I love dumplings. The has been love affair that has been going on for some while now. I was very excited to get back to China and to get back together with some delicious, local dumplings. The Shanghainese have their own version of dumplings. Sorry everyone, here comes a little food porn.
Xiao Long Bao – soup dumpling
Typically pork, as everything is typically pork, these thin, dough masterpieces are created by hand and have a gelatin in them that when steamed becomes a molten liquid soup within the dumpling. Also available with shrimp. Served in a steam basket. Delicious. Ususally served in large quantities (10, 20, 30, etc)
Our first encounter with xiao long bao was at Din Tai Fung in Super Brand Mall (Pudong). Din Tai Fung was a little pricier (10 for 30 RMB or roughly $5 USD) than most places, but it is a Taiwanese chain (also with locations in the U.S.) Great service and they did have other options – pork buns, sauteed vegetables, other dumplings and wontons. The place was packed and the food came quickly. I’d certainly go back.
But back to the xiao long bao. Eating instructions: 1) Hold the dumpling in your chopsticks. 2) Have your spoon ready in your other hand. 3) Bite into the dumpling over the spoon so that you catch the soup if it should happen to fall. 4) Slurp out the soup. 5) Dip the dumpling in soy or hot sauce, your preference. 6) Repeat!
Sheng Jian Bao – Fried soup Dumplings
As if I thought it couldn’t get any better – it can. Fried soup dumplings? Yes please. Sheng jian bao – a thicker dough skin, same hot, savory broth in a dumpling. Jen and I first tried these lovely fried dumplings at Yang’s Fry Dumplings, a local Shanghai chain restaurant.
(L2R – Making the dumplings, 1 side gets fried, Jen waiting in line at the window for our dumplings)
You wait at a counter, hand in a ticket and get your fried dumplings. We tried the Shrimp dumplings priced at 4 pieces for 18 RMB/16 RMB or $2.87/$2.55 USD and Yang’s Dumplings priced at 4 pieces for 8RMB/6RMB or $1.28/$0.96. _ we have had different prices in different locations around Shanghai). Here are the dumplings and an inside shot of the shrimp dumplings. Love that they are fried a little. It just add something to it. Yang’s does offer other dishes – soups, etc. But we have usually stuck to the dumplings.
Here is a video on how to eat Sheng Jian Bao.
I know we have just scratched the surface of the dumpling scene here, but I just had to share. Can’t wait to try more – there’s a few other places around Shanghai that are supposed to be notorious so I’ll be on the lookout!