CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Chinese New Year is just three weeks away, and our Hungry Hound is getting into the spirit with some great Chinese food outside of Chinatown.
He's going to be devoting every Saturday night in January to a different place, beginning at a Lincoln Park spot where shumai and har gao dumplings are the stars of an expanded dim sum menu.
Dim Sum is typically a morning ritual in Hong Kong. Tea, dumplings and an ambrosial rice porridge called congee are among the highlights. The new D Cuisine, in Lincoln Park of all places, is serving dim sum all day, every day. The key is freshness.
"We make it every morning. 6:30, the chef comes to make it. So we keep the quality and don't put it in the refrigerator," said Danny Fang, the owner of D Cuisine.
EXTRA COURSE: Two dishes that can't be found on the regular menu at D Cuisine
Trust in his chef is paramount. Knowing he can confidently knead a log of rice flour dough, then transform tiny bits of it into wrappers, using only his cleaver and his body weight. Then being able to make the shrimp filling, add the exact amount without weighing or measuring, then create the requisite number of pleats so that it steams and cooks in six minutes.
"We worked together before in another restaurant and I think he does a pretty good job. He's from Canton also," said Fang.
Then there is shumai.
"Shumai is pork and shrimp dumpling, mixed up together," he said.
The pork and shrimp (and fat) are shoveled into a wheat flour wrapper, packed again by hand with the aid of a wooden tool, then placed into steamers - four at a time - and cooked for eight minutes. After they're cooked, they each get a small spoonful of orange tobiko, or fish eggs. There's also excellent potstickers, served with bright red vinegar sauce and a host of other dim sum classics. Fang said having the confidence in a chef who can skillfully crank out dumplings fresh, throughout the day, is no small feat in Chicago.
"We know each other and we trust each other and we make it happen," said Fang.
D Cuisine offers dim sum every day between 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. It's a great option if you want a taste of Hong Kong, and you don't want to go all the way to Chinatown.
2723 N. Clark St.