Whenever Taiwanese cuisine is discussed in Vietnam, the very first term that turns up is tra sua or milk tea. There’s a lot more to it, certainly.
Similarly, one presumes that the best place to locate Taiwanese food, which many think about a derivative of Chinese food, would likely be Cho Lon or its rather blurred geographical limits crossed numerous years thanks to Vietnamese-Chinese influence.
Well, assume again.
As soon as Vietnam embarked on its Doi Moi, or open-door policy greater than three decades earlier, Taiwanese merchants was just one of the first to arrive in Ho Chi Minh City, seeking economical labor and also land to begin manufacturing facilities.
Today, the majority of this activity in the country’s south continues in Binh Duong district and Ho Chi Minh City’s Binh Tan District where the Taiwanese footwear manufacturing industry flourishes. It is below that a person can find samples of authentic Taiwanese cuisine.
As well as it is below that comes across a meal that’s a reward for the eyes as well as the taste buds – “snowdust” potstickers – a renowned highlight of Taiwanese food.
Situated on Ten Lua, among Binh Tan District’s best roads, Cuu Long Sui Cao (Jiulong Shuijiao in Mandarin) is among several Taiwanese dining establishments in the vicinity that accommodate hungry Taiwanese expats looking for a preference of residence.
The name of the restaurant is somewhat of a misnomer– Cuu Long can suggest Hong Kong’s Kowloon or a collective region in Vietnam’s southwestern Mekong Delta location, and words Sui Cao likely triggers memories of yellow lye-dyed Cantonese-style soup dumplings loaded with shrimp and/or meat.
Indeed, Taiwanese cook and also Cuu Long proprietor Cheng Jenyu dishes out powerful plates of pale white Northern-Chinese dumplings loaded with chives as well as minced pork, yet the celebrity of the show at Jiulong Shuijiao happens to be instead unique to the modest joint itself– Taiwanese potstickers.
” Non-Taiwanese consumers often ask me whether this is Japanese gyoza!” Cheng stated, discussing how the restaurant’s signature snowdust potstickers look like gyoza prepared with a comparable layer of crispy, charred batter– frequently seen at locations that serve ramen.
We did not attempt to explore the dish’s open to question beginning, but the function of this crunchy layer surpasses “trypophobia” and also preference.” It aids you evaluate the doneness (of the potstickers) when you fry them,” Cheng stated.
The popularity of Cheng’s dumplings and also potstickers suggests a group of at the very least four nimble-handed girls making greater than 2,000 items a day.
Unlike regular dumplings which are pinched and sealed, potstickers start their life as common dumpling wrappers which are drawn by hand after fillings like pork as well as shrimp are included.
The final action of drawing them to conclusion is itself a testament of how flexible the dough has to be to make al dente potstickers.
Paradoxically, though likewise a chef in his previous life back in Taiwan, Cheng stated that selling dumplings wholesale in Taichung’s typical damp markets was second to his Taiwanese-style ‘Western morning meal’ company that primarily sold burgers, sandwiches, and also Taiwanese crepes.
” A pal suggested (beginning a restaurant in) Vietnam, so I believed to myself; no one’s doing potstickers below yet, so why not?”
Why not, undoubtedly.
Thanks to word of mouth suggestions as well as icy dumplings, the restaurant endured the chances even after the pandemic hit simply mere months after its opening in late 2019.
The technique to enjoying this recipe to the hilt is to blend one’s very own potsticker dipping sauce with the help of press bottles full of vinegar, flavored oil as well as soy sauce. A dash of cut garlic makes it much more true to the Taiwanese spirit. Cheng also had to pre-mix some dipping sauce for confused citizens after Sui Cao Cuu Long was made well-known for a whole weekend thanks to a neighborhood Tiktoker dropping by.
The restaurant is also beloved for its moister-than-most Taiwanese-style fried rice that contains cabbage and also consumer’s choice of garnishes consisting of eggs, shrimp as well as julienned pork– the noteworthy use short-grain rice provides each bite a fascinating chewiness.
Uncommon Taiwanese stir-fries such as oysters with ginger and bean paste fill other parts of the menu. The preferred hot and also sour soup at Cuu Long Sui Cao is likewise of Taiwanese descent– milder than its Szechuanese equivalent but similarly filled with a charitable quantity of sliced up mushrooms, tofu and pork.
When asked about ‘adapting’ to regional Vietnamese tastebuds, Cheng insisted that he has stuck to his guns when it involves authenticity, although he wishes that more local restaurants example standard Taiwanese cuisine.
It might resemble a humble place, however expect to witness unofficial second-round ‘meetings’ in between the top tiers of different Taiwanese-run firms when you stop by for lunch– nothing joins a lot of yearning expats like an authentic taste of home.