Soup dumplings are one of our favorite things to go and eat. These little babies really melt in your mouth, and the trick for that is such an easy one. Geletanized stock…or Aspic! When we realized this, our minds were totally blown. What a good trick!! These dumplings are really easy to make, so don’t let the folding and crimping situations of the wonton wrappers fool you. You can try to make them nice and pretty, or you can get experimental and go a little crazy. Just make sure they are sealed and you’re good to go! We picked this recipe today because of the two little tricks that work wonders. The aspic, and the egg wash to make sure your dumplings are sealed so they cook properly.
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Shanghai Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
- 2 cups homemade (or all natural, store bought) chicken stock
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin OR 3 gelatin sheets
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 cup cooked and chopped vermicelli rice noodles
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 ½ teaspoons minced lemongrass
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- ⅔ cup diced water chestnuts optional
- 1 ½ teaspoons low sodium soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 40 round wonton wrappers
- savoy or napa cabbage
- For stock: Pour stock into a small pot and bring to a boil. Stir in salt and continue to boil until the stock has reduced by half. Remove from heat. Sprinkle gelatin into a bowl of ½ cup water and allow gelatin to bloom (you will know the gelatin is ready, when it expands and absorbs all the water).
- Pour the gelatin mixture into the hot stock, stir until dissolved and pour into a shallow, 8”x11” baking dish. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight until an aspic forms (the stock gelatinizes). Once aspic is ready, cut into ½ inch squares and continue to refrigerate until ready to use.
- For filling; In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients and gently mix together until fully combined, making sure not to overwork the meat mixture. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or until ready to use.
- To assemble: Brush some egg wash over the surface of a wonton wrapper and fill with 2 teaspoons of filling. Top filling with 1 or 2 small cubes of aspic and carefully gather the perimeter of the wonton and pull it until the center, to create a pouch. Gently twist the gathered wonton to seal the pouch and pinch off the end.
- Line a bamboo steamer (or whatever steaming device you have) and line it with a single layer of savoy or napa cabbage. Place steamer over a pot filled up halfway with water (like a double boiler) and boil over medium-high heat. Steam dumplings for about 10 to 12 minutes or until the filling has cooked through and the stock has melted into a liquid.
- Allow dumplings to cool for 1 to 2 minutes before serving in the steamer.
- *Makes 40 Dumplings
- **Be sure to let your guests know that the dumplings are filled with piping hot soup, so they don’t burn their mouths!
Did you make this recipe? We want to see!
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I love these dumplings they are so good!
Fantastic dish and much easier than some soup dumplings I have made that have taken me days to prepare.
Teri Lyn Fisher
So glad you like this one Joyce! :)
These look amazing! I was just wondering though, how long can we keep the aspic in the refrigerator? Does it keep well?
I have made these darling, delicious dumplings for several cocktail parties with great “oohs and aah s” exclaimed! However, still not totally loving my choice of won ton wrappers. What brand do you suggest? Thanks and keep the recipes coming!
I just discovered soup dumplings this winter and I’ve already made multiple trips to Chinatown to get them. I can’t even express how I excited I am to learn how easy it is to make them at home. I’m buying a bamboo steamer immediately. Thanks!!
Where did you find wrappers big enough to do this? I tried using 3-inch wrappers and the results were pretty mixed.
Soup dumplings are not in the same family of foods as generic dumplings in China. They’re more close to meat buns (baozi). As such, you can’t use dumpling wrappers to make them.
In the U.S. it’s very common to use dumpling wrappers for these types of soup dumpling. The bao buns are usually saved for the bowl sized soup dumplings…the type that is usually served with a straw.
Lauren @ Living the Savory Life
I am SO excited to be able to make these! We love them and order them all the time when we go for dim sum.
Samina | The Cupcake Confession
Soup dumplings!!!!!! I am loving these!!!! I have never eaten soup dumplings before but these look so gorgeous, I just know that I need to make these stat!
My family and I LOVE soup dumplings! Thanks for this post : )
Curious Little Kitchen
So aspic’s the trick for that juicy goodness – thanks for sharing!
Woohoo! Went to Din Tai Fung this week and have been craving these things! Such a simple solution to what was a culinary mystery! Thanks for all the great recipes!
Din Tai Fung is my family’s favorite restaurant and we love the Xiao Long Bao there :) Can’t wait to try this!
Such a cool recipe!!
I’ve been meaning to make soup dumplings, but they never quite compare to Joe Shanghai’s in NYC. I’d much rather order them from Joe’s, but I will have to give these a try!
Thanks for the recipe.
Boy did you make my Bday a happy one. I’d never seen these before until the other day when I was watching Chicago’s Best. I’ve been intrigued with this idea ever since. Now I can’t wait to give this a try
OMG! I’m a Shanghainese , a huge fan of soup dumplings. Your Xiao Long Bao are solo amazing!! I never ever thought I can make Xiao Long Bao at home, still I don’t believe I can make it by myself. Joe’s Shanghai (Lu Ming Chun) makes the best in New York area in my opinion. I tried Din Tai Feng in Seattle, never impressed.
Recently when visiting my sister in New York, she took us out for soup dumplings. We couldn’t stop downing them and then discussed how in the world we thought they got that soup in there!! Someone mentioned injecting liquid to a nearly-finished dumpling… I suggested starting with a frozen or gelatinous stock being wrapped up inside…. eeee I was right :) Sort of! How fun! And I love the lemongrass in these. Can’t wait to try our own at home. What a treat!
Millie l Add A Little
NO FRICKIN WAY. I CAN’T CONTAIN MY EXCITEMENT! These are one of my favourite dumplings and I’ve always wanted to make them but never got round to making my stock gelatinous. My mind is totally blown!!
Rachael | Spache the Spatula
Whoah! I am so impressed that you made your own Xiao Long Bao! There’s a few Din Tai Fungs that have opened up in the Seattle area in the past few years, and there are always lines hours long for their famous Xiao Long Bao. They have a super large window where you can watch *them* make them, but I never thought of making them myself! You’ve totally inspired me!
Great post! Check out the VICE sponsored videos of Eddie Huang talking about the proper way to eat a soup dumpling.
Was wondering what brand/type of steam you’re using in the photos?
We love soup dumplings in our home and these ones are amazing, love the flavors!
I’m really happy to see that you’ve made such a big effort to make these dumplings! I’ve trained to make them in the past so I know how difficult it can be! Just to let you know, the gelatine should be mixed with the filling, that way it’s evenly dispersed and way easier to wrap up! Try 10g for each piece of wrap with about 15g of filling! It’ll fill up better! Hope you try these again! I’ve made them so many times I’m taking a break for now!
Thanks for the awesome tip! So helpful!
Do you have some insight on how to make homemade wrappers? Some call for egg some call for hot water, I want to make them thin with the same texture. So far the hot water method has made a thicker dough with a pasty texture. Love the recipe!
OMG. We are the biggest fan of soup dumplings and nearly ate our weight in them when we visited Shanghai. Now I’m suuuuuper tempted to make them. For real. Aspic always make me think of Julia Child.