HOW TO MAKE XIAO LONG BAO (SOUP DUMPLINGS)
Xiao lengthy Bao, actually which means “small basket buns”, is a type of steamed bun originating from Jiangsu province, China. Known as soup dumplings in English, they may be a hybrid of baozi and jiaozi having the shape of baozi but the use of non-leavened wrappers like jiaozi.
For the aspic
- 1 medium-sized whole chicken, see note 1
- 3 stalks scallions, cut into halves
- 6 slices ginger
For the wrappers
- 180 g all-purpose flour, see note 2 for other options
- 60 g hot water
- 35 g tap water, see note 3
For the filling
- 450 g minced pork
- 3 stalks scallions, finely chopped
- x1 tbsp minced ginger
- 1 tbsp light soy sauce
- 1 tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
For the dipping sauce
- Red rice vinegar , or black rice vinegar
- Ginger, julienned
Make the aspic
- Preheat the oven at 390°F/200°C/Gas 6 (Fan-assisted 360°F/180°C)
- Place chicken in an oven-proof pot/pan/baking tray. Put scallions and ginger inside the chicken. Cover TIGHTLY with a lid/tin foil.
- Cook in the oven for 1 hour. Then leave to cool (covered).
- Keep the chicken for other dishes. Pour the liquid into a container. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours until it turns into a piece of jelly-like aspic (about 250g).
Prepare the dough
- In a mixing bowl, add hot water to the flour. Mix with chopsticks/spatula. Then add tap water.
- Combine and knead into a dough. Leave to rest (covered) for 10 minutes then knead again until very smooth.
- Cover and rest for a further 30-60 minutes until it becomes soft.
Mix the filling
- Mix minced pork with all the seasoning until well combined.
- Use a spoon to remove the layer of chicken fat on top of the aspic. Then use a fork to break it into tiny pieces. Add to the pork then mix well.
- Keep refrigerated for at least 30 mins. Don’t take out until you are ready to assemble the dumplings.
Roll the wrappers
- Roll the dough into a rope. Divide into 20 pieces. Then press into discs with the palm of your hand. Cover at all times when not using (with cling film/in a plastic bag/with an upside-down bowl, etc.).
- With a rolling pin, use the “roll and turn” technique to flatten it into a very thin disc, about 12cm/4.7inch in diameter (Please refer to my tutorial video below). Dust the surface with flour if it sticks (see note 4).
- N.B. Assemble the dumpling one by one as you roll out each wrapper (Do not stock up as they are very thin thus dry out very easily).
- Place a spoonful of the filling (about 35g) in the middle of the wrapper.
- Pleat into a round dumpling with about 15-20 folds (Please refer to my tutorial video below). You may leave the middle part open or sealed.
- Line the steamer basket with steamer parchment paper, or cut regular parchment paper into squares (see note 5 if you are using a metal steamer).
- Place dumplings in (leave at least 3cm/1inch space between them).
Bring water to a full boil in a wok/pot. Then put the steamer basket on top. Turn the heat to medium-low. Steam for 8 mins (if cooking over 10 dumplings at a time, increase to 10 mins).
Serve & eat
Bring the steamer basket to the table to serve.
Hold the top part of the dumpling with a pair of chopsticks. Pick up then place onto a soup spoon or a small saucer. Open a small hole with the chopsticks to let the “soup” flow out. Slurp up! (You may directly bite a small hole and suck out the soup but be careful not to burn your tongue)
Gently dip the dumpling into the dipping sauce (mix vinegar with julienned ginger) then eat in 1-2 bites.