Dumplings: All Hail the King


Mortgage interest rates might be down, but you’ve got to keep your priorities straight. A couple days ago, I found myself out on Noriega and 22nd, signing my life away—the final stage in the San Francisco re-fi shuffle. I realize that this was serious business involving money. A grown-up activity of the highest sort, one that should require one’s full attention and a pair of bi-focals. And I swear I tried to read (some) of the blur words in front of me. But if I’m to be honest, as my hand ached from signature after signature, all I could think about were dumplings. And how if Ann, the sweet senior escrow officer, didn’t hurry things up, the shop where I wanted to get them from was going to close.

The booty: Frozen dumplings ready for the steamer.

Because just a block up from the very sedate conference room I was sitting in, King of Chinese Dumplings was calling me. The little shop sells frozen dumplings, pot stickers, won tons and more. (And for a mother, frozen dumplings—or “dunklings” as my boys call them—are right up there with a box of mac n’ cheese. Your savior at the end of a long work day.) The dumplings are 22 for $6 and the women who work there speak enough English to guide you through the freezers full of different varieties (personally, I like pork with green chives). I’m not saying your dim sum days are over, but ten minutes in a bamboo steamer on a bed of cabbage and their soup dumplings come pretty close to perfection.

King of Chinese Dumplings, a.k.a. Asian American Foods, even has a website in both English and Chinese that includes a menu of their extensive selections and how to prepare it all. But it’s the photos of the women around a little table, crafting the dumplings by hand, that’s so reassuring: Proof that they still make (some) things like they used to.

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