Having been open for around for almost 30 years, Amherst Chinese is a local institution in Western MA. One of the cool things about Am-Chi, as it is known locally, is that it has its own farm that provides fresh Chinese vegetables, which are also sold at the Amherst Farmer’s Market. It is also rumored that as a teenager Uma Thurman worked there.
The Dumplings: Am-Chi sporadically serves one of my all time favorite dumplings, the pea vine with shrimp dumpling. Pea vines are the young stems and leaves of the snow pea plant and taste a little like spinach, which combined with the shrimp, taste fabulous. Whether or not Am-Chi has the dumplings depends on how well the vines grow each year on the farm. If they are available, they will be there in July and August, but some years the dumplings are not available at all. They took them off the new menu, so you have to ask for them and hope for the best.
They also serve a really good pork and Chinese leek dumpling that is so juicy it is almost a soup dumpling. I forgot this last time I was there and managed to spray pork juice into my tea.
Pork dumplings, spinach dumplings, shrimp dumplings, and the triple-delight dumpling which are filled with shrimp, chicken, leeks and mushrooms.
All the dumplings are served either steamed or pan-fried.
The Sauce: In addition to serving one of my all time favorite dumplings, Am-Chi also has my all time favorite dumpling sauce. The sauce appears to be made of soy, sesame oil, vinegar and grated ginger, it is quite vinegary with a really good ginger edge. They also serve hot chili oil on the side.
Location: On Main Street in Amherst MA, near the University of Massachusetts.