How to Eat Soup Dumplings
Xiao long bao, or ‘soup dumpling’, is a variety of steamed bun that has its origins in Shanghai, Eastern China. Owner of the ‘New Shanghai’ restaurant brand, John Chen, shares his tips for savouring this delicacy!
The traditional Xiao long bao dumpling has a delicate skin that seals in a flavourful juicy pocket of pork and hot, gingery-sweet broth – hence the name! Just like making these dumplings, there is also an art and technique to eating them. If you really want to enjoy their delicious juiciness (and not end up burning yourself and others!!), there are certain ways to go about eating them.
1. To begin, pour vinegar onto the ginger. At New Shanghai, we serve the dumplings like they do in Shanghai – with Chinese black vinegar and julienne-style matchsticks of fresh ginger.
2. Next, pick up the dumpling with your chopsticks, making sure to do this gently so as you do not puncture the skin. This is where problems often occur – if you accidentally break the skin, the hot broth will escape!
3. Dip the dumpling carefully into the vinegar sauce, before placing the dumpling onto a spoon. From here, you pierce the dumplings skin by either nibbling a hole in the side, or making a hole with a chopstick.
4. When you have blown on the hole several times to cool the inside broth slightly, tip the dumpling and suck the soup from inside. If you just bite into the dumpling, the juice can squirt anywhere and burn you, not to mention making a mess!
5. Once the broth has been drained, you can add more ginger and vinegar as you like, and finish the dumpling. And, most importantly - don’t forget to enjoy!
More about New Shanghai
Growing restaurant brand and dumpling house ‘New Shanghai’ has just announced its expansion into Charlestown, New South Wales – set to open its doors on November 27, 2010.
Featuring cobblestoned floors, hanging red lanterns, leave-twined walls and patterned umbrellas, the space is bestowed with the rich oriental beauty of Shanghai’s hinterland. A signature of all the New Shanghai restaurants, a live dumpling making theatre takes centre stage to offer diners a sneak peak into the action.
As well as the new Charlestown restaurant, John says you can expect to see a lot more of New Shanghai around Australia and abroad in the near future.
Here are a couple of simple recipes from John Chen you can impress your family and friends with: