Marco & Luca

subject: Marco & Luca
take-out vehicle: styrofoam boxes
cost: $9

Until this past week, I considered fried Chinese dumplings to be more of a snack item, maybe part of a lunch at best. Sure they're tasty, but I've just never seen them as being dinner food. But there I was on a warm Sunday afternoon, coming up with dinner ideas for the week, trying to pair something with the Asian cucumber salad for which I had a hankering. I needed something savory, maybe a little salty, maybe a little greasy...and then it hit me: Seafood @ West Main sells bags of frozen pork dumplings!

"Ew, gross, no. Why don't you get Marco & Luca's?" replied my wife upon hearing my idea.

John's brain: 'Cause I get more in the frozen bag. Duh.
John's mouth: "I don't know."

"I love Marco & Luca's! Can you get those? Please please?"

John's brain: But they cost more and they're practically the same thing!
John's mouth: "Okay, fine."

Though afraid that they'd be soggy by the time my wife got home, I was pleasantly surprised when they emerged good as new (if not two shades better) after a few minutes in a 400 degree oven. I will certainly admit that they were better than I remember the frozen dumplings being. In fact, they were downright addicting. I was puzzled, though, as to why.

I must confess that I didn't savor them long enough to identify any other flavors than "good," but I suspect it has something to with the sauce. From what I could tell by watching at the restaurant, it's a 50/50 split of some kind of mild chili sauce and hoisin sauce. Whatever it is, it's yummy.

Together with my cucumber salad, it took an order and half of dumplings to satisfy my man-dinner-sized hunger, but I'm pleased to say they paired splendidly well. I may have just found a new dinner to work into my ever-growing rotation.

For those interested, here's my recipe for the cucumber salad:

John's Asian cucumber salad

1/3 cup rice vinegar
2 large tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon course ground black pepper
1-2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
1 large hothouse cucumber, peeled and sliced very thin
1/2 red onion, sliced very thin
1/4 red bell pepper, sliced very thin
1/2 carrot, peeled and sliced very thin

In a small pan, combine sugar and water; cook over medium heat, stirring, until liquid boils and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Add the rice vinegar, srirachi, pepper, and salt. Place the sliced cucumbers, onions, pepper in a bowl, stir marinade and pour over; stir everything to blend. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.


  1. you know marco and lucas dumplings are frozen and from sam club, right? fact.

  2. it wouldn't shock me if that were true, but even if they are, they're prepared very well.