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.

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Portland Dumpling Week 2016

Last year, the Oregonian/OregonLive.com hosted Dumpling Week in February. Now, they have brought it back for this year. Portland Dumpling Week 2016 will be from Saturday February 6 – Saturday 13, 2016. Essentially, Dumpling Week consists of highlighting a dozen Portland restaurants and food carts offering dumplings.

For each place you visit and enjoy their dumplings, you receive a sticker to add to a Dumpling Passport – one sticker per restaurant. Based on how many stickers you collect, you are entered for different levels of prizes! 1-3 Stickers offers a chance to win a $50 gift card, 4-8 stickers $100 gift card, and 9-12 a $200 gift card. In addition, you can expect the Oregonian/OregonLive.com to also include dumpling articles, including restaurant crawls and recipes every day during the week. You can see the articles from Dumpling Week 2015 here, including a slideshow of the dumplings of last year.

I participated in Dumpling Week last year (see my 2015 Dumpling Week Recap), though I didn’t win anything… Well, I do consider enjoying so many dumplings a win. Quite a few of the places offer a special edition limited time dumpling just for Dumpling Week!

The list this year (you can also find the Dumpling Week 2016 Participanting Restaurants and Dishes list here with their location) that I have ranked based on likelihood that I will visit:

  • ImperialBeef and pork khinkali with melted butter, black pepper and dill. I actually visited Imperial TWICE to enjoy this dumpling, and I will probably do that again! I mean, look at what I enjoyed last year and how juicy it is…
    Imperial went back to Chef Paley's roots in offering Khinkali for Dumpling Week. The $8 dish were 2 palm sized Georgian pork and beef dumplings with herb yogurt Imperial went back to Chef Paley's roots in offering Khinkali for Dumpling Week. The $8 dish were 2 palm sized Georgian pork and beef dumplings with herb yogurt Imperial went back to Chef Paley's roots in offering Khinkali for Dumpling Week. The $8 dish were 2 palm sized Georgian pork and beef dumplings with herb yogurt
  • Sizzle Pie: A team-up of Sizzle Pie and Korean BBQ food cart Kim Jong Grillin’  has resulted in the most unique offering of Dumpling Week in my opinion: Korean BBQ-inspired pizza muffins served with three stone oven-baked dumplings. The three options are either Meat, Vegetarian, or Vegan to make sure everyone can enjoy, which is very thoughtful of them. These will be ONLY be available at the West Burnside location at 926 W Burnside.
    • Meat pizza dumplings: Jjajang smoked pork, Sizzle Pie cheese blend, scallions, fermented black bean paste with pickled yellow daikon and a gochujang dipping sauce.
    • Vegan pizza dumplings: Kim Jong Grillin’ housemade vegan kimchi and “Follow Your Heart” vegan mozzarella with Sizzle Pie’s housemade vegan ranch dip.
    • Vegetarian pizza dumplings: shiitake mushroom, Sizzle Pie cheese blend, spicy tofu, scallions with soy plum drizzle and dipping sauce.
  • KachkaMushroom and potato vareniki with porcini pumpernickel breadcrumbs, French onion smetana and scallions. I already love’s Kachka’s vareniki normally (see below), and this special edition version will probably be as melt in your mouth as every single time the past 12 times I’ve eaten dumplings at Kachka. Last year, their Lamb Pelmeni with adjika butter, smetana, cilantro and mint for $13 was my second favorite of all the dumplings.
    Dumpling Week - Kachka offered a Lamb Pelmeni with adjika butter, smetana, cilantro and mint
  • Ecliptic BrewingDuck liver ravioli with lamb bacon, kale and brown butter. A dumpling and beer? Yes please.
  • GrassaItalian soup dumplings. Last year they also participated and I was very pleased with their generous serving of dumplings so plan to visit them this year as well  (see my recap of last year for more details on their dumpling offering last year)
  • Bollywood TheaterDuck, sweet potato and kale momos with red chili chutney. Available at both locations. This was voted the 2nd most popular dumpling last year – and the most popular one is closed (Son of a Biscuit)
    For dumpling week Bollywood Theater's two locations offered a chicken or vegetarian momos, steamed Nepalese dumplings found in Northern India. These are the vegetarian momos
  • SmallwaresCabeza potstickers with chipotle gochujang, sour cream, brodo and cilantro. I’ve never had anything from Smallwares that didn’t rock it.
  • Mama Chow’s Kitchen: Pork, wood ear mushroom and water chestnut dumplings served with a ginger hoisin-black vinegar dipping sauce. Please be aware that Mama Chow’s is a food cart, and they make everything to order. So go early in the day because they will run out, and do expect a line. 
    For dumpling week $7 Mama Chow Kitchen offered a pan seared version of their wontons from their standard wonton soup, these are Chicken and Taiwan Cabbage dumplings on a bed of baby green bok choy served with a spicy dipping sauce
  • ¿Por Que No?: Empanada filled with chorizo, potato, roasted poblano and queso oaxaca.
  • Viking Soul Food: Caraway-roasted cabbage and potato dumpling in meat broth with a Jarlsberg and Teutonic Wine fondue.
  • Umai: Meat and veggie gyozas. The meat dumplings will be stuffed with lamb, fennel and shiso. The veggie ones will be made with adzuki beans and chard. Both will be wrapped in Umai’s house made gyoza skins.
  • Salt & StrawBaked salted caramel apple dumplings with double fold vanilla ice cream.

I’ll be part of the crowd I’m sure Tweeting and Instagramming with the hashtag #dumplingweek. I will be definitely looking at the feed too to see if I can be convinced to have a dumpling based on pictures from other dumpling lovers.

Are you participating in Portland Dumpling Week 2016, which is coming up in only a few days? Which dumplings sound appealing to you?