No need to wait for National Dumpling Day to get stuck in!
At its simplest, a dumpling is a piece of dough. Think Italian gnocchi or chicken and dumplings from the south. However, most other examples of dumplings consist of dough wrapped around a filling. Think Chinese wontons or Eastern European pierogi.
Ever try to make dumplings? It requires finesse. Although your grandma makes it look easy, it isn’t easy to learn, even with guided step-by-step instructions. If you have the skill and patience to learn, props to you.
Considering the amount of time involved, dumplings are fairly inexpensive. So indulge in two dozen dumplings when nobody is looking.
Here is our guide to various dumping options throughout Tucson.
5605 E. Speedway Blvd.
Brother’s Noodles keeps it simple with house-made cabbage & pork dumplings, steamed or fried.
For more information, call (520) 393-3774 or visit brothersnoodles.com.
China Pasta House
430 N. Park Ave.
While China Pasta House offers several varieties of dumplings, shrimp or leeks & pork are safe bets. Shrimp has a sweet, snappy bite, while the leeks & pork offer a simple oniony flavor with a touch of ginger.
The Pork Steamed Buns are not actually buns — they’re soup dumplings. Let them cool down just a bit, then pop the whole thing in your mouth for an explosion of gelatinous porky broth.
Read our July 2017 article #WeeklyDish (No. 19): Dumplings at China Pasta House.
For more information, call (520) 623-3334 or visit chinapastahousetucson.com.
2601 E. Speedway Blvd.
Fish Wok naturally highlights a whole fish as the star on the menu, but they also offer a variety of handmade dumplings.
For more information, read our September 2019 article Handmade dumplings & whole grilled fish star at “Fish Wok”.
Keep up with Fish Wok on Instagram.
Fried Rice Hut
1655 S. Alvernon Way
Fried Rice Hut specializes in affordable fried rice meals. They also offer handmade dumplings (made with chicken instead of pork), fried apple pies, and other hearty snacks.
Read our June 2019 article Fried Rice Hut cooks up eccentric Asian for under $9.
Keep up with Fried Rice Hut on Instagram.
Istanbul Mediterranean Cuisine & Bar
2945 E. Speedway Blvd.
Istanbul features Manti, Turkish meat-filled dumplings with yogurt and a red lentil sauce. Available only for dinner, the plate comes with green beans and Turkish rice.
For more information, visit istanbultucson.com.
Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen
5683 E. Speedway Blvd.
Even though noodle is in the restaurant’s name, the dumplings and savory pies made from scratch are what keep us coming back. The newly opened restaurant features a limited menu at the moment and staff that barely speaks English, so bring a healthy amount of patience.
Read our September 2019 article Jewel’s Noodle Kitchen showcases Chinese noodles, dumplings & pie.
For more information, call (520) 770-8202.
Kung Fu Noodle
3122 N. Campbell Ave., Ste. 100
Kung Fu Noodle prepares both the fillings and wrappers every morning. Choose from traditional dumplings, wontons, and potstickers.
Read our May 2017 article Kung Fu Noodle: Delectable Blow to the Taste Buds.
For more information, call (520) 881-7800.
3502 E. Grant Rd.
The Chaoshou Dumplings have just the right amount of ginger-scallion freshness, while the chili oil is earthy and potent.
They have other dumplings, but the chaoshou dumplings are just that addictive.
For more information, visit noodleholics.com.
4520 E. Broadway Blvd.
Polish Cottage offers the beloved pierogi in beef, potatoes & cheese, sauerkraut & mushroom, or sweet farmer’s cheese.
Read our December 2018 article Polish Cottage Brings Comfort with Authentic House-made Dishes.
For more information, visit polishcottageaz.com.
3912 N. Oracle Rd.
Samurai keeps it homestyle with gyoza made from scratch. For something crispy and potato-y, order some korokke.
Keep up with Samurai Tucson on Facebook.
*It appears that the restaurant is temporarily closed for renovations. Stay tuned for an update.
4802 S. Sixth Ave.
Dumplings from dim sum cart restaurants taste stale in comparison to Sushi Lounge’s freshly-cooked dumplings.
The Har Gow are supple and delicate, and melt-in-your-mouth without being mushy. The Soup Pork Dumplings (xiaolongbao) erupted with broth all over my forearm when I poked it with my chopstick (my fault). The Shumai features a plump filling with earthy mushroom flavor.
Keep up with Sushi Lounge on Facebook.