Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

Update: also check out my coverage on NYC Dumpling Festival 2016

The move is finally D.O.N.E! And Yi Reservation officially has a new home!

It was a pretty stressful moving week but at the end there was nothing better than being able to finally sit down (in this case, on a moving box) in my newly painted apartment and type a post on my computer.

Wait, scratch that. There was something better actually. How could I forget about the NYC Dumpling Festival I attended in the middle of my move. For a dumpling snob like me, it was like a dream come true.

Think I am exaggerating? Check out this ginormous dumpling filled with regular size dumplings inside! Who’s hungry!? The evil side of my secretly wished that this was the dumpling served at the Dumpling Eating Contest (more on that in a bit).
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
As I mentioned in my fish dumpling recipe post, 100% of the proceeds from the food sale would go to the Food Bank for New York City. This year, an estimate of over 5,000 showed up to the festival Sara D. Roosevelt Park during the 5-hour window to support the good cause and grab a few good bites

Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
As a VIP, I got to sample a variety of Chinese style dumplings, buns, and other appetizers from the VIP booth. My initial goal was to try at least one of each flavor but I failed miserably as I kept on getting the seconds and thirds…
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
…while chefs kept on bringing out new varieties every other minute
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
I was soon overwhelmed and lost track of all the flavors. HELP!
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
Thankfully there was a menu listing all 15 exciting items I devoured sampled.

BTW, I am totally hooked on the kale dumplings and edamame dumplings and I have to say they are just as good as my own vegetable dumpling.
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
The dumpling festival also offered a wide range of non-Asian style dumplings such as ravioli, empanadas, pierogi, and many more. Silly me made a rookie mistake by stuffing my face with too many (delicious) Asian dumplings that I actually couldn’t sample any of the non-Asian varieties. However, my buddy @NY_Foodie had very positive feedback on other dumplings especially the mushroom ravioli. Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

As a side note, if you enjoy daily foodporn from around NYC (who doesn’t?) you should definitely check out NY_Foodie on Instagram.

One hour into the festival, the crowded started to gather towards the stage to catch the highlight of the festival – the annual dumpling eating contest. This year,the legendary competitive eater Takeru Kobayashi was among one of the judges. Right before the start of the contest, Mr. Kobayashi performed his own 30-second demo of Dumpling eating where he easily wiped out 32 dumplings in 30 seconds (that’s more than 1 dumpling per second!!).
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
Since this was my first time watching a eating competition live, I was expecting to see some giant competitors in the mix. In reality, most competitive eaters looked like these:
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
and these:
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
Where did all the food go was the question I had in mind the whole time.

Regardless, the competition was furious as the stake was high.

  1. And each player demonstrated their unique eating techniques ranging from crashing the dumplings to mixing them with water to even tossing the dumplings high up in the air (not sure how that helped though).

Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

After multiple rounds of tough competition, the winners were born.  Molly Schuyler claimed the victory in women’s group by eating 93 dumplings – a new world record
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015
..while David “Tiger Wings n Things” Brunelli put away 78 to secure the first place in men’s group.
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

And of course, the competition couldn’t be done without our judges including Kian Lam Kho of Red Cook, chef Simpson Wong, chef Feliberto Estevez of Gracie Mansion, and Jeff Orlick.
Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

The Dumpling Festival was such a memorable event that I definitely see myself coming back year after year. I thoroughly enjoyed eating all the dumplings and watching dumplings consumed by the Pros.

If any of you made to the dumpling festival last week, please kindly share your experience here in the comment area or use hashtag #dumplingfest2015 – I’d love to hear from you!

 

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Pick Your Favorite Dumpling Flavor

Now if you didn’t get a chance to attend this year but still would like to get a taste of it. Here is how you can help me to help you:

Vote for your favorite dumpling flavor from the list below (taken from the festival VIP menu) by November 8 2015. Yi will re-create a recipe of the dumpling flavor received the most votes. I won’t guarantee an identical recipe to that of the dumplings served at the festival but what I can assure you is 100% deliciousness!

Pick Your Favorite Dumpling (Bun) Flavor

  • BBQ Steamed Pork Bun (19%, 11 Votes)
  • XO Seafood Pork Dumpling (19%, 11 Votes)
  • Kale Dumpling (19%, 11 Votes)
  • Chicken and Napa Cabbage Dumpling (19%, 11 Votes)
  • Edamame Dumpling (10%, 6 Votes)
  • Custard Bun (7%, 4 Votes)
  • Whole Wheat Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling (5%, 3 Votes)
  • Chicken Wonton (3%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 59

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Dumpling Festival NYC 2015

P.S. some of you from my social media expressed your interest in challenging Mr. Kobayashi. I take your words seriously and fully expect to see you competing on stage at Dumpling Festival 2016 🙂

16 comments

  1. 8

    I came across your site looking for a sesame chicken recipe, but I am looking for some help with a dipping sauce that is served along side potstickers at our local asiana buffet. I attempted a few recipes on the internet with no luck. I know for a fact it has soy sauce and LOTS of garlic, and is quite sweet. It looks very similar to an au jus. I would appreciate any input. Thanks in advance.

    • 8.1

      hello Kelly, thanks for checking out my blog. To answer your question, each restaurant sort of has their own recipe for dumpling sauce so it’s kinda hard to provide an accurate recipe without tasting it. With that said, based on your description, I put together the following recipe for your reference. I hope it helps and you’ll most likely need to make some adjustments to get to the exact taste as you have at the buffet restaurant:

      1/2 cup soy sauce
      1 tbsp sugar
      2 tsp vinegar
      2-3 tsp grated garlic
      1 tsp chili oil (optional)
      1/2 tsp grated ginger roots (optional)
      1/2 tsp sesame oil

  2. 7

    What a FUN festival!!!! I’ve never heard of a dumpling festival but I’m not even close to New York. I would take a trip to NY just to go to this festival. Looks like you have a fabulous time and thanks so much for sharing your good time with us!

  3. 6

    That was the biggest dumpling I think I’ve ever seen. Looks like a good time was had by all. 

  4. 5

    I’ve never been to a dumpling festival — I definitely need to get out more! Wonderful and fun post — thanks so much.

  5. 4

    I abandoned Queens many years ago for some elbow room in NJ. I used to spend my life looking for parking; now I have room for lots of cars. I occasionally have deer in my back yard. The down side is no dumpling festivals, not even any decent Chinese restaurants close by. The only thing that saves me is a new Chinese Supermarket that has a decent selection of prepared foods ans supplies for my efforts. They only make the jook with 100 year old egg and pork on Sat. and Sun. Get there by 10AM or it’s GONE. The even have the long crullers to go with it. The have char siu bao, baked and steamed and the steamed ones that have a ground pork and vegetable filling. I don’t know what they are called. They had a big pastry selection for the Moon Festival. I tried the pineapple moon cake. The filling was a puree. My wife said it was like a pineapple fig newton. That festival looked like a blast. However I could never see the sense of competitive eating. Food is to be savored and for nutrition. That kind of gluttony fails on both counts.

    • 4.1

      Hello Jeff,

      Thanks for sharing your store with me and your extra “elbow room” does make me jealous! The Chinese Supermarket sounds pretty awesome if they serve thousand year egg jook! It makes me want to make some soon haha.

      I haven’t had the pineapple mooncake but I’ll be on the look out for it. I don’t disagree with you on the competitive eating but I guess I view it more of a sport than eating. Hope I’ll see you next year’s dumpling festival!

  6. 3

    That’s a giant dumpling, Yi. What a fun festival!

  7. 2

    Hi Yi , Thank   You for sharing  your dumpling festival  experience , how  amusing must be! I look forward  to try  the most voted recipe  but  all of them sounds  so good and interesting . I ‘d like  to make kale dumplings . Best regards. 

    • 2.1

      Thanks Anna. I am anxious to find out which dumpling I’ll be making haha. Please spread the words so more people will get to vote!

  8. 1

    HA!  I will gladly travel to a dumpling festival!   My favorite food!

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