Sunday, 24 August 2014

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Whenever I think about xiao long bao, it inevitably reminds me of Din Tai Fung, the chinese restaurant famous for its signature xiao long bao, where devouring the dumpling is an explosion of rich, steaming, hot soup oozing onto your tongue.

Today, I have roped in my good friend to help me with my 1st attempt at making these delicate dumplings. She has had some experience with pleating dumplings in the past so I see this as a good opportunity for me to learn the skill from her.

We were quite pleased with the results of the dumplings especially after tweaking with the flour mixture for the skin upon finding the initial batch of skin mixture slightly on the dryer side. They say that the perfect soup dumpling would take at least 18 pleats to complete and I'm proud to say that we finally managed to reach that after some practice!

The dumplings are best eaten straight off the steamer while it's steaming hot and dipped into the vinegar sauce. With the hot soup oozing over in your mouth .... it's just heavenly!

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
(Makes 30 pieces)

10g spring onion, chopped
1 Tbsp cooking oil

Gelatin mixture
400ml chicken stock
15g gelatin powder

Meat filling
300g minced pork
1 tsp oyster sauce
5g potato starch
a pinch of salt
3g chicken powder
10g sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
a dash of ground white pepper
1/2 tsp ginger juice

100g pastry flour
150g potato starch
50g plain flour
a dash of salt
a dash of cooking oil
120ml water

Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup black vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil
finely shredded ginger


1) Prepare gelatin mixture. Mix stock with water in a saucepan. Add gelatin powder and bring to a boil. Set aside to cool.

2) In a mixing bowl, mix all ingredients for meat filling. Cover with cling film and leave to marinate for about 1 hour in the refrigerator.

3) Add gelatin mixture to meat filling and give it a good stir. (I added it in while the gelatin mixture was still a bit lukewarm).

4) Mix in spring onion and oil. Set aside. (I pop it back into the fridge to let the mixture thicken up faster. The meat and gelatin mixture should be gel-like once the gelatin sets)

5) Combine dough ingredients. Mix well until a smooth dough is formed.

6) On a floured surface, roll dough into a long cylinder. Cut dough into 30 equal pieces. Using a rolling pin, roll out each piece into thin dough rounds.

7) Spoon combined meat and gelatin filling onto each dough round. Pleat to seal up filling. Repeat until all ingredients are used up.

8) Line a steamer with greased baking paper. Place dumplings on top and steam for about 5 minutes over high heat. Serve immediately with dipping sauce.

Dumplings ready for steaming

Eat it while it's hot!

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