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New York Restaurants Serve Up Thanksgiving In One Tasty Bite

Nov 25, 2015
Originally published on November 25, 2015 1:44 pm

For some of us, the best part of Thanksgiving comes from a forkful of flavors all swirled together — turkey, gravy, cranberry and stuffing. It's a savory symphony in your mouth.

Chefs in New York City are experimenting with putting together all of those ingredients into a one-bite Thanksgiving dinner.

Right now you can buy a croissant at Milk Bar in the East Village (and at the location in Washington, D.C.) stuffed with turkey, gravy and cranberries in a celery-flavored dough. There's also a Gobble Gobble meatball with ground turkey, dried cranberries and stuffing at a local chain called the Meatball Shop.

For another all-in-one bite of Thanksgiving, you can visit Mimi Cheng's Dumplings.

Marian Cheng and her sister Hannah sell dumplings like their Taiwanese mom makes. In November, they stuff a seasonal version with traditional Thanksgiving ingredients and serve a cranberry dipping sauce on the side. Marian Cheng says proportions are key.

"We need a lot of gravy in there, but we don't want the stuffing to overload the turkey flavor," Cheng says.

Even Danielle Williams, a model, is eating them. She says they're good.

"I've lived her for two years, I've had two Thanksgivings in a row, I think I know my stuff now," she says.

Back in the kitchen, cooks layer the ground turkey filling with gravy and stuffing rich in sage, sauteed onions and thyme. They pan-fry the dumplings on a hot griddle to crisp up their bottoms, then spray them with water, cover and steam them.

Mimi Cheng's Dumplings sells a couple hundred of their Thanksgiving versions every day in November, and they tend to sell out quickly. That's why Sandy Trueba arrived early to get some for her husband.

Phillip Trueba learned about these dumplings on Instagram, and he cannot wait to try them. Right there in the car, the Truebas immediately dig in. "Tastes like Thanksgiving," Phillip laughs.

Thanksgiving and dumplings — in one economical bite. It's a Chinese spin on a New England classic. What could be more American?

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Now, for some of us, the best part of Thanksgiving comes from a forkful of flavors all swirled together - turkey, gravy, cranberry and stuffing. It's like a savory symphony in your mouth. Now chefs in New York City are experimenting with putting together all those ingredients into a one-bite Thanksgiving dinner. NPR's Neda Ulaby has more.

NEDA ULABY, BYLINE: Right now in the East Village, you can buy a croissant stuffed with turkey and all the fixings in a celery flavored dough. Or there's the Thanksgiving themed dumplings at Mimi Cheng's.

MARIAN CHENG: Mimi is my mom's nickname.

ULABY: Marian Cheng and her sister, Hannah, sell Chinese dumplings just like their Taiwanese mom's - well, maybe not quite. In November, they stuff a seasonal version with traditional Thanksgiving ingredients. Marian says proportions are key.

CHENG: Well, definitely huge sauce person. So we need a lot of gravy in there. But we don't want the stuffing to overload the turkey flavor.

ULABY: These fried Thanksgiving dumplings come with a dip of cranberry sauce.

DANIELLE WILLIAMS: They're good.

ULABY: Even a model is eating them. And Danielle Williams does not come from a place that celebrates Thanksgiving.

WILLIAMS: No. But I've lived here for two years. So I've had two Thanksgivings in a row. I think I know my stuff now.

ULABY: Back in the kitchen, cooks layer the ground turkey filling with gravy and stuffing rich in sage, sauted onions and thyme. They pan fry the dumplings on a hot griddle to crisp up their bottoms, then spray them with water and steam them. Mimi Cheng's Dumplings sells a couple hundred everyday this month. And they go quickly. That's why Sandy Trueba arrived early to get some for her husband.

SANDY TRUEBA: Yeah. He's outside in the car. And he loves dumplings. So it's kind of a match made in heaven, yes.

ULABY: Philip Trueba saw these dumplings on Instagram, and he cannot wait to try them.

S. TRUEBA: What is this, honey?

PHILIP TRUEBA: That's the cranberry sauce.

ULABY: Right there in the car, the Trueba's immediately dig in.

P. TRUEBA: Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce - just like Thanksgiving.

ULABY: Thanksgiving and dumplings in one economical bite. And a Chinese spin on a New England classic, what could be more American? Neda Ulaby, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.