You may be familiar with the thin, fried scallion pancakes made with a handful of chopped scallions found in many restaurants in Chinatown, or perhaps the thicker, breadier pancakes used to make sandwiches at dumpling shops like Vanessa’s Dumpling House or Prosperity. Well, the scallion pancakes (2 for $1.50) at China North Dumpling is something different all together
Filled with scallions, scrambled eggs, and mung bean noodles, it’s more like a round, pan-fried, flat bun of sorts. If anyone remembers Roll and Dough, the bing shop on West 3rd Street that closed in 2007 (totally not related to Microsoft or search engines), it was reminiscent of that but less-heavy and smaller. The pancakes are not fried to order, so depending on when you go, it may or may not be crunchy, but no matter. It’s easy enough and cheap enough to buy a few to take back home to crisp up either on a pan, panini press, or George Foreman Grill. (Yes, I have one. Guilty as charged.) It’s a great little snack and more filling than you think because of the eggs inside. And although you may be tempted to dip it in soy sauce or Sriracha, it really doesn’t need it as it’s already seasoned. A little Sriracha, of course though, doesn’t hurt.
The less breadier, pork version of this can be found at Tasty Dumpling. The pork and cabbage pancake ($1.50) is more dumpling-like than pancake-like as it’s their truly tasty pork dumpling filling in patty form, wrapped in a thin flour skin, and pan-fried. Bite into it and juices will squirt everywhere. I knew this the first time because of the posts by Lunch Studio and Serious Eats, but I didn’t realize the extent of the juiciness until my jeans got attacked by pork juice. Take careful precautions. Jeans can be washed but wasted pork juice is lost forever. Although at the price, you can afford to throw a little caution (and juice) to the wind.
China North Dumpling
27 Essex St (b/n Hester & Grand St; map)
New York, NY 10002
54 Mulberry Street (b/n Worth & Bayard St; map)
New York, NY 10013