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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

小笼汤包 ( mini steamed soup dumplings )

I love anything wrapped, especially this XiaoLongTangBao ( literally translated as mini steamed soup dumplings ) , which the restaurant DingTaiFung is famous for.  Therefore, it has been  high on my to do list to learn to make this little snack. Other than a lot of waiting, making the jello overnight and waiting for the dough to 'relax', wrapping and steaming the dumpling is surprising straight forward, though a little practice is called for.

Of all the dough I ever tried making, this particular hot-cold-dough offers the most amazing handling experience. The dough is elastic yet tough enough to sculpture without tearing. Because of the moisture that is locked in the flour, it does not wait well on the counter and has to be steamed immediately. It is not easy to optimize by cooking  the entire batch of dumpling at the same time since the prepared dumpling  gets prone to breakage the longer you wait. There is no guessing how I figured this out.

In the end, for 3 persons anticipating this dish all day, it is definitely not enough for dinner. To make this the main course, increase portion by 2 times or make extra big dumplings !

Makes 25 dumplings .

Soup Jello :
300g pig skin
6 chicken feet
2 l water
1 T wine
2 scallions
3 slices ginger

OR :

( vegetarian jello if pig skin and chicken feet is not your type of food )

Soup Ingredients:
5 cups of water
2 slices of peeled fresh ginger
1/2  dried shitake mushroom
1/2  large garlic clove flattened
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoons rice wine
1 1/2 tablespoon unflavored gelatin ( 鱼胶粉)

Pork filling :
150g Minced pork
1/2 t salt
3 T water
1 T soy
1/2 t grated ginger
1/4 t wine
1/4 t pepper
2 T sesame oil
3 scallions

Pastry :
150g plain flour
50g boiling water
50g cold water

Method :
Step by step tutorial
Make the soup jello the day before. Boil jello ingredients  and reduce liquid to half. Remove from heat. Strain. Add gelatin. Stir until gelatin dissolves. Chill overnight.

Add boiling water to flour. Mix with a fork vigorously. Add cold water to form a dough ball.
Knead until smooth. Rest for 2 hours in an floured bowl, covered.

Just before making the dumplings,  mix pork filling  and  add 100g of jello, breaking up very coarsely .

Divide dough to 25 portions. Make little dough balls and flatten to small discs.

Divide meat to 25 portions.

Wrap meat with dough and seal with a pinched top.

Place dumplings on an oiled parchment or bok choi leaf to  prevent dumplings from tearing.

Prepare a steamer and bring water to a boil.

Cook for 15 - 20 minutes.

Eat very warm to enjoy the soup inside.


  1. wow, your xiao long tang bao looks very very good! These are my kids favourite, they also love jiao zi. I wonder when will I ever pick up the courage to try making these at home? But I have already bookmarked your recipe in my mind :):)

  2. Just try. Like my pancakes, the first few are always failures , but you will get the hang of things as you go along..

  3. poof! I realized I have cooked 'Mini dragon soup dumplings' instead of 'mini steamed soup dumpling'. For those in the know, it should be called '小笼汤包'. Or is it ? Anyway, I've always suspected that my Mandarin needed some polishing :D

  4. wow i've never seen a recipe for xiao long bao before and this looks really good because I loveeeee xlb!

    just a question! what kind of wine should i use for the soup jello?

  5. I use unsalted Shaoxing cooking wine.I try to avoid the salted shaoxing. Though very much cheaper, it has no flavor and throws the rest of the seasoning out of balance.

  6. I have an award for you, do pick it up from my blog, cheers!

  7. Wow!!! Your XLB looks good!!!! I am sure it's a lot of hard work making these.

  8. It actually gets easier with practice, but I must admit the shape needs improving :)

  9. To make this, it really need some skill.

  10. thumbs up to you! they look incredible! i actually have fears making them but still i would like to try my hands on this one day!

  11. hey this is advanced level stuff ok! think your family must be thrilled having restaurant-grade food at the comforts of your home hehe

  12. I have to say that would be my must have to eat whenever I am back! this looks amazing and u have done a fab job. Your patience has paid off!

  13. Look so nice! Must be very Yummy!