This post is sponsored by TMI Trading.
Dumplings are gaining popularity at a range of restaurant concepts, and National Dumpling Day on Sept. 26 is a perfect time to highlight their versatility with special offers and creative dumpling dishes.
Beyond the traditional applications in Asian cuisine, there are a number of different ways to showcase dumplings on just about any menu. In fact, their growing prevalence across restaurant concepts has elevated dumplings to the “proliferation” stage, according to Datassential’s 2018 Menu Adoption Cycle. The market research company uses the framework to rank trends on a scale that includes inception, adoption, proliferation and ubiquity. In the earliest inception stage, a trend will begin appearing in fine dining and ethnic independent eateries, before trickling down to food trucks, chain restaurants and, eventually, mainstream grocers.
Dumplings represented a 17.7% share of Asian appetizer and entree sales in a 12-month period ending in the first quarter of 2019, according to research from Technomic, which identified TMI Trading as the dumpling manufacturer with the highest sales growth between the second quarter of 2017 and the first quarter of this year. The Brooklyn, N.Y.-based company produces several varieties of dumplings under its Chef One brand, and registered National Dumpling Day with National Day Calendar back in 2015.
Here are some ideas for celebrating dumplings on your menu.
Stick with the classics
“One great way that restaurants can celebrate National Dumpling Day is to serve the beloved dumpling appetizer in a manner that Americans will find familiar and tasty,” a TMI Trading chef spokesman said. “I would recommend deep frying then serving with a unique dipping sauce. This is great as finger foods and very sharable.”
Chef One’s Chicken Teriyaki Dumpling is a great candidate for this classic treatment. Teriyaki sauce -- a tangy mix of soy sauce, mirin and sugar -- has reached the ubiquity stage of Menu Adoption Cycle, meaning you can find it just about anywhere.
While teriyaki is a mainstream favorite, Chef One also tapped into up-and-coming ingredients for its Chicken Lemongrass Dumplings and Pork and Kimchi Dumpling. Lemongrass and kimchi are in the adoption stage, and beginning to gain more fans as they appear on trendy restaurant menus and the shelves at specialty grocers.
Mix it up with global fusion
For attention-grabbing dumpling dishes that go beyond the basics, the Chef One team recommends drawing inspiration from popular dishes that are made for sharing, such as chicken wings and pizza.
Chef One’s spokeman suggested “tossing the dumplings in gochujang sauce to create a chicken wing-style spicy dumpling.” The saucy-yet-crispy exterior mimics the craveable texture of chicken wings. This inventive appetizer can also be made vegetarian by using a vegetable-filled dumpling, such as Chef One’s Edamame Dumplings that combine a blend of whole edamame beans, diced carrots and corn.
For a showstopping option that’s guaranteed to garner a following on Instagram, Chef One recommends making a “Korean pizza” by surrounding the edge of a pizza with a ring of dumplings near the crust and topping with gochujang drizzle.
Whichever type of dumpling dish you choose, be sure to build buzz on social media by tagging posts with #NationalDumplingDay and encouraging diners to share their dumpling shots!
For more dumpling inspiration, recipes and product information, visit Chef One’s website.
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