Vacation Fare

Dine like you're in China at The Source

Some of us need vacations to relax, unwind and pause from work.

Chef Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck, on the other hand, spent his time off in China, studying traditional cooking techniques and sourcing new ingredients.

His educational trip is our edible reward. Drewno met with an elderly Chinese cooking maven to learn the intricacies of the best soup dumplings and potstickers.

Now, Drewno's soup dumplings have become puffy soup buns ($10), with bao-like dough wrapping his luxe pork-belly filling. Chile-spiced wontons ($9; click here for the recipe) meld pork butt with ginger, scallions and garlic. Drewno uses malty Chinkiang black vinegar, which is made from fermented rice, for the base of his spicy dipping sauce.

Time in a Yunnan-style restaurant inspired a steamed whole fish that will soon be served with a gremolata of braised shiitake mushrooms and crispy shallots. Drewno also plans to add fried duck livers, which he marinates in garlic, ginger, chiles and peanut oil, then serves with a sauce of coarsely ground pepper and pickled lemons.

For his next vacation, Drewno plans to visit Southeast Asia. We are already eager to taste his souvenirs.

The Source by Wolfgang Puck, 575 Pennsylvania Ave. NW (entrance on 6th St.); 202-637-6100 or wolfgangpuck.com