Dunking a dumpling into ketchup sounds a little unnatural. But when the dumpling is a brunch dumpling—filled with a mix of scrambled eggs, homemade maple breakfast sausage, caramelized onions, and cheese—from Mimi Cheng’s, substituting ketchup for soy sauce makes a lot more sense. “We’re such breakfast people,” said Marian Cheng, who cofounded and owns the Manhattan-based dumpling restaurant with her sister Hannah. “We like to start the day off with a strong, hearty, healthy meal to get energy for the day.” And the sisters’ love of breakfast inspired these brunch dumplings. “We make dumplings out of food that we like to eat, and that’s a breakfast sandwich that we love,” added Hannah.
That’s also how the Chengs came to top these already delicious dumplings with everything bagel seasoning. Growing up in Rockland County, New York, the sisters would visit Rockland Bakery—where they would take piping hot bagels straight from the wholesale bakery’s oven and scoop up the leftover everything bagel seasoning from the conveyer belts, where it had fallen off the bagels. “We’d put it on omelets, we’d put it on whatever,” said Hannah. So putting them on brunch dumplings just made sense.
The sisters are also committed to eating and serving quality ingredients—especially for breakfast—because, as Hannah explained, "You don’t want to start your morning off first thing with something that’s not quality products. That sets the tone for the rest of your day. Food is medicine," and that includes dumplings. The sausage, for example, is made in-house with real maple syrup, and they like the ketchup from Sir Kensington's because there's no high-fructose corn syrup. "It tastes fresh," said Hannah.
These dumplings, developed in partnership with Sir Kensington's, are one of Mimi Cheng's many monthly specials, most of which disappear after a month. But this one has become a favorite. "This is our third year doing it," said Marian. "It’s become a tradition we’ve been looking forward to every year." Hannah added, "It would be kind of sad if it would be the only time you could eat something in your whole life, so it’s kind of nice to have something to look forward to." Especially when that thing is an egg-and-sausage dumpling, that's for sure.
Marian walked us through the process of making Mimi Cheng's brunch dumplings, from wrap to service, at their second location in Nolita, on Facebook Live.
These brunch dumplings are only available until the end of January though, so hurry in before the disappear—until next year.