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.
This was so much fun to make and we had many successful ones in our batch of like..3 dozen lol!
But a problem we came across a lot- was that the dough at the top (when you pinch it) was too thick once cooked.
Is there something I may be doing incorrectly that is causing this?
Originally when I was steaming these, I had them at High Heat. But I lowered the heat and they seemed to cook better.
I also had to use Chicken Fat instead of Pork, because I keep kosher. So the receipe for the Gel/Stuffing got changed a lot. It all came out delicious! And I replaced everything equally.
But I'm still stuck on the dough and what I may be doing wrong. Do you need to roll these out with a rolling pin? Or is hand pushing them just enough?
How thick should each piece be?
Thanks for your recipe and time! <3
The problem is caused by your method of making the wrappers. The wrappers should be rolled out with a rolling pin and more importantly you need to make the edges thinner than the center part by rotating the wrapper during the process, just like make dumpling wrappers. So the pinched top will not be over thick.
Chicken fat is a great substitute for pork for sure and I believe you get the right taste. Good job and continue practicing, you are close to the perfect ones now.
Hi. Would the high gluten flour or lower be most suitable for this recipe? Thanks.
Wow, very clear explanation! It makes me feel “make it now”. Worth reading.
Thanks. Go ahead and it will not disappoint you.
It is 1/2 cup and add by three batches. Thanks so much for the correctness.
If I have left over meat jelly can I freeze it and use it when I make XLB in a couple months?
Yes you can freeze meat jelly for later use. But do not recommend leaving them too long in fridge.
My first encounter of soup dumplings was in Flushing, NY three months ago. DELICIOUS!
I am going to try your recipe for our Chinese New Year Celebration.
What is the size of the 4 slices of ginger which I need to add to the 1/2 of hot water and green onions? Thank you for sharing.
2 pieces of ginger for cook the pork rind and the mince the left and soak with green onions. Happy cooking! I am sorry for the late reply due to the Chinese Spring Festival Gap.
Hi, I’ve had these dumplings once before and am now In love with them so I’m going to attempt to make them at home. However, I can’t get hold of pork rind for the base. Any recommendations or substitutes that I could use instead???
You can use thicker chicken stock and freeze the filling for a while before wrapping.
Thank you for this Recipe. They taste exactly like the one I had in Hong Kong!
unfortunately mine always stick to the surface or to each other. When they are lifted, they tear open. Any tip?
You need to use larger steamer and leave more space between each one. For the opening problem, are you lifting them warm or slightly cooled? I suggest eating this directly after removing from the heat. Water can escape very quickly along with the cooling down process.
How much water do you use when cooking the pork rind down with the ginger and green onion? I don’t have a pressure cooker so doing it on the stove. My water is almost completely evaporated - I put just enough to cover the pork rind... doesn’t seem right to me. Should I be adding more water?
If you using regular pot, the water evaporated very quickly. I recommend the water level should be at least 4 cm higher. Use slow fire after the content boils.
Is there anything I can use to substitute the oyster sauce or can I leave it out all together?
You can skip oyster sauce and slightly increase the amount of light soy sauce and sugar.
Hi I've tried making the meat jelly yesterday and kept it refrigerated overnight but it doesn't turn jelly. It's still watery like broth. May I ask what could have gone wrong? Is there anything I can do now to salvage? Thanks in advance
I will post the details in the following two days. Possibly the cooking time is not enough.