Street Food Profiles: Hong's Chinese Dumplings in Burlington, Vermont

Note: It's time for another edition of Street Food Profiles. This week we scoot to Burlington, Vermont, where one woman has been selling dumplings for ten years.

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[Photographs: Hong's Chinese Dumplings]

Name: Hong's Chinese Dumplings
Vendor: Hong Yu
Location and hours? Church Street in front of the Borders bookstore in Burlington, Vermont. Hours depend on the sunshine.

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What do you sell? Chicken and pork dumplings, veggie dumplings in pot sticker style, crab ragoons, shrimp egg rolls, veggie egg rolls, chicken cheese egg rolls, sesame cold noodles, and veggie fried rice along with homemade ginger garlic soy sauce, hot chili oil, and sweet cranberry sauce.

How long have you been street-fooding? 10 years.

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A typical line for Hong's dumplings on a sunny day.

You on Twitter? If so, how has it affected business? Yes (@hongsdumplings). Since our operating hours are so weather-dependent, Twitter has allowed us to update our status on a daily basis and let our usual customers know before they make the trip downtown for dumplings.

Why a mobile business over brick-and-mortar? Flexibility of my own schedule

Who are your typical customers? Dumpling lovers and weekend tourists.

Describe a typical day from start to finish.

  • 5:30 to 9:30 a.m. Make dough for dumplings, cook the veggie fried rice, make dumpling fillings, and other food preparation.
  • 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. Load food cart on trailer, drive to Church Street, and unload.
  • 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Non-stop cooking!
  • 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. Drive home, unload cart, clean up and more prepping for the next day.

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What makes your food so special? Hong rolls out each dumpling in her cart before your eyes. This is as fresh as dumplings get.

How would you define "street food"? It can be eaten while walking.

The best street food city and why. Beijing, China. Both the variety and prices are unbeatable.

Your comfort food after a long day? Delivery pizza. After a long day of cooking, the last thing on your mind is making dinner.

Advice for an aspiring vendor? Make one thing really really delicious. Be known for that one specialty and make sure no one else has it.

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