SINCE dine-in is still not allowed in the Klang Valley, many people, especially those not working from home, have become more selective when it comes to affordable lunchtime choices.
The tangy lure of asam laksa or the aroma of a beef tripe soup is no longer enough.
At this time, another selling point aside from the taste factor is the takeaway packaging which allows for easy consumption while in a car or sitting on a motorcycle, a flight of steps or on a park bench.
No wonder, easy-to-eat hawkerfare like chicken rice or any all-in-one meals have become favourite choices for those constantly on the move.
One such easy-to-eat treats is the jiaozi or dumplings offered at the Beijing Ramen and Dumpling stall at Restoran NSV, off Jalan Kelang Lama, Kuala Lumpur.
The stall is run by Yu Xia, a native from Heilongjiang in China, and her Malaysian husband.
For takeaways, the jiaozi come in a clamshell container and a set of wooden chopsticks.
Steamed or fried, Yu’s dumplings have a juicy quality about them. They are best enjoyed upon serving.
This is when one can feel the broth from the filling flowing into one’s mouth at first bite.
They come with two types of dipping sauce.
There is the spicy, mouth- numbing dried chilli powder in oil, and a sweet but mildly acidic black vinegar with fresh ginger strips.
To savour the complex combination of flavours from all the above elements, pour the two sauces over the jiaozi for a hearty meal.
The secret to good jiaozi is in the covering. The dumplings prepared by Yu are slightly chewy but still soft.
“The trick is in getting the flour and water ratio right.
“The filling must also be frozen beforehand, as a wet mixture will make the covering a soggy mess.
“Next is to be fast with one’s hands before the mixture thaws.
“Boiling time should be no longer than five minutes, otherwise the covering will become too soft and break open,” she said.
Though the stall’s daily jiaozi offering is made up of minced pork and chive filling, Yu is known to surprise customers by slipping one or two pieces that are made up of different flavours.
They include mushroom, coriander, cabbage and sweet turnip — with minced pork as the main ingredient.
At the moment, Yu is only offering mushroom jiaozi on weekends.
The other flavours are available as frozen takeaways and those interested need to notify her in advance as she does not make her dumplings in large batches.
Those on the move and are willing to bag it, can also try Yu’s pork rib noodles.
The dry version is preferred for takeaways.
Handmade with the same formula of wheat flour, oil and salt as her jiaozi skins, the noodles are tossed in a black bean sauce and are known to retain their springy quality for several hours.
What gives the braised pork ribs their endearing quality is they are first caramelised in sugar to form a slight, crisp-like outer glaze.
They are then braised in a pork bone broth fragranced with cloves, star anise, peppercorns and beer.
Prices start at RM9 for a small serving and RM10 for the large portion.
The stall is located at Restoran NSV, 1, Jalan Awan Mendung, Taman United, off Jalan Kelang Lama, Kuala Lumpur.
Business hours are from 8am to 8pm.
For more information, call 017-374 5960