Xiao Long Baos, are pockets full of flavour and delicious broth, otherwise known as Soup Dumplings, traditionally made with pork. From travelling we’ve been able to discover some of the most delicious Xiao Long Bao’s at Din Tai Fung . Known for their precision in making their Xiao Long Bao’s, weighing each dumpling wrapper. This Delicious Xiao Long Bao or Soup Dumplings recipe, was one we felt we needed to try to make especially since we cannot travel at the moment. And finding good Xiao Long Baos in Mauritius has been a bit of a challenge. So why not make it ourselves? And we’re super happy to say… it was a success! So you can easily make it too! Let’s go over some of the basics first.
The Aspic which in other words is the broth which once it has cooled and been put in the fridge. It then becomes gelatinous and looks like jelly. This is created from the natural Gelatin present in collagen from pork. Once it is in a jelly like state it’s easy to cut into small cubes to place into your dumpling with the filling. When it is steaming the gelatin will melt and become soup in your dumpling! In most recipes they mix in the aspic with the filling, however I found it was hard to control the amount of broth that way. Therefore I preferred to add in the aspic cubes individually after the filling is placed in the wrapper.
Though we’ve tried the pork version, because of tradition and it is easier to make from pork skin or connective tissues, because it has a lot of natural collagen, Chicken is definitely possible. However Chicken is more lean and has less collagen, and most recipes require that you add actual gelatin or agar agar to help it get to that Jelly like state.
You’ll want to find a cut of pork which has a ratio of 70% lean meat and 30% fat. Many use pork belly, in Mauritius here we find pork already cut in cubes called Ti cari de pork which ha a mix of fat & lean meat.
We were able to get dumpling flour, which is lighter and less dense than your normal all purpose flour. It requires less water to break it down into a soft dough, and feels easier to knead. We were able to get it at Wing Tai Chong in Chinatown, however if you can’t get ahold of it you can always use all purpose flour with measurements included in the recipe.
This Delicious Xiao Long Bao or Soup Dumplings recipe isn’t difficult but it takes some time and preparation. But we promise you that it will be worth it!
Check out How to fold the Xiao Long Bao closed by the Woks of Life. A video that will help you fold your very first Xiao Lon Bao. Don’t worry if it takes some time in the beginning, it was tough for us too! But you’ll get there, it just takes practice!
Click here to check out our Chinese New Year inspired recipes full of Asian cuisine from all over the world for even more inspiration!
Delicious Xiao Long Bao or Soup DumplingsCourse: main course, lunchDifficulty: Easy
- The Aspic/Soup
450g Pork bones that still have some meat on them
200g Pork skin slices which you can get off pork belly
1 onion cut in 1/4
3 cloves garlic
2 Carrots cut in 1/2
4 thin slices of ginger
- The Filling
500g Pork with a ratio 70% meat and 30% Fat, can be pork belly, Ti cari de pork that we get from Super U
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
3/4 teaspoon sugar
3 teaspoons light soy sauce
3 tablespoons water
1/8 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 1/2 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
2 tablespoon chopped green onions
- Either Dumpling Wrapper (Dumpling Flour)
1 1/2 cup Dumpling Flour
6 tablespoons of warm water
- Or Dumpling wrapper (All-purpose flour)
1 cup All-purpose flour
6 tablespoons of warm water
- Dipping Sauce
2 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 nib of ginger cut into matchsticks
2 teaspoonChopped green onions
- The Aspic (best to prepare the day before)
- In a medium sized pot place your already rinsed pork skin, pork bones, garlic, carrots, onions, ginger and cover with water and bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Remove any impurities that have surfaced to the top. Cover and let simmer for 2.5 hours. While checking and removing impurities now and then.
- After 2.5 hours add salt to taste then remove from the stove and let the soup cool, then strain the liquid into another bowl. Let cool completely and refrigerate overnight. The next day it should look like jell-O
- The filling
- Cut up the pork pieces into smaller bits and put in a blender or food processor and slowly blend until it becomes a pork paste
- Place it in a bowl and add salt, soy sauce, sesame oil, water, ginger, white pepper, sugar and green onions and mix until well combined, cover the bowl and let marinate in the fridge
- The Dumpling Wrapper
- In a bowl add your flour and water one table spoon at a time
- Knead the dough for 20 minutes until it makes a soft and smooth ball of dough
- Cover with a cloth and let rest for 30 minutes
- Assembling the Xiao Long Bao
- Dust a clean work space with flour and roll out the dough into a long tube like shape (like a sausage) around 1 inch diameter
- Cut the dough into small equal 1 inch pieces almost looking like Gnocchi pieces
- Then roll out each piece of dough into circular disks of 3-4 inches wide make sure not to tear it and you can have the edges thinner to fold
- Prepare your steamer, lining it with baking paper with holes in them or cover the surface with some oil so the dumplings don’t stick
- Take out the filling from the fridge
- In your dough place about 1/2-1 tablespoon of filling but make sure it’s not too much so you can close it without it bursting as you’ll be adding the aspic too before closing
- Cut of your aspic into small cubes and place 2-3 depending on the size on top or around the filing
- Fold your dumpling closed and make sure it is well tucked and closed on top so that the soup does not get out, this may take 1-2 dumplings to practice before getting the right amount
- Place the dumplings in the steamer basket about 1 – 1 1/2 Inches apart as they will get bigger
- In a pot add water 3/4 way up but it should not touch the steamer once placed on top and bring to a boil
- Once boiling place the steamer on top of the pot of boiling water and cover the steamer with the lid and let cook for 8 mins, then immediately remove the steamer and serve
- How to eat it?
- Dip the Xiao Long Bao in the dipping sauce and place it on a spoon, bite a small piece out of the dumpling and let the soup run out, drink the soup slowly as it’s quite hot and eat the dumpling with the filling adding some more sauce and ginger pieces on top. Enjoy!
Recipe inspired by The Woks of Life