai, which carry the combined flavor of land and sea while being absolutely gorgeous.
4. Dough Zone Dumpling House
Dough Zone’s soup dumplings give legendary Din Tai Fung a run for the money, but it’s a fried version that’s a highlight here. Sheng jian bao, here called Jian Buns, are crispy and yet still juicy. Make a meal of the reasonably priced dumplings and noodles at this dough specialist.
5. Gourmet Noodle Bowl
They might not technically be dumplings, but the Spicy Wontons at Gourmet Noodle Bowl are delicate and delicious. These beauties are filled with shrimp and pork, and bathe in a flavorful chili sauce. A perfect side to a choice of noodle bowls!
6. Ka Won
Gunmandu are fantastic fried Korean dumplings at Ka Won in Lynnwood. Filled with beef and zucchini (and a little cabbage), these wonton-like dumplings are incredibly crunchy and delicious dipped in a mixture of soy sauce and vinegar, with slices and jalapeno and raw onion.
While most of the food is forgettable at Pandasia, the Emperor’s Choice Dumplings are fantastic. These rustic dumplings with thick wrappers are enormous. Inside, along with minced pork, there’s Chinese lap cheong sausage—adding its sweetness—along with cabbage, water chestnuts, black mushrooms, shallot, garlic, cilantro, and scallions.
8. Ping’s Dumpling House & Market
The aptly named Ping’s Dumpling House is the place to go for one of the largest variety of dumplings in the area. Some swear by the pork and anything (chive, cabbage, maybe even pumpkin) dumplings, but pounce on the Fish Dumplings (filled with king mackerel and chives) if available fresh. Otherwise, look for them as part of 20+ varieties to take home frozen.
Revel’s dumpling menu changes frequently (recent versions include mushroom and barley with Thai basil and miso, as well as shrimp and bacon with pickled ginger and cilantro). Recommended are the mainstay Short Rib Dumplings with pickled shallot and scallion. Dip them into any of the four sauces in the terrific condiment tray.
10. Szechuan Noodle Bowl
The brightly lit Szechuan Noodle Bowl might be best known for its big bowls of soup, but there’s also a decent selection of dumplings. Top pick are the Potstickers ($6.75 for 8). They’ve got the basic filling of ground pork, napa cabbage, ginger, and garlic, but they’re long in length (three-biters) and perfectly pan-fried.
The Japanese are crazy about their Gyoza (potstickers with pork and usually cabbage), and finding a favorite is a matter of personal preference. Old-school Tsukushinbo sells six tasty ones as a side dish, but the Friday-only lunch special serves up three as part of a carbo-heavy bargain that includes shoyu ramen and rice.
Originally published on Eater Seattle 8/13/15.