Shanghai Soup Dumplings
bamboo steamer – chinese scent – the mild and chewy dumpling skin – rich hot juicy broth – tender meat essence – julienned ginger and black chinkiang vinegar
of course, with pair of chopsticks and a flat Chinese spoon.
XLB, stands for Xiao Long Bao, is one of the most popular steamed bun in Shanghai. It was first existed in 1875 at Nanxiang, Shanghai. If you are going to master it, click here.
The filling of traditional Xiao Long Bao are made with pork basically. But here, i covered it with chicken breasts. As for one reason, my grandpa is not allowed to consume pork. I did this for my family, so “i made for everyone can eat”. Since it would be more inconvenient if i made the “chicken and pork” filling at once, and what is more, i am a beginner and this is my very first time (i’m serious when i said “first”).
Anyway, i have been wondering to experiment this steamed bun long ago. I thought once that it was ridiculous for me to make. But the more i watch the how-to-make-xiaolongbao video, my passion to make it even grow. SO, i have to be honest, that, i can’t sleep well the day before i made it. Sounds absurd yea, but so it goes. Two days before, i spent my mom’s flour just to learn how to fold xiaolongbao proper and well, and tried to make the soup jelly. To know whether it works or not. And fortunate, it works, and was so excited!
- 1 Tbsp. Ham or bacon (i didn’t use it)
- Fresh ginger
- 2 Green onions
- 400 ml Chicken stock
- 1.5 tsp. Gelation; or 0.5 tsp agar-agar powder
- 120gr Bread flour
- 70gr All-purpose flour
- 90ml Water
- 2 tsp. Olive oil
- 2 tsp. Sesame oil
- 2 tsp. Light soy sauce
- 1.5 tsp. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. White pepper
- 250 gr Ground pork (but i used chopped chicken breasts)
- Make the soup. Chop the ham or bacon well. Slice the pieces of ginger about 0.25 cm thick. Smash each piece to get the juicy out. Chop the green onion in 5 cm lengths and crush each piece. Put the stock, ham, green onion, and ginger in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and cook until the stock has reduced by half. Strain the soup, discard the solids, and set aside to cool. Return the stock to the saucepan and put in the agar-agar powder. Heat over medium-high heat. Bring the stock to a boil and turn off the heat. Pour it into a plate to make a thin layer that will cool quickly and easy to cut up. Refrigerate the soup for 20 to 30 minutes until it is completely cooled and set. When it’s ready, finely chop it into small cubes.
- Make the dough. While refrigerating the soup, start boiling water for the dough.Combine the two kind of flours in a big bowl, add the water and oil to the flour. The result will be a soft, warm dough. If the dough is too dry, add water by the half-teaspoon to soften. Make the dough into a ball and transfer it to a very lightly floured work surface and knead it for about five minutes to get a good result. When you’re done kneading, the dough should be smooth and a little bit elastic. Test it by pressing a finger into the dough. It should bounce back quickly. Let the dough rest at room temperature for an hour before using.
- Make the filling. Peel the ginger and grate with a box grater and put it in a bowl. Mince the green onion, sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, and white pepper to the previous bowl. Mix all of the ingredients together until they form a creamy mixture. Then add the meat and mix well with a fork. Add the small cubes of gelled stock from above, and mix until well blended.
- Shape the dough. Line steamer trays with parchment paper(basically), but i user banana leaves. You need to spread oil above them to prevent sticking. Remove the sticky dough. On a floured surface, gently shape all of the dough into a ball. Cut the ball in half. Put half of it back in the bowl. Roll the other half and cut the dough into 12 equal pieces, and roll them into balls. Dust the balls with flour to prevent any sticking.For each dumpling, take a wrapper and hold it in your slightly cupped hand. Scoop up about a tablespoon of filling, position it in the center, and press down gently. Use both sets of index fingers and thumbs to pleat and pinch the rim of the dough together to form a closed satchel. Make sure to pinch and twist the dough at the end to completely close your dumpling—you want that soup to stay in. Place each finished dumpling in a steamer tray, sealed side up, spacing them about 2 or 2.5 cm apart. If you are unable to fit all of the dumplings once, store the others on a lightly floured, parchment paper–lined baking sheet with space between them to prevent sticking.
- Steam the dumplings. In the steamer, steam each batch of dumplings over boiling water for 8-10 minutes. When the dumplings are done, they will puff up slightly and become translucent.
Last. Serve! Serve immediately with the sauce. Share with family or friends in hot!