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Aug 28, 2005 12:57 PM

xiao long bow (soup dumplings) challenge

  • j

I've recently discovered these incredibly delicious bites of heaven, and I've read with interest the posts below and printed out the recipe.

However, I'd like to (eventually) develop a variation, since my partner does not eat meat but does eat fish. I'm sure that I could come up with a filling that would be the right consistency that is made of, say, shrimp and crabmeat instead of pork, but what about the soup?

How can I make a soup that is sufficiently gelatinous without using meat? If you come up with a solution to this dilemma, I will invite you over for dinner.


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  1. Instead of gelatin, you might consider frozen seafood stock. Freeze it in ice cube trays, then coarsely chop up in your blender.

    2 Replies
    1. re: nooodles

      Joy try the following filling and aspic recipe instead of the meat:


      ¾ lb shelled white shrimp (Keep the shells)
      6 dry shitake mushrooms, re-hydrated with 3 cups hot water for at least an hour and chopped finely (keep the shitake liquid).
      1/2 can of whole water chestnut drained and chopped or 8 fresh water chestnut peeled and chopped
      ¼ lb of fresh fish paste (You can find them at Chinese fish market) or to make your own fish paste by blending white fish fillets with an egg white and bit of salt and white pepper.
      1 green onion chopped finely
      2 slices of ginger chopped finely
      2 Tbs rice wine or shaoshing wine
      1 tsp sesame oil
      Salt and white pepper to taste.

      I am not giving the salt content this is due to the fish paste. Fish paste purchased from a Chinese fish markets often times are seasoned. So, I would take a tsp of the filling cook it in the pan and taste for saltiness before adding more salt.

      Now for the seafood aspic. Put the shrimp shells, 1 sliced ginger, 1 green onion into a pot add 2 1/4 cups of veggie or seafood stock and boil it on low-medium heat for 20-30 min. After the 30 min. remove any shells and herbs and set aside. While the shrimp shell stock is cooking. Pour ½ cup of the cold shitake mushroom liquid in to a medium bowl, whisk in and dissolve 1 packet of Knox unflavored gelatine. Pour in the hot shrimp liquid into the shitake mushroom and unflavored gelatine. Mix well and make sure no gelatine is visible on the bottom. Strain the aspic liquid into a flat or loaf pan and refrigerated until it sets. Cut into 1/2x1/2/x1/2 cubes for XLB use.

      Note: Even though Knox Gelatine contains no flavor, I still noticed an unpleasant plastic taste sometimes. If you don’t want to use Knox Gelatine, simply substitute Knox with agar-agar powder (99 ranch will have them). If you are using Agar powder you will need to boil the agar powder with the shrimp stock.

      Also, instead of sprinkling sesame on top of the bun, I would use one frozen pea on top of the bun. If you are making both the meat kind and seafood kind, having the pea will be easier for your hubby to pick out the non-meat ones.

      1. re: nooodles

        You could use frozen stock as your base but you would still need to "gelatinize" it somehow. Agar agar would be a vegetarian option but I think it is very heat sensitive and wouldn't perform as well as traditional meat or fish gelatin.

      2. Fish bones have quite a bit of gelatin in them. Whenever we steam a whole fish and save the juices, they set up quite firm in the fridge over night.

        Fwiw, XLB made with crab are delicious!