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Feb. 17, 2020

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Food & Drink: Clark County has delicious dumplings, too

Five restaurants that dough the right thing

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Khinkali at Dediko. (Photos by Rachel Pinsky)
Khinkali at Dediko. (Photos by Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

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.

Dediko

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.

Szechuan Brothers

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.

Chutneys

3000 S.E. 164th Ave., Suite 100, Vancouver; 360-254-7254.

Chutneys has samosas ($4.50) and samosa chaat. The Samosa chaat ($6.99) includes several of these deep-fried triangular dumplings smothered in generous coating of chickpeas, tamarind chutney, green chutney, sauteed onions, and chopped red onions. The flaky crust is filled with fluffy potato chunks dotted with peas and spiked with cumin seeds. It’s a bit like Indian nachos. You could call it “samochos.”

Pho Vi Van

16209 S.E. McGillivray Blvd., Vancouver; 360-232-6678.

Egg Noodle Soup with Wonton ($10.50) is an enormous bowl of light, clear, fragrant broth with bits of charred shallots and chopped scallions along with generous swirls of egg noodles. The wontons are small rounds of pork and coral chunks of shrimp wrapped in a velvety pasta that elegantly flutters in the soup.

Hana Foods

412 N.E. Fourth Ave., Camas; 360-833-9111.

At this Korean family-run restaurant in downtown Camas, an order of potstickers comes with seven slender chicken potstickers ($3.99). The deep-fried crust is crisp yet flaky. Finely ground chicken mixed with scallions rests inside these crescent-shaped dumplings. The dipping sauce is sweet, tangy, and soy-sauce based. These potstickers are best eaten with a hot mug of traditional Korean barley tea (boricha). A large metal hot tea dispenser filled with brewed barley tea sits by the register with ceramic mugs by its side.

Email Rachel at couveeats@gmail.com. You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.

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