Xiao Long Bao (Chinese steamed soup dumplings) is a famous Chinese dessert. Sometimes you may hear Shanghai Xiao Long Bao, but like Beijing style Zha Jiang Mian, this soup dumpling can be found in many Chinese cuisines. Xiao Long Bao recipe might differ from one cuisine to another. Here I introduce the most basic version, you don't need professional skills but can make yummy soup dumpling at home easily.
It is not easy to make this little, juicy and yummy soup dumplings at home. Soup dumping usually is featured by its juicy soup filling. There are two different varieties of the pork filling. Some use pork rind jelly while the other one use stock directly. For beginners, pork rind jelly version is much easier since it would be easy to assemble to soup dumplings.
The basic processing of making soup dumping at home should be: prepare the pork meat jelly in the previous day— make the filling and then set aside to let the flavors combine together —— Knead the dough and Make the wrapper and assemble soup dumplings one by one.
How to make pork jelly:
In a large pot of water, add salt, scallion, ginger and Sichuan peppercorn seeds. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Then transfer out and remove the fat with knife. Try to remove all of the fatty layer on the surface and remove any hair.
Add baking soda or (alkaline powder) and salt on the pork rind. Message for a while then you will white tissues coming out. Clean with hot water until the water turns clear and further cut the rind into smaller pieces.
Add water and then blanching the rind again fro 1 minute after the water boils. Then transfer out and strain the rind once again. We do lots of blanching and cleaning work in order to remove the impurities and keep this a lovely taste.
Stir in 1 teaspoon of salt in 900ml water and then steam for 30 minutes in high pressure cooker. Let it cool naturally. Transfer to mould and then keep in fridge for 3 hours or overnight.
Tips for juicy filling
In a small bowl, soak minced ginger, green onion and Sichuan peppercorn with ½ cup hot water for around 10 minutes to make ginger and green onion water.
Blend the pork jelly for a while. Then add pork chunks in a blender, add salt, sugar, pepper, light soys sauce and oyster sauce. Blend with pause for 10 seconds. Then add the ginger and green onion water in. Continue blending with pause for another minute. Add the pork jelly, chopped green onion and sesame oil in. Stir in one direction for 1 or 2 minutes. Cover and place in fridge.
All purpose flour or bread flour can be used as the ingredients of the dough. But all purpose flour is much easier for beginner since it needs less resting time. The key step of a successful soup dumpling is kneading the time. Kneading time should be at least 12 minutes (15 minutes for beginner) until the dough becomes whiter and shinning and very smooth on surface. If you feel the dough is hard to knead during the process, cover with plastic wrapper, set aside for 15 minutes and then continue kneading. I recommend the two hands kneading method shown in the video, which helps to knead the dough completely and quickly. Once the dough is well kneaded, cover with plastic wrapper and set aside for 1 hour.
Wrapper and Assemble
Shape the dough into a long log and cut into small pieces (around 12g each one). Then roll the wrapper out to form a large wrapper (around 12 cm in diameter). The wrapper should be quite thin.
Place the wrapper in your left hand. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of your wrapper. Fix the starting point with the thumb of right hand and begin to fold the edge counterclockwise. Move the thumb slowly in the process. Repeat the process until the dumpling is completely sealed. Then slightly pull up the sealed peaks and then remove the extra flour(so we can get even and thin wrapper).
Steam for 8 minutes after the water boils. And here we are! Enjoy!
Xiao Long Bao—Chinese Soup Dumpling
- 300 g flour , 2 cups unshifted
- 150 ml warm water water +15ml for adjusting
- a small pinch of salt
- 250 g pork , at least 20% fat
- 200 g pork jelly
- 1 tbsp. oyster sauce
- 2 tbsp. light soy sauce
- ¼ tsp. ground pepper
- 2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. chopped green onion
Ginger and Green Onion water
- 1 tbsp. minced ginger
- 1 tbsp. minced green onion
- ½ tsp. Sichuan peppercorn
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 tbsp. Chinese black vinegar
- ½ tbsp. light soy sauce
- 5 ginger shreds
For the Pork Jelly
- Make the pork jelly in the previous day with this instruction.
For the Filling
- In a small bowl, soak minced ginger, green onion and Sichuan peppercorn with ½ cup hot water for around 10 minutes to make ginger and green onion water.
- Blend the pork jelly for a while. Then add pork chunks in a blender, add salt, sugar, pepper, light soys sauce and oyster sauce. Blend with pause for 10 seconds. Then add the ginger and green onion water in. Continue blending with pause for another minute. Add the pork jelly, chopped green onion and sesame oil in. Stir in one direction for 1 or 2 minutes. Cover and place in fridge.
For the wrappers
- Add pinch of salt in flour. Add flour and water in a mixing bowl and then knead the dough until smooth and stretchy (this process may need 15 to 20 minutes depending on your kneading skill. You can also use a mixer to do this job.) Cover with a wet cloth and reset for 1 hour.
- Shape the dough into a long log and cut into small pieces (around 12g each one). Then roll the wrapper out to form a large wrapper (around 12 cm in diameter). The wrapper should be quite thin.
- Place the wrapper in your left hand. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center of your wrapper. Fix the starting point with the thumb of right hand and begin to fold the edge counterclockwise. Move the thumb slowly in the process. Repeat the process until the dumpling is completely sealed. Then slightly pull up the sealed peaks and then remove the extra flour(so we can get even and thin wrapper).
- Place the assembled dumpling on lined steamer. Set up the steamer and steam for around 8 to 10 minutes after the water is boiling.
- Serve directly or with Chinese black vinegar and ginger shreds.
I love all of the different tong bao I’ve had. My favorite so far was in Xi’an. Soup dumplings are BY FAR my favorite dumplings. I’ll be saving this recipe for Chinese New Year. If I’m going to be making dumpling for hours, I might as well make the best!
Now, I have a strange question. Are there any soup dumplings made with Chicken stock or veal stock? I’ve never seen them but that doesn’t count for much. I’d love to make a veal version of this with a nice demi or glace de veau. That would be an interesting experiment in French-Chinese fusion that I would love to try! Man, I love soup dumplings.
For Western readers, I’d like to offer up alternative pork stock advice for those who would make the mistake of not trying this recipe because of the pork rind. Make a traditional stock using pork bones (find a simple recipe online). Once you have the stock, reduce it by at least 50% and then refridgerate overnight. The stock will look like a pretty hard Jello - which is exactly what you want.
Anyway, Western readers, try Elaine’s recipes! They’re easy, great and authentic, unlike most of the stuff you’ll find online.
I have soup dumplings from Xi'an city. I have spend my four year university life in the city of Xi'an. There are so many yummy stuff.
Yes you can use chicken stock or veal stock in this recipe as long as the stock can form the jelly. We have chicken soup dumpling named as “鸡汁灌汤包” usually with chicken stock made from chicken bones and chicken feet.
Thanks for much for providing this information, I will list this as a note for other reader.
Thanks again for your lovely recommendation. You guys are the reasons why I continue posting recipes. Enjoy cooking!
Hi, can you tell me what flour is used for the wrappers? Thanks.
I use all purpose flour to make the wrappers. But you can use bread flour too. Only cake flour is not recommended.
What happens when you use cake flour?
The wrappers are not supported by enough gluten and quite easy to break.
Thalia @ butter and brioche
Craving some Chinese dumplings right now.. these look so incredibly delicious. I have never made dumplings from scratch myself before so you have definitely inspired me to recreate the recipe. Thanks for sharing it!
Making everything at home from starch is really enjoying. Like baker, I am always excited about how my dough turns out finally with seasonings and fillings.
Try it and I hope you like them the same as me.
In your receipt, the dumping wrapper use cold water, you mean ice cold water or room temperature water, because my dumping skin turn out a little bit too hard.
It should be room temperature water. If the dumpling skin becomes too hard or too dry, you can slightly add extra 10ml to 15ml water.
they are lovely and tasty! there is just one problem I have experienced - some of them are breaking when I am steaming them and the soup runs away 🙁 and sometimes this happens just after open the steamer. Not all of them though, so I wonder, what I am doing wrong? they are all almost the same, and I love the soup taste 🙂
Are you using homemade wrapper or store bought wrapper? You will need to wait for several minutes until the temperature of the steamer drops slightly.
Hi There,it such a great recipe
But is There any subtitute the pork coz i don't eat pork,is There any other way to make it without pork?thanks 🙂
I think you can use chicken to replace pork. Chicken feet can work as a substitute of pork rind.
Can you use store bought round wrappers instead of making them from scratch? I like to add julienned ginger to the black vinegar for dipping. Thank you.
If you do not want to make from starch, you can simply use store bought dumpling wrappers.
Hello!! Any substitute for pork rind?? Cause I've never heard of it here in Italy and I guess Itmight be a bit difficult to find...Thank you!
No pork rind in Italy? You can replace it with thickened broth.
Yes There is! I used "cotenna" and it was perfect. I think cotenna and pork rind are the same thing, isn't it? Today I made these dumplings, but while cooking, in some of theme the soup ran away. Maybe the wrappers were too thin or there was too much filling. I made the wrappers following this recipe. The next time I will make more wrappers, increasing the amount of flour and water. I've got a doubt….2 cups of flour weighs 250g?
Thanks for the recipe
Are you referring to raw pork rinds or the fried pork rinds you buy in the snack aisle?
I use raw pork rinds.
I've made quite the aspic using chicken feet - think it would work well here.
Sure, it should work fine. Chicken feet contains enough collagen.
Where have you been all this time?! By reading through your instructions, I figured out what I've been doing wrong with during my Chinese food preparation. You gave me hope! Thank you! Can't wait to try your recipes!
You are the most welcome, Sylvia! I hope you will love my recipes and cook yummy Chinese dishes successfully.