Ray Ma never promised that her dumplings would be ordinary. And she won’t be offended when you ask how on earth she chose to put dill honey mustard salmon into dumplings.
Growing up in Shanghai, Ma was raised with traditional pork-filled dumplings. When she moved to Edmonton, Ma found the mass produced dumplings at the grocery stores quite off. “There could be something more other than MSG infused fillings, don’t you think? There are layers in the art of dumpling making, and I want to see them here, in Edmonton.”
Ma started her dumplings revolution by adding natural colours from vegetables and herbs into her wrappers — a classic trick on the Chinese dinner table for kids to invest in their food, which also worked as a charm at her booth at the farmers’ market. And when her family in Edmonton sat around the table, munching on a delicious maple pork belly, they joked about putting the dish into dumplings. Spoiler alert, it worked.
“My husband and I went on this journey with questions,” smiles Ma. “Whatever we crave, we ask, will that make it into dumplings?”
Honest Dumplings now have a variety of line-ups, featuring dumplings filled with ginger beef bites, kung pao tofu, truffle oil mushroom, and more. For those who choose to play it safe, they also have traditional pork.
“If we want it to be a typical Chinese dumpling brand, we might as well name it ‘Authentic Dumplings’,” says Ma. “But we’re Honest Dumplings. All natural ingredients, experiments with flavours, and we keep it honest with you.”
Shop dumplings and dipping sauces at Uproot Food Collective, 10552 114 St NW, or online at Honest Dumplings.
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