Mr Taiwanxifu’s Favourite Dumplings

My husband loves dumplings.  He is very particular, and knows what he likes: big, fat dumplings with lots of juice encased in thick, homemade dumpling skins.

Years ago back in Australia when Mr Taiwanxifu was a Police Constable working shifts on the beat in the middle of winter, I used to make dumplings for him.  They were a quick and easy snack he could boil in the middle of the night when he returned home after his shift (and we never knew when that would be — he used to do lots of overtime).  He didn’t mind the dumplings I made, but they weren’t exactly right.  The problem was the pork mince I was using was too lean (probably better for his cholesterol levels, though, than what is sold in Chinese butchers) and also the pre-made dumpling skins were too smooth and not thick enough.

But Tongke Dumpling Inn (同客餃子館) makes exactly what he likes.  You can find bigger dumplings in Taipei elsewhere (for example the egg-sized orbs at Fat Zhou’s), and there are probably more exotic varieties at high-end restaurants.  But these dumplings are just right, which explains why our freezer is always full with bags of take-home frozen Tongke Dumplings.

Tongke makes four types of dumplings:  pork and cabbage (NT$5 each), pork and Chinese chives (NT$5 each), pork and pickled vegetables (NT$8 each) and pork with Chinese chives and prawns (NT$10 each).  You can also have dumplings in hot and sour soup, or in a stewed meat broth (NT$75 for 10 dumplings).  You must order a minimum of ten dumplings if you dine in, and they caution you to wait a little while because the dumplings are cooked to order.  You will not need to wait too long, though!

They also make a range of simple fried noodles, fried rice and other stir-fries and side dishes.  On a recent visit to their shop in the bustling Wushingjie area, we ordered soups (hot and sour, and a simple vegetable, egg and tofu) and a plate of red-braised items (tofu, egg and seaweed).  But it is the dumplings that we — and most people — come for.

Tongke is situated at No 406 Zhuangjing Rd, Xinyi (110台北市信義區莊敬路406號, not far from Taipei 101, phone 2722 5312).  The restaurant is often full, but the owner also runs a hot-pot store next door and sometimes seats dumpling diners there.  So don’t be dissuaded from ordering if there are no seats. Or else take home a pack or two of frozen dumplings and enjoy at home at your leisure.

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About taiwanxifu

‘Taiwanxifu’ (pronounced ‘shee foo’) means ‘Taiwan daughter-in-law’ in Chinese and has been my nickname ever since I married my Taiwanese husband, Sam. I love sampling Taiwanese food, even local specialties such as stinky tofu, pigs blood cake and Taipei beef noodle soup with offal. But there are many other options on the menu. Promise!
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4 Responses to Mr Taiwanxifu’s Favourite Dumplings

  1. a. says:

    I love dumplings too! Here, in the south, 3.5NT/dumplings seems to be the norm, but I’ve heard that back in the days, in some smaller towns, you could find some at 1NT a piece!!! I love the ones that are heavy on the Chinese chives, and I also usually order a plate of sides when you can pick them from the window. I choose the almost same items that you have on the picture, haha. I think the only missing from your table, is the hot chili oil! ^^

    • taiwanxifu says:

      Where in the south are you based? Every time I go back to Tainan, I am always so pleasantly surprised by how cheap everything is. Taipei is so expensive by comparison. As an expat, I still find things cheap but I love how you can enjoy such incredible food down south for ridiculously cheap prices.

      You like the stewed sidedishes? I must admit that it took me a while to get used to the flavour of the red-braised stewed foods, but now I am a convert. I even like red-braised liver on occasion.

  2. Wendy Su-Cole says:

    I LOVE dumplings too! Those looks so yummy.

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