Skip to comments.What's a Chinese Calzone + Where to Find Them
Posted on 04/21/2013 6:54:05 PM PDT by nickcarraway
You're probably familiar with dumplings and potstickers: Dumplings are likely the first Chinese food item that comes to mind for non-Chinese, while potstickers turn up in the frozen-food sections of markets and menus of Chinese restaurants even on the Westside. But have you heard of a Chinese calzone? Neither had we until a poster at Chowhound referred to an item by that term.
A Chinese calzone is a filled bread, steamed and then pan-fried instead of baked in a wood-fired brick oven. What type of filling do you think would be in a Chinese version of a calzone? Meat? Yes, and, of course, that means pork. There is no cheese, as dairy is rather uncommon in Chinese cuisine. But for all the dissimilarities, the name fits, as these "dumplings" are filled baos.
You can find these Chinese calzones at the awkwardly yet aptly named Qing Dao Bread Food in Monterey Park. You won't find much in the way of Qingdao specialties on a small, 34-item menu dominated by dumplings, potstickers and baos. This is, after all, a dumpling house. The best-known Shandong item around these parts, the beef roll/beef pancake, is absent, as is the liberal use of seafood for which Qingdao cuisine known.
Seating just 24 patrons, at least half of the space here is taken up by the food preparation area. Photos of dishes on the wall and a checklist-style menu ease the language barrier. On both, you'll find Fried Stuffed Dumpling. There are three pork variants: with leeks and shrimp, with leeks or with cabbage. This is what you're looking for, called lu bao in Chinese.
A large plateful of "dumplings" arrives, served upside down and resembling a giant pinwheel held together by a lacy crust. Half an order of potstickers could fit inside one of these. Pan-fried until crispy on the bottom, with a slurry of flour creating the webbed crust, an almost potato chip-like crunchiness gives way to a chewy, white bread flavor and doughy texture.
Pork and leek filling, fried stuffed dumpling, Qing Dao Bread Food Instead of the standard black vinegar, a garlic dipping sauce is provided. While it complements the pork nicely, a little goes a long way and the cumulative effect kind of sneaks up on you.
We were tipped to other places where we could find them, but those didn't really pan out. If you know of any other restaurants that have them, please let us know. For the time being, if you'd like to try Chinese calzones, you'll have to visit Qingdao Bread Food. It's open six nights a week, closing at 3 p.m. on Tuesdays.
With so many Chinese and Italian restaurants in and around NYC, I would think some innovative chefs would come up with a way to fuse these two great cuisines together.
I tried to go to a Mexitalian restaurant last weekend, but it had become Italian only a few days earlier.
That famous Italian merchant/explorer, Marco Polo, introduced the calzone to China back in the 13th Century. (He’s more famous for bringing back to Italy the Chinese recipes for pasta). Polo and Kublai Khan conducted boisterous calzone-eating parties in the Forbidden City, chugging the best Chinese equivalent of Chianti and pinching coy Temple girls’ bottoms.
I had frozen Trader Joe’s potstickers, chicken cilantro and Thai shrimp, for dinner with T.J’s gyoza sauce and I am still reeling from the delicious-ness of it all.
Eyyy! Yo canotta makka da calzone wit out cheeze!
Dats notta calzone!
Sure looks Molto Bene though.
That looks fabulous, and Monterey Park is definitely the place to go for authentic Chinese food (used to work about 10 miles from there and would go there for lunch with Chinese coworkers). I’d go there now if it wasn’t in California.
Eyyy! Dats a notta calzone! Capice?
I love gyoza.
Hint gyoza dipping sauce is just soy sauce and rice vinegar.
I like some wasabi in there too.
I feel a little bit dumb for saying it but I have no idea what a potsticker is.
I have heard the word before, just never knew exactly what it was.
I do know what a calzone is tho
I enjoy the TJ pot stickers as well. I especially like a honey mustard dip.
That would probably depend on how authentic it really was. (Probably best not to go there.)
Think of a pot sticker as a chinese ravioli.
But steamed rather that boiled and then pan fried.
Chicken stock goes in the pan at the last minute to stop them from sticking to the pan.