Since we last checked in at Tianjin Dumpling House, my favorite place for dumplings in Flushing (and the city, for that matter), the small stall has seen some changes. It's expanded to include another stall in the basement of the Golden Shopping Mall, where it sells even pre-made cold dishes, and there are murmurs of finding a brick and mortar space (one can only hope).
They've also added some new dumplings to the menu, including a vegetarian filling of corn, potato, and pea that tastes a lot like a samosa, and now these Tang Yuan, sweet rice balls filled with black sesame paste. A print-out announcement claims they're made with pumpkin, and the skins are a little orangey, but the flavor is so faint it's best to think of them as plain sweet rice balls. Fortunately, they're very good examples of their kind.
The rice balls come $3 for ten, and they're boiled to order until the rice dough is soft and chewy and the slightly gritty sesame paste turns molten. They're served in barely sweetened water that turns ever so slightly thick from the rice starch, a dessert broth of sorts to go with your dumplings. You can also get them uncooked to go, where it's easy enough to make them fresh in your own kitchen. But I've found slurping them down after a mess of dumplings on one of their tiny stools all the more satisfying.
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