There are Chinatowns in just about every major American city, and visiting them can be a great way to pass an afternoon. While you can spend your time seeking big-ticket dishes like Peking duck or scouting ingredients like geoduck, we believe that the best way to really experience Chinatown is to graze your way through it, sticking to snacks. Here are five that are absolutely mind-blowing.
Light and fluffy steamed dough can be filled with anything from roast pork to vegetables and even salted egg yolk, and they’re fun and very flavorful.
Egg Custard Tarts
A staple of Chinese bakeries, these light and flaky tarts are filled with a light and just sweet enough egg-based custard. These are easy to fall in love with.
The king of all Chinatown snacks, the best fried dumplings have thin, delicate skins that are crispy on the bottom but still toothsome and chewy, filled with chive-flecked ground pork, and usually sell for about a quarter each.
If your opinion of tofu is based around the packaged stuff you find at the supermarket, then be prepared for a paradigm shift. The fresh tofu you’ll find at Chinatown shops is usually as fresh as can be, and is soft, supple, jiggly, creamy, and flavorful. You can either eat it straight or dress it up with a wide variety of condiments.
Usually also sold at dumpling shops, these are pan-fried fluffy pancakes that are cut open and stuffed with any variety of fillings, including roast pork, lamb, and vegetables. They’re a lot more substantial than they may appear, but they still usually sell for less than a buck.