Portland Dumpling Week 2018 Picks

Next week from Sunday February 4 –  Saturday February 10 2018 is the fourth annual Dumpling Week, organized by the Oregonian. They have organized 30 restaurants who will all be offering dumpling specials just for this week and once you order your dumpling, you also collect a sticker from that restaurant as proof you had a dumpling there. Attach this to your sticker sheet, and turn in at the end of the week – each sticker is a chance for you to win a $25 gift card. All dumpling specials will only cost $10 or less.
Portland Dumpling Week 2018

The dumpling participants run the gamut, across variety of cuisines and veterans already known for their delectable dumplings like Kachka and XLB to new participants and new takes on dumplings like from Urdaneta and The Waiting Room. I have been participating in Dumpling Week since the initial one in 2015, and here are some of my favorites that I recommend, as well as ones I am curious about and are on my wishlist for this year.

You can view a map with all locations to better plan out your dumpling crawl at the official Dumpling Week website, which is where you can also print out the sticker sheet. You can read descriptions of the various dumpling specials at the Oregonian, if you want to pick the locations to dine out based on the dushes offered as dumpling specials.

Portland Dumpling Week 2016 Imperial offering: Beef and pork khinkali with melted butter, black pepper and dill served with a bit of yogurt
Chef Vitaly Paley first used Portland Dumpling Week 2015/2016 as a testing ground for the offering of khinkali you see here served with melted butter, black pepper and dill. Now these fantastic khinkali are a special treat that you can only get at the special Monday only Dumpling and Vodka Nights at Paley’s Place via Feastly tickets.

To get your mouth watering, I have included some dumpling pics from when I’ve enjoyed dumplings at some of those on my wishlist, though the dumpling special they are offering specifically for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 will be different then pictured. My list below is not ranked, though I did group some together based on location. UPDATE: I have updated some of the photos based on my 2018 visit to show what the dumpling offering looks like.

  • If you haven’t yet had Kachka‘s incredible dumplings before, here’s your excuse to finally make it down here and try Russian cuisine. I always make sure Kachka is one of my stops because they often offer a special version not on their regular menu, such as the lamb pelmeni with adjika butter, smetana, cilantro and mint below from a previous year. Their dumplings are melt in your mouth, and well worth the visit  – I come here at least once every 2 months if not more for my dumpling and vodka fix. This year their Portland Dumpling Week 2018 special will be a Potato Vareniki with Sauerkraut and Caraway Butter. I highly recommend one of their infused vodkas to go with it – that’s what I plan to do!

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  • Danwei Canting dumplings are usually in wrappers of green or orange that make for a nice photo beyond the usual dough colors of brownish white you’ll be seeing all over town. I suggest getting some of these PLUS their Portland Dumpling Week 2018 special offering of Pork and Oregon Black Truffle Wonton with Porcini Vinegar – Tails & Trotters Pork and Oregon black truffle filling, with ginger and scallions. Served with housemade porcini mushroom vinegar
    Portland Dumpling Week Danwei Canting dumplings, pork or spicy lamb Portland Dumpling Week Danwei Canting dumplings, pork or spicy lamb
  • Also in the radius of Kachka and Danwei Canting are Taqueria Nueve (offering Duck carnitas and black trumpet mushroom empanada)
  • And in the radius of the above three is Boke Bowl, sounds like a 1 night crawl to me. Boke Bowl last year offered seared garlic chive pork dumplings special for Portland Dumpling Week, which are shown below. This year for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 they are offering Sichuan-Style Pork and Garlic Chive Wontons
    Boke Bowl Seared garlic chive pork dumplings special for Portland Dumpling Week..
  • If you are downtown, head to Mama Chow’s Kitchen. I’m already a fan of the regular menu’s wontons in their wonton soup (so great when it’s cold out) and their chicken lollipops (rocks all year round) – this is a food cart and can get overwhelmed so be ready to be waiting in line when it opens, and be warned they may run out for the day if you wait too long. This one shown is also what they are offering this year, Pork & Shrimp Dumplings pan seared with a Spicy Tangy Dipping Sauce on a bed of Organic Greens. They will not be serving their regular menu, devoting themselves to Dumpling Week, but will also offer a chicken dumpling filled alternative or their lollipop chicken sokd by the piece.
    Dumpling Week 2018 - For dumpling week Mama Chow Kitchen offered a pan seared version of their wontons from their standard wonton soup, these are Pork and Shimp dumplings on a bed of baby green salad and served with a spicy dipping sauce. Dumpling Week 2018 - For dumpling week Mama Chow Kitchen offered a pan seared version of their wontons from their standard wonton soup, these are Pork and Shimp dumplings on a bed of baby green salad and served with a spicy dipping sauce.
  • Grassa switches it out every year, with previous dumpling specials varying from Crispy Semolina dumplings with Dungeness Crab, Porcinis, Mint, and House Pancetta one year to Italian Soup Dumplings to my favorite of their dumpling dishes last year, Tortellini en brodo with black truffle-ham broth, which you see below. For some reason they decided to go Asian this year, but I trust in Rick and will try their offering this year of  Pork Belly & Shrimp Dumplings with chili oil, pho broth, ginger cream. They also have a location downtown so I’d hit it after Mama Chow’s?
    Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Chili Oil, Ginger Cream, and Pho Broth from Grassa for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 Pork and Shrimp Dumplings with Chili Oil, Ginger Cream, and Pho Broth from Grassa for Portland Dumpling Week 2018
  • Accanto, according to the website isoffering Tortellini en Brodo. Traditional ricotta and lemon zest  filled house made pasta served in rich and lightly spicy chicken broth. They did have this on their menu, but their actual dumpling week offering was
    Goat Cheese Gnocchi with roasted goat leg sugo and herbs
    Accanto presents Goat Cheese Gnocchi with roasted goat leg sugo and herbs for Portland Dumpling Week 2018
  • Circa 33 is offering Gnudi with pecorino tartuffo for their Dumpling Week dish and is right down the street from Accanto so might as well do both right?
  • Last year, Nel Centro wowed me with their Portland Dumpling Week entry of Canederli, an Italian rye bread dumpling with speck and cabbage, in a Parmigiano Reggiano brodo. This year the brodo below seems to be back, this time in an incarnation of Oxtail & Porcini Ravioli in a Parmesan Brodo. This was a great combination of umami in the ravioli but brightness in the broth.
    Oxtail and Porcini Ravioli in a Mushroom Parmesan Brodo from Nel Centro for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 Oxtail and Porcini Ravioli in a Mushroom Parmesan Brodo from Nel Centro for Portland Dumpling Week 2018
  • I love the Country Cat, but it’s really a pain for me to get there on public transit – anyone want to carpool and go together? I am super curious about their Portland Dumpling Week dish of Pork Sausage, Dijon, & Smoked Gouda Stuffed Cabbage Dumpling. Note, this dumpling special is only available at their dinner service.
  • XLB is named for their signature Xiao Long Bao, the Shanghai Soup Dumplings, but for their Dumpling Week special they are offering Garlic Chive and Pork Pockets. I say order both their namesake and the special.
  • Portland Dumpling Week at XLB in Portland, Xiao Long Bao, the Shanghai Soup Dumplings with seasoned pork filling with ginger and garlic mixed with pork stock that is wrapped in dough
  • Urdaneta is challenging everyone to be a little brave with their dumpling dish of  “Empanadilla de Lengua”  Braised beef tongue, dates, green olives, Idiazabal cheese – Smoked Bone Marrow-Honey Alioli
    Urdaneta Portland Dumpling Week 2018 dish or Empanadilla de Lengua, braised beef tongue with Spanish olives, idiazbal cheese, smoked honey alioli Urdaneta Portland Dumpling Week 2018 dish or Empanadilla de Lengua, braised beef tongue with Spanish olives, idiazbal cheese, smoked honey alioli
  • Quaintrelle offers up dessert take of a dumpling special for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 of Honeyed Goat Cheese Arancini with Golden raisins, citrus, candied walnuts, and vanilla cream

  • Also in the dessert dumpling vein is Salt and Straw, this year offering Raspberry Butter Mochi Dumplings with Chocolate Fig with White Chocolate Mousse and Ice Cream
    Raspberry Butter Mochi Dumplings with White Chocolate Mousse for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 from Salt and Straw Raspberry Butter Mochi Dumplings with White Chocolate Mousse for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 from Salt and Straw

A few guidelines and tips about dumpling week

  1. I recommend looking up on Instagram to get a look at the dumplings others have enjoyed to get an idea of size. I’ve found some specials are enough to be a whole meal, others are more appetizer sized, depending on the cost of ingredients and amount of labor involved, so this needs to be appreciated and carefully considered.
  2. Go early if possible as sometimes they may run out of dumplings for the day.
  3. Go hungry if you are doing a crawl, but not hangry as there may be a wait.  Remember they are often turning over quite a lot of people with everyone participating, so practice patience
  4. Staff doesn’t always remember to give you the earned sticker as they are trying to remember everyone’s orders and other requests in servicing everyone, so don’t forget to ask for your sticker, don’t you forget too in the excitement of eating your dumpling!
  5. Please, tip for all the hard work they are doing to participate in providing the dumpling special offering to Portland. I usually also order something additional like a libation oroaborhrr dish.

If you’d like, follow me on Instagram at @pechluck to see what dumplings I am up to next week, or stalk the hashtag #dumplingweek to visually feast on everyone’s dumplings to adjust where your wish to go! I make no guarantees how many I’ll go to – every year my eyes are much bigger then my stomach – I mean I already listed half of the 30 restaurants on my wishlist!

Where are you planning to go for Portland Dumpling Week 2018 – which ones do you want to eat the most?

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Comments

  1. Omg yesss! How did i not know portland dumpling week was a thing!

  2. Oooh I love Dumpling Week! I can never have too many of Kachka’s pelmenis. SO good! Haven’t had Danwei Canting yet but those look tasty too. Can’t wait to follow your #DumplingWeek adventures on IG!

  3. My husband just told me he had a craving for shrimp dumplings of some sort… we may have to go on a quest during Dumpling Week!

  4. Oh my goodness – I love dumplings and these ALL sound so amazing… Where to start?! I may start with your suggestion and begin at Kachka!

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