Chinese soup dumplings, poke and Japanese pancakes are examples of food that hasn’t made it across the river from Portland. Sadly, missing treats wind up in our suburban rivals. Lake Oswego snagged a Little Big Burger. Beaverton has several huge Asian supermarkets, along with Taiwanese soup dumpling master Din Tai Fung, and endless eating possibilities from the largest continent on Earth — Asia.
Vancouver also lacks one of those food theme weeks that regularly occur in Portland. A recent Facebook post announced Vancouver Taco week Aug. 8 -14. In the meantime, as a response to the Sixth Annual Dumpling Week Feb. 1-8 in Portland, here’s the First Annual Unofficial Clark County Dumpling Week. These are just a few of the many great dumpling possibilities in the area.
210 W. Evergreen St., Vancouver; 360-314-4370.
Baby’s fist-sized Georgian dumplings called khinkali can be ordered filled with meat ($9 beef and pork) or a vegetarian mushroom filling ($8). The tender dough is made fresh every day and twisted around filling creating a belly-button shape at the top. A dusting of fresh nutmeg adds warmth, zest and nuttiness. The traditional way to eat a khinkali is to grab the top knot, take a bite, lean over your bowl, and sip the rich broth before devouring the rest. In Tbilisi, the top bits aren’t eaten, but it’s difficult (and unnecessary) to leave behind that nub of supple dough.
13503 S.E. Mill Plain Blvd., Suite B5, Vancouver; 360-256-6688.
Szechuan pork wontons in chili oil ($10.95) are made with a light silky pasta enveloping an egg yolk-sized ball of finely ground and seasoned pork. Don’t be scared off by the chili seeds dotting the crimson broth. The chili oil broth has heat, but isn’t searing. A small sprinkling of chopped scallions top the dish, adding a fresh onion-y taste. An order of these wontons provides plenty to share or enough for a hearty meal for one.