Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
Chinese Feasting Favourites Feast my-neighbours-the-dumplings
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Chinese Feasting Favourites

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My Neighbours the Dumplings’ latest menu is a feast of Chinese favourites designed for sharing, including mapo tofu and crispy pork belly with plum sauce, along with sides and starters.

Start with the restaurant’s signature har gau – translucent dumplings filled with prawns, garlic and sesame oil, ready to be steamed and dunked in chilli oil and black vinegar. There are also pillowy soft bao buns, filled with marinated mushrooms and served with a punchy, house-made vegan XO sauce. “ XO sauce is a spicy, umami sauce, usually made with dried scallops or shrimp and often cured ham”, explains restaurant co-founder Bec Wharton, “but we make a vegan version to go with our mushroom bao by slowly bubbling garlic, ginger, shiitake mushrooms, miso, kombu and spices in oil for three-four hours until it’s really intense in flavour.”

For the main event, two of the restaurant’s show-stoppers, mapo tofu and crispy pork belly, are served side by side. “For me, mapo tofu is a really comforting, homey dish” says Bec, “usually, it contains pork but we do a vegan version at the restaurant which I love”. The key ingredients, she explains, are toban djan (or doubanjiang) fermented chilli bean sauce and fermented black beans, which provide a big hit of umami, Sichuan peppercorns for their signature, mouth-numbing, slightly floral flavour and house-made chilli oil for“fiery but not blow-your-head-off” spice. Shiitake mushrooms are added as a meaty substitute for pork and the dish is finished with delicate cubes of silken tofu.

For the crispy pork, the team use free-range pork belly from Yorkshire-based Taste Traditions, which they marinate in freshly ground, toasted Sichuan peppercorns, black pepper, five spice and ginger overnight, before slow-cooking for three hours until soft. The skin is then pierced and poured with hot water to dry it out – this, along with cooking it on the highest heat possible, is the secret to achieving that extra crispy crackling.

The mains are served with fluffy jasmine rice for soaking up the mapo tofu sauce, and charred hispi cabbage with a punchy, fermented red bean sauce and fried garlic crumb.