It was lunchtime on the set, and I knew exactly where I was headed. It was time to eat the best dumpling in New York.
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This is Shu Jiao Fu Zhou, an institution in Manhattan’s Chinatown. This simple storefront serves tender dumplings, rich noodles and more.
I hadn’t been since before Covid. So it was time to go all-in.
I ordered the pork dumplings and a big plate of peanut noodles. Double or nothing!
Watching the people stream by the plate glass windows is fascinating. Some are making deliveries, others doing their shopping, and a few even visiting from far away.
“I don’t get down here enough,” I thought.
“Dumpling and peanut noodles!”
But this was no time to be lost in thought! My food was ready!
I plopped back down at the formica table, ready to experience the best of Fujian. But first, a little dark vinegar…
I bit into a dumpling, penetrating the smooth skin and reaching the unctuous pork within. Outstanding.
On to my noodles. I grabbed a big helping with my chopsticks, lifting them up to admire their glistening steaminess.
Down the hatch they go. Ahh…the creamy fat of the peanut butter with the chewiness of the wheat noodle is the ideal combination.
Peanut butter on noodles might sound a little unusual if you haven’t had it before. But trust me, these Fujianese folks figured something out!
I washed it all down with an ice cold Diet Coke. Hey, they have Coke in China too, right?
Resolving to never let so many years pass between visits, I sallied out into the sunny midday. Strolling past stands bursting with green vegetables and fresh fish, I found a lively basketball court.
I grabbed a bench and watched the men play. They yelled plays to each other excitedly, broad smiles on their faces.
This was the real life we missed for far too long during Covid. Now it’s back, and I appreciate it even more.
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou is open 7 days a week, from 8:30am to 8pm. In an ever more expensive city, its dishes are shockingly affordable — often under $5.
Give it a shot!
And if you can’t make it to New York, you can try making Fujianese peanut noodles at home. This might be my next little project!
What are your favorite Chinese restaurants? Leave a comment and let us know.
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