The Chinese dumpling shumai (or siu mai or shaomai) originated not in Guangdong, as New York dim sum devotees might presume, but in the Inner Mongolian capital of Hohhot, or so sayeth our Inner Mongolia dumpling sources. This goes some way in explaining the presence of lamb shumai on the menu of Jiang Diner, a new East Village restaurant specializing in the cuisine of northwestern China. Here, the kitchen encases mildly seasoned ground lamb in a delicate wheat-flour wrapper and seals it in a manner more akin to xiaolongbao than the familiar open-top shumai shape. There is no soup in this dumpling, though — only savory lamb juices pricked with white pepper and cumin.
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On the menu at Jiang Diner; $8 (for six); 309 E. 5th St., nr. Second Ave.; 646-484-5999.
*This article appears in the May 27, 2019, issue of New York Magazine. Subscribe Now!