DesBrisay Dines

ANNE’S PICKS: Dumplings for dinner

By Anne DesBrisay

Qian Yin Yin of Yen Fung Ding is a dumpling master. If you get the chance to peek in the back you may see her fingers — remarkably long and nimble — working the dough that wraps the fillings of pork and shrimp, pork and chives, chicken and cabbage, vegetable and mushrooms, water chestnuts and Chinese cress. The closest I have ever come to making Asian dumplings is the weekend I spent with Ukrainian friends in Regina “laying down” pierogies. And drinking beer. Yes, we laughed a lot and we filled our freezers and those of a senior’s residence, but I’ll not likely do it again. I wasn’t much good and it seemed so much damn work. But I have a deep appreciation for dumpling makers.

Shrimp and pork dumplings are but one of many kids on offer at Yen Fung Ding Dumpling Shoppe. Photo by Anne DesBrisay
Shrimp and pork dumplings are but one of many kinds on offer at Yen Fung Ding Dumpling Shoppe. Photo by Anne DesBrisay

Yen Fung Ding Dumpling Shoppe, a family-owned business, is celebrating fifteen years. From its little house on Somerset, it has freezers full of homemade dumplings, pork buns, won ton, and sui mai.  Our Sunday supper was a dumpling feast. I had bought three packages of dumplings from Qian and (roughly) following option two on the package directions — steamed the raw dumplings in a bamboo basket, then fried them in hot oil in a shallow pan. We sat around the table with a sweetened vinegar dip and ate them all.

It cost ten bucks and I didn’t have to do any work. Successful dumplings, in my books.

Yen Fung Ding Dumpling Shoppe, 628 Somerset Street West, 613-233-0660