Make the Perfect Dumpling

Yong Chen, Owner / Chef of Howell Kitchen

Hailing from Fujian, China, Howell Kitchen owner, Yong Chen brings authentic Cantonese cuisine to his restaurant in Howell Plaza Shopping Center. After years of training by a Hong Kong chef, Yong arrived to the U.S. in 1993. He spent time in Alabama, Kansas City and Upstate New York, cultivating his restaurant experience. By 2013, he and his wife, Kandy, were ready to take on a restaurant of their own.

The husband and wife duo have shared responsibilities at Howell Kitchen, however Yong is the master chef when it comes to preparing the wide variety of sauces used in their made-to order fresh food. Kandy, with her big smile, provides the great customer service.

In addition to their popular dishes like General Tso Chicken and Chicken with Broccoli, Howell Kitchen makes an array of filled dumplings that are among take-out favorites. Their Crab Rangoon, a signature triangular cream cheese and crab meat dumpling, is a real MUST TRY!

The Inside Scoop to Making the Perfect Dumplings:

Save Time with Store-Bought Wrappers: already-prepared wrappers work great with a variety of fillings and can be fried or boiled easily. You can spend your time perfecting your folding or pleating skills rather than making homemade dough. To seal, dampen just the edges of the wrapper, fold together and finish it off using fork tines or pinching them with your fingertips.

Give it a Fine Chop: prevent veggie or other fillings from poking through by cutting them small. The filling texture plays an important role in making a perfect dumpling. Use a bigger chop for shrimp or lobster to create a special texture and pockets of flavor.

Avoid Dumpling Disasters: remove excess moisture from the filling mixture. If it’s too wet, sealing the dumpling wrapper tightly will be difficult, and the precious contents may spill out. Also, don’t overstuff the wrapper; a little goes a long way.

From Pot to Plate: bring your pot of water to a slow boil and gently slip each dumpling in. Once the water returns to a simmer, cook the dumplings for 10 minutes. Taste to ensure the desired consistency has been reached. Carefully remove each from the pot to a plate using a slotted spoon. You can also transfer them to a skillet with hot oil and fry them for just a minute or two until crispy. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

Don’t feel like cooking? Howell Kitchen offers great lunch specials, including soup or egg roll or soda and vegetable fried rice, starting from $5.65. There’s FREE delivery all day with a $12.00 minimum purchase. Give Yong and Kandy a call at (732) 370-7800.