By Liane M. Roth
Chinese dumplings are not only a cultural staple of family gatherings but are an art form that symbolizes the rich history and traditions that bring people together to share memories, laughter and lessons of the past and present.
Come explore delicious homemade Chinese dumplings, hand-pulled noodles and bao, or steamed buns, along with other tasty offerings at San Bruno’s Dumpling Era, famous for its unique take on classic dishes featuring fresh ingredients and masterful creations.
Kick off your flavorful adventure with appealing appetizers or small plates including salted egg yolk chicken wings, spicy fried tofu, pork and shrimp wonton soup, Shanghai soup dumpling or cucumber garlic salad.
Known for its fresh noodles hand-made every day, and serving up three styles, fresh torn noodle, soup noodle and knife cut noodle, from recipes handed down from generation to generation, Dumpling Era also offers delightful dumplings stuffed with flavorful meat and vegetable fillings.
Chinese dumplings, called Jiaozi in China, are a staple for Chinese New Year’s Eve during Spring Festival in Northern China. The making of the dumplings is an art form that symbolizes the rich history and traditions that bring people together to learn the lessons of the past while creating new memories for future generations.
“In Chinese culture, food and family go hand in hand,” said Domee Shi, director of Pixar’s award-nominated short film, “Bao,” an animated story about an adorable dumpling come to life to cheer up an empty-nester mother. Shi said the film was inspired by a few of her “favorite things in this world … all wrapped up in a cute little package.
“Bao” can be translated two ways, depending on how it is said, according to Shi; “ … one way it means ‘steamed bun,’ but said another way … it means ‘treasure’ or ‘something precious,’” Shi said.
The film focuses on the cultural aspects of food, family and generational expectations, changing cultures, exposure to new ideas and respect for ancestral traditions. The simple yet arduous task of creating the dough for dumplings, rolling, cutting, pressing the thin circular holders, mixing the ingredients for the filling and the final act of stuffing, twisting and cooking the dumplings, all require practice, patience and a passion for perfection.
Dumpling Era prepares every dish in the same careful manner, as a treasure for diners, a cultural journey that combines flavors, family, friends and thoughtful conversations. Each meal is a culinary celebration, an opportunity to explore the unique seasonings while cherishing the familiar, to recreate the memories of the past while creating new moments to treasure during future gatherings.
Here at Dumpling Era, food, family and friends are the focus, whether it’s traditional meals including savory appetizers and small plates, hot and sour soups, so many styles of delightful dumplings such as lamb, chive and cabbage or fan favorite pork and cilantro dumplings, daily hand-prepared noodles, farm-fresh vegetables, a variety of rices, pancakes, wok-style dishes and sweet finishes such as fried mashed taro cake, sweet egg puffs, sweet golden bun and, of course, sweet rice dumplings.
Want to bring the dumpling experience home? Frozen bags of premade dumplings are now available to order to bring home and cook at your convenience. There a few ways to cook the dumplings from searing to steaming to boiling depending on the dough of the dumpling. It is recommended to boil the frozen dumplings in a large hot pot of water, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick for about 10 minutes.
Dumpling Era is located at 354 El Camino Real; call 650-737-9899 or order online at www.dumplingera.com.