Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) --Cook-Off 26


snowangel
 Share

Recommended Posts

Every now and then since December 2004, a good number of us have been getting together at the eGullet Recipe Cook-Off. Click here for the Cook-Off index..

Oh, those little dumpling pillows filled with broth! They are a favorite at dim sum places, and it's time we tried our hand at making them.

There are many topics on where to get the best ones in different cities and a few on making your own (and there seem to be many different spellings on these lucious dumplings):

Xiao Lun Bao/ Soup Dumpling Recipes

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Tang Bao)

Xiaolong Bao

Little Steamed Juicy Buns

Let's talk filling, technique, wrappers, and just how to get those perfect topnots, and then let's eat!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

i love eating them, but i've never tried to make them. of course my mother says she makes good ones...but has she ever actually made them for me? i also once got sick from eating too many of them in shanghai!

count me in. i'd like to try this for my husband. we miss nyc and "new green bo" the new york restaurant that has (imho) the best "little dragon buns"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Any thoughts on a vegetarian version? Possible, or culinary abomination?

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

Link to comment
Share on other sites

my first reaction would be culinary abomination...but you can probably do something with mushrooms (duxelles) and a very strong mushroom broth. you'll have to get a bit creative with binding it all together, but it will probably taste pretty good!

Any thoughts on a vegetarian version? Possible, or culinary abomination?

edited to add: i looked online for some sites that have demos and recipes and there was one that included a couple of variations with mostly vegetables (there was probably still pork to bind though). there was tofu, and a chinese type of sauerkraut...among other things.

Edited by alanamoana (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I would love to make these! Can't imagine that they would come out even half as delicate as the ones I had back at Din Tai Fung, but since I'm just a smidge over 900 miles away now, making some at home seems like a good idea :laugh:.

Edited by tejon (log)

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

So, can I just use packaged dumpling wrappers? Or do I need to make them myself (if so, recipes?) Is it a rice flour wrapper or regular flour?

Filling: Other than a cube of soup - what else goes in them? Don't everybody jump on me at once - but no pork in mine. So I'll make a very rich chicken soup with lots of bones. What else?

I need some guidance.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, can I just use packaged dumpling wrappers?  Or do I need to make them myself (if so, recipes?)  Is it a rice flour wrapper or regular flour?

Filling: Other than a cube of soup - what else goes in them?  Don't everybody jump on me at once - but no pork in mine.  So I'll make a very rich chicken soup with lots of bones.  What else?

I need some guidance.

My classmates from China cheat with packaged dumpling wrappers, so I guess you could do the same, but they won't be as good.

Edited by miladyinsanity (log)

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My classmates from China cheat with packaged dumpling wrappers, so I guess you could do the same, but they won't be as good.

Then I expect you to provide me with a good recipe! :laugh:

I'm willing to try, but I've never made my own wrappers. I don't know where to begin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pam, I'm off to the library either this evening or tomorrow to look for cookbooks with recipes. A quick perusal on line indicates that the dough calls for high gluten flour, which I can't seem to find.

And, I'm planning on using chicken stock. I've got some that's pretty gelatinous, but I think I'll cook it with a few more chicken feet. I'm planning on chicken. I know they are typically done with pork, but I'm going with minced chicken.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Excellent. I await your report.

Is that all that we need to put in them though? Just some soup cubes and minced chicken? What about seasonings?

I can't get feet here - but I made some chicken soup a couple of weeks ago with a bunch of necks, wings and some bones - the most 'solid' stock I've made in ages. I'll do the same again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanna play! But unfortunately I'm living with someone who is on a very strict low-carb diet. BOO! :sad:

Maybe I could make them at home and take them to a friend's house? Does anyone know if they travel well?

-Sounds awfully rich!

-It is! That's why I serve it with ice cream to cut the sweetness!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here's a recipe in Gourmet that I found.  I haven't tested it.  Perhaps some brave soul might?

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/231482

This recipe calls for regular, all-purpose flour and water for the dough. That seems pretty simple.

Is there a difference between 'dumpling' and 'bun' here? When I see bun I'm thinking of the steamed egg buns I get at dim sum - which is obviously different from a dumpling... :unsure:

Is it typical to mix the chopped meat with the aspic? I was envisioning placing a cube of aspic with a ball/mound of filling...

Maybe I could make them at home and take them to a friend's house? Does anyone know if they travel well?

On at least one of the eGullet topics on this ... topic, somebody said that they can be frozen - or refrigerated until cooking. Somebody else may have more info.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wanna play! But unfortunately I'm living with someone who is on a very strict low-carb diet. BOO!  :sad:

Maybe I could make them at home and take them to a friend's house? Does anyone know if they travel well?

I'd think if you put them in your steamer, they'd travel nicely!

Pam, I noticed in the Martha Stewart hors'doeuvres cookbook, there is a recipe for crabmeat soup dumplings, using chicken stock.

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Xiao Long Bao are dumplings. NOT bread with a filling, like char siew bao.

They don't travel well after being cooked. They burst, and the soup will be all gone and they won't be yummy any more. I'd say wrap, freeze, take them to wherever and cook them there.

And line your steamers--I've seen some places here use fresh cabbage. Peeling them off the bamboo/plastic will cause a properly made (ie thin skinned, but not too thin) xiao long bao to tear and lose all that precious soup.

Ginger is the flavor that stands out. It is usually served with black vinegar and more fresh, sliced ginger (young ginger please). More ginger is better than less and I personally think that the Epicurious recipe doesn't have enough of it.

Also, I don't think you need high gluten flour for the wrappers, Susan. In fact, I'm pretty sure you don't.

So good luck!

Me, I'll just go to Din Tai Fung to eat some.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

Link to comment
Share on other sites

if you want high gluten flour, you can always use bread flour which should be readily available at most supermarkets.

the dough should just be flour and water. it isn't too picky.

i've seen both methods: cube of gelatinized stock covered with the filling OR diced gelatinized stock mixed in with the filling. i like the idea of it being a more homogenized mixture. also, the recipes i've seen are mostly chicken (feet) stock based but use pork skin to gelatinize the mixture. so i don't see it being blasphemous to use pure chicken stock if you have a particularly rich batch.

often the names dumpling and bun are used interchangeably, specifically in this case. the chinese term "bao" is most often translated as bun and the chinese name for soup dumplings is "xiao long bao" or literally "little dragon bun". but it is most definitely a dumpling.

(i like using the word "gelatinized" :rolleyes: )

i have some frozen potsticker filling, and i plan on using that for my first batch and just mixing in the gelatinized stock. that's so i can get an idea of how it all works. i think the fillings are relatively similar but the xiao long bao probably don't have as much vegetable in the filling as my usual potsticker filling.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the explanations (the bun thing was confusing me).

Susan, I do believe I have Martha's book somewhere around here. I'll look for it.

While I do eat out, my home and work kitchens are kosher - so it'll be all chicken for me (no pork, no shellfish).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Pam, I'm armed with cookbooks, and as soon as I get the ribs on the grill (I'm pretending it's summer), I'll peruse them and give you more advice.

I knew the no shellfish for you, but I think my point was more that I think you can sort of do what you want with the filling. It might not be the most traditional, but if you keep the aspic-type soup going, you're probably going to find that in some household, this would still be authentic!

Also, I'm not above buying premade wrappers!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, Pam. I'm armed with cookbooks, and more confused than ever. Most of the recipes are pork based, but, isn't it the "other white meat?" I'm doing chicken. They all seem to call for a cube of aspic (I read that to mean a chicken stock that is like jello) with some ground meat, a bit of soy, minced onions, whatever. But what is most confusing is the dough. Some call for just hot water and high gluten flour. Then there is a recipe for AP flour and a bit of water and an egg. Then there is one for one with AP flour and water. I just might cop out and buy some wrappers!

Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"
Link to comment
Share on other sites

OK, Pam.  I'm armed with cookbooks, and more confused than ever.  Most of the recipes are pork based, but, isn't it the "other white meat?"  I'm doing chicken.  They all seem to call for a cube of aspic (I read that to mean a chicken stock that is like jello) with some ground meat, a bit of soy, minced onions, whatever.  But what is most confusing is the dough.  Some call for just hot water and high gluten flour.  Then there is a recipe for AP flour and a bit of water and an egg.  Then there is one for one with AP flour and water.  I just might cop out and buy some wrappers!

The confusion is contagious! :laugh:

I do believe my first batch will use the frozen wrappers. If it works, then I'll move on to trying my own wrappers.

I'm catering tonight and tomorrow, so this will have to wait - but I'll try to get the stock done on Sunday.

Minced meat - raw? :biggrin:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you are able to perfect this dish -- which is no easy feat -- do you realize how many Chinese people you will have beating down your door?

Will they be happy with my kosher version? :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Will they be happy with my kosher version?  :wink:

Sadly, no. I have had beef xiaolongbao before and rather disliked them. I think most Chinese (except those from the frigid northern and western parts of the country) strongly prefer pork over beef. For the Chinese, pork is much more loved than it is in America and even most parts of Europe. The term rou, meaning meat, refers by default to pork. For example, you would refer to pork dumplings as simply rou, but if they were beef you would specifically specify that they are niu rou (cattle meat).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Similar Content

    • By liuzhou
      According to the 2010 census, there were officially 1,830,929 ethnic Koreans living in China and recognised as one of China’s 56 ethnic groups. The largest concentration is in Yanbian Korean Autonomous Prefecture, Jilin Province, in the north-east bordering - guess where – North Korea. They have been there for centuries. The actual number today is widely believed to be higher, with some 4 to 5 thousand recent refugees living there illegally.
       
      Anyway, what I have just taken delivery of is this Korean blood and glutinous rice sausage from Yanbian. I am an inveterate blood sausage fiend and always eager to try new examples from as many places as possible. I'll cook some tomorrow morning for breakfast and report back.
       

       

    • By liuzhou
      An eG member recently asked me by private message about mushrooms in China, so I thought I'd share some information here.
      What follows is basically extracted from my blog and describes what is available in the markets and supermarkets in the winter months - i.e now.
       
      FRESH FUNGI
       
      December sees the arrival of what most westerners deem to be the standard mushroom – the button mushroom (小蘑菇 xiǎo mó gū). Unlike in the west where they are available year round, here they only appear when in season, which is now. The season is relatively short, so I get stuck in.
       

       
      The standard mushroom for the locals is the one known in the west by its Japanese name, shiitake. They are available year round in the dried form, but for much of the year as fresh mushrooms. Known in Chinese as 香菇 (xiāng gū), which literally means “tasty mushroom”, these meaty babies are used in many dishes ranging from stir fries to hot pots.
       

       
      Second most common are the many varieties of oyster mushroom. The name comes from the majority of the species’ supposed resemblance to oysters, but as we are about to see the resemblance ain’t necessarily so.
       

       
      The picture above is of the common oyster mushroom, but the local shops aren’t common, so they have a couple of other similar but different varieties.
       
      Pleurotus geesteranus, 秀珍菇 (xiù zhēn gū) (below) are a particularly delicate version of the oyster mushroom family and usually used in soups and hot pots.
       

       
      凤尾菇 (fèng wěi gū), literally “Phoenix tail mushroom”, is a more robust, meaty variety which is more suitable for stir frying.
       

       
      Another member of the pleurotus family bears little resemblance to its cousins and even less to an oyster. This is pleurotus eryngii, known variously as king oyster mushroom, king trumpet mushroom or French horn mushroom or, in Chinese 杏鲍菇 (xìng bào gū). It is considerably larger and has little flavour or aroma when raw. When cooked, it develops typical mushroom flavours. This is one for longer cooking in hot pots or stews.
       

       
      One of my favourites, certainly for appearance are the clusters of shimeji mushrooms. Sometimes known in English as “brown beech mushrooms’ and in Chinese as 真姬菇 zhēn jī gū or 玉皇菇 yù huáng gū, these mushrooms should not be eaten raw as they have an unpleasantly bitter taste. This, however, largely disappears when they are cooked. They are used in stir fries and with seafood. Also, they can be used in soups and stews. When cooked alone, shimeji mushrooms can be sautéed whole, including the stem or stalk. There is also a white variety which is sometimes called 白玉 菇 bái yù gū.
       

       

       
      Next up we have the needle mushrooms. Known in Japanese as enoki, these are tiny headed, long stemmed mushrooms which come in two varieties – gold (金針菇 jīn zhēn gū) and silver (银针菇 yín zhēn gū)). They are very delicate, both in appearance and taste, and are usually added to hot pots.
       

       

       
      Then we have these fellows – tea tree mushrooms (茶树菇 chá shù gū). These I like. They take a bit of cooking as the stems are quite tough, so they are mainly used in stews and soups. But their meaty texture and distinct taste is excellent. These are also available dried.
       

       
      Then there are the delightfully named 鸡腿菇 jī tuǐ gū or “chicken leg mushrooms”. These are known in English as "shaggy ink caps". Only the very young, still white mushrooms are eaten, as mature specimens have a tendency to auto-deliquesce very rapidly, turning to black ‘ink’, hence the English name.
       

       
      Not in season now, but while I’m here, let me mention a couple of other mushrooms often found in the supermarkets. First, straw mushrooms (草菇 cǎo gū). Usually only found canned in western countries, they are available here fresh in the summer months. These are another favourite – usually braised with soy sauce – delicious! When out of season, they are also available canned here.
       

       
      Then there are the curiously named Pig Stomach Mushrooms (猪肚菇 zhū dù gū, Infundibulicybe gibba. These are another favourite. They make a lovely mushroom omelette. Also, a summer find.
       

       
      And finally, not a mushroom, but certainly a fungus and available fresh is the wood ear (木耳 mù ěr). It tastes of almost nothing, but is prized in Chinese cuisine for its crunchy texture. More usually sold dried, it is available fresh in the supermarkets now.
       

       
      Please note that where I have given Chinese names, these are the names most commonly around this part of China, but many variations do exist.
       
      Coming up next - the dried varieties available.
    • By liuzhou
      Note: This follows on from the Munching with the Miao topic.
       
      The three-hour journey north from Miao territory ended up taking four, as the driver missed a turning and we had to drive on to the next exit and go back. But our hosts waited for us at the expressway exit and lead us up a winding road to our destination - Buyang 10,000 mu tea plantation (布央万亩茶园 bù yāng wàn mǔ chá yuán) The 'mu' is  a Chinese measurement of area equal to 0.07 of a hectare, but the 10,000 figure is just another Chinese way of saying "very large".
       
      We were in Sanjiang Dong Autonomous County, where 57% of the inhabitants are Dong.
       
      The Dong people (also known as the Kam) are noted for their tea, love of glutinous rice and their carpentry and architecture. And their hospitality. They tend to live at the foot of mountains, unlike the Miao who live in the mid-levels.
       
      By the time we arrived, it was lunch time, but first we had to have a sip of the local tea. This lady did the preparation duty.
       

       

       
      This was what we call black tea, but the Chinese more sensibly call 'red tea'. There is something special about drinking tea when you can see the bush it grew on just outside the window!
       
      Then into lunch:
       

       

      Chicken Soup
       

      The ubiquitous Egg and Tomato
       

      Dried fish with soy beans and chilli peppers. Delicious.
       

      Stir fried lotus root
       

      Daikon Radish
       

      Rice Paddy Fish Deep Fried in Camellia Oil - wonderful with a smoky flavour, but they are not smoked.
       

      Out of Focus Corn and mixed vegetable
       

      Fried Beans
       

      Steamed Pumpkin
       

      Chicken
       

      Beef with Bitter Melon
       

      Glutinous (Sticky) Rice
       

      Oranges
       

      The juiciest pomelo ever. The area is known for the quality of its pomelos.
       
      After lunch we headed out to explore the tea plantation.
       

       

       

       

       
      Interspersed with the tea plants are these camellia trees, the seeds of which are used to make the Dong people's preferred cooking oil.
       

       
      As we climbed the terraces we could hear singing and then came across this group of women. They are the tea pickers. It isn't tea picking time, but they came out in their traditional costumes to welcome us with their call and response music. They do often sing when picking. They were clearly enjoying themselves.
       

       
      And here they are:
       
       
      After our serenade we headed off again, this time to the east and the most memorable meal of the trip. Coming soon.
       
       
    • By liuzhou
      Last week, Liuzhou government invited a number of diplomats from Laos, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar/Burma, Poland, and Germany to visit the city and prefecture. They also invited me along. We spent Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday introducing the diplomats to the culture of the local ethnic groups and especially to their food culture.
       
      First off, we headed two hours north into the mountains of Rongshui Miao Autonomous County. The Miao people (苗族 miáo zú), who include the the Hmong, live in the mid-levels of mountains and are predominantly subsistence farmers. Our first port of call was the county town, also Rongshui (融水 róng shuǐ, literal meaning: Melt Water) where we were to have lunch. But before lunch we had to go meet some people and see their local crafts. These are people I know well from my frequent work trips to the area, but for the diplomats, it was all new.
       
      So, I had to wait for lunch, and I see no reason why you shouldn't either. Here are some of the people I live and work with.


       
      This lovely young woman is wearing the traditional costume of an unmarried girl. Many young women, including her, wear this every day, but most only on festive occasions.
       
      Her hat is made from silver (and is very heavy). Here is a closer look.
       

       
      Married women dispense with those gladrags and go for this look:
       

       
      As you can see she is weaving bamboo into a lantern cover.
       
      The men tend to go for this look, although I'm not sure that the Bluetooth earpiece for his cellphone is strictly traditional.
       

       
      The children don't get spared either
       

       
      This little girl is posing with the Malaysian Consul-General.
       
      After meeting these people we went on to visit a 芦笙 (lú shēng) workshop. The lusheng is a reed wind instrument and an important element in the Miao, Dong and Yao peoples' cultures.
       

       

       
      Then at last we headed to the restaurant, but as is their custom, in homes and restaurants, guests are barred from entering until they go through the ritual of the welcoming cup of home-brewed rice wine.
       


      The consular staff from Myanmar/Burma and Malaysia "unlock" the door.
       
      Then you have the ritual hand washing part.
       

       
      Having attended to your personal hygiene, but before  entering the dining room, there is one more ritual to go through. You arrive here and sit around this fire and wok full of some mysterious liquid on the boil.
       

       
      On a nearby table is this
       

       
      Puffed rice, soy beans, peanuts and scallion. These are ladled into bowls.
       

       
      with a little salt, and then drowned in the "tea" brewing in the wok.
       
      This is  油茶 (yóu chá) or Oil Tea. The tea is made from Tea Seed Oil which is made from the seeds of the camellia bush. This dish is used as a welcoming offering to guests in homes and restaurants. Proper etiquette suggests that three cups is a minimum, but they will keep refilling your cup until you stop drinking. First time I had it I really didn't like it, but I persevered and now look forward to it.
       

      L-R: Director of the Foreign Affairs Dept of Liuzhou government, consuls-general of Malaysia, Myanmar, Laos.
       
      Having partaken of the oil tea, finally we are allowed to enter the dining room, where two tables have been laid out for our use.
       

       
      Let the eating, finally, begin.
       
      In no particular order:
       

      Steamed corn, taro and sweet potato
       

      Bamboo Shoots
       

      Duck
       

      Banana leaf stuffed with sticky rice and mixed vegetables and steamed.
       

      Egg pancake with unidentified greenery
       

      Stir fried pork and beans
       

      Stir fried Chinese banana (Ensete lasiocarpum)
       

      Pig Ears
       

       
      This may not look like much, but was the star of the trip. Rice paddy fish, deep fried in camellia tree seed oil with wild mountain herbs. We ate this at every meal, cooked with slight variations, but never tired of it.
       

      Stir fried Greens
       
      Our meal was accompanied by the wait staff singing to us and serving home-made rice wine (sweetish and made from the local sticky rice).
       
       
       
       
      Everything we ate was grown or reared within half a kilometre of the restaurant and was all free-range, organic. And utterly delicious.
       
      Roll on dinner time.
       
      On the trip I was designated the unofficial official photographer and ended up taking 1227 photographs. I just got back last night and was busy today, so I will try to post the rest of the first day (and dinner) as soon as I can.
    • By Fast996
      I have looked for years for a black steel wok with a flat bottom it had to be thick steel to stop it from warping on the induction cooktop 3500W Burner. Well I found it made by the French company Mauviel it is 12.5" diameterwith 3mm thick steel the flat bottom is 4 1/2 inches, although it has a flat inside too it cooks wonderfully. The weight is 5lbs heavy but manageable .The cost is $100 considering there is no alternative it's cheap.Here is my review. I know there are people looking for a good wok for induction so I hope some find this post good information.I do have a JWright cast iron wok that I've used for 5 years and it too is great but it's discontinued. This M Steel Wok is much better. Posted some images of the seasoned wok so you can see it . This is after oven season @500 Degrees.Turning black already non stick .Happy !
       
      Mauviel M'Steel Black Steel Wok, 11.8", Steel
       
      If you have any ?? please post i'll do my best to answer.
       


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...