Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Prosperity Dumplings in NYC Chinatown

If you're into dumplings, steamed or fried, and want to enjoy a good handful for $1.00, then go to Prosperity Dumplings on 46 Eldridge Street. No matter what time you go (open daily from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm) there will always be a customer waiting for dumplings. This little shop on Eldridge street is a great find for travelers and locals alike -- its quick and easy; its cheap and good; and a lot of Chinatown locals go here! So, go now to Prosperity Dumplings for their delicious dumplings!

this is the cooking process for the fried dumplings (above)
and when its ready, its placed in this take-out box

Prosperity Dumplings are steamed and fried throughout the day -- so you won't have to wait long for your fresh dumplings. I personally haven't tried the steamed dumplings (I'm an honest reviewer), but the fried dumplings were amazing (so I can only imagine the healthier version to be just as tasty!). The owner and employees speak limited English, but with the magic words "pork dumpling" or "vegetable dumpling" or "pancake with beef" -- they will easily understand these common words listed on their menu. Certain items on the menu are only served in the morning (e.g. chives & egg pancake, pork fried bun), but you can expect the staple items to be available throughout the day. Seating is limited to two small counter tops and six stools, but you can easily eat the dumplings out of the take-out box outside of the store (its very portable).

Food Menu:
[Click on the menu to see what other items are available]

Over twenty food items are available at the little shop.

Pork and Chive Dumplings (5 for $1.00)
Fried or steamed, these dumplings are the main attraction at this local joint. The fried dumplings are excellent - just enough crispiness on the outside with the right amount of juicyness on the inside. Extremely flavorful dumplings and a definite must at this local joint.

You can also buy them frozen and make it at home (50 for $8.00; comparable if not cheaper than super market prices)
Note: For vegetarians, they also have vegetable dumplings!

Sesame Pancake ($0.75 per piece, pictured above)
Doesn't it look like a pizza pie? The sesame pancake is fried to perfection in their cast iron skillets and then cut up in pizza-like slices. You can eat this just as it is (with a little soy sauce) or have the sesame pancake filled with meat and vegetables (as depicted below).

The sesame pancake is on the thicker side and more doughy than if you ordered this at a restaurant (restaurants would serve this deep fried (yes, fried more than this), thinner and served in smaller triangle cut pieces)

Sesame Pancake with Beef ($1.50)
As mentioned above, the sesame pancake can be served with beef or pork. Its made like a mini sandwich. I tried the beef and thought it was yummy. Don't expect a lot of meat as there are approximately two slices, but the preserved/fermented vegetables were enough to add thickness, crunchiness and flavor to the sandwich.

Other items I tried, but not pictured.

Noodle with Meat & Bean Sauce aka Zha Jiang Mian
This may sound like an odd dish to see on the menu, but its a traditional northern China dish consisting of noodles topped with a mixture of ground pork and fermented soybean paste. You can consider this dish as the Chinese equivalent to spaghetti bolognese. This dish is also a popular Korean dish, though made slightly different from the Chinese way with roasted soybeans and different toppings.

Prosperity Dumplings served the noodles and brown meat sauce in a take-out box, which I thought included plenty of noodles, but not enough sauce. In my opinion, it was subpar and not worth the $2.50. I'd prefer to pay $4.00 for a better tasting bowl of noodles with brown meat sauce at Shanghai Cafe (expect future blog posting).

Soy Bean Milk (Cold: $1.00, Hot: $0.75, not pictured)
They only serve the unsweetened soy bean milk. Good, but I personally like the sweetened soy milk.

Prosperity Dumplings
46 Eldridge Street (between Hester and Canal)
Subway: B, D at Grand Street
(212) 343-0683
Open Daily from 7:30 am - 10:00 pm

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