So I'm spending a few days engineering in scenic Wuxi, about 100 miles north-west of Shanghai. I had some great dumplings on my way through Shangahai (Wuxi airport is closed for the olympics), but wuxi style XLB are something else.
Think of Wuxi spare ribs - hugely sweet slow cooked ribs, just nearly falling off the bone - and translate that sauce into the soup of a standard XLB. Yum city (although lacking in the ginger balance of standard XLB)
So --- will I be able to get that taste back by the bay, or do I have to angle for another Wuxi trip?
I had these once in Wuxi and the soup filling is different, even odd in comparison to the familiar Shanghai-style XLB. It's noticably sweet and dark from soy sauce. I'm trying to remember if it had any notes of anise or tangerine peel. Your comparison to Wuxi ribs is apt.
Haven't seen it here at all and I'd think that a restauranteur would be wary of putting it on a menu because most people would find it so unfamiliar.
I was hoping for description-by-association. If you have the taste of wuxi style ribs in your mind, and take that taste and put it in the soup part of XLB, that's about what a wuxi style XLB tastes like.
If you don't have that taste in your memory, I'd say it's a savory/sweet molass-y blend of tastes, not entirely unlike a Kansas City rib coating in base taste, with a lot more sweet and no heat/kick to speak of
On the same note - apparently in Shanghai they also make a potsticker-style soup dumpling, cooked in hot oil. Thicker skin, like a regular potsticker, but with soup.
Here's a food blog with pictures of the guys at the bottom:
Any hope of those?
the place I went to was on a little food alley and called Yong's or something. 4 dumplings, 4 RMB. Yum.
I've heard of the fried XLB in the Bay Area, I think I may have read it on CH. Too many XLB threads however.
Okay, found it: K_K mentioned fried ones in this post:
>Methinks artfuldestruct may have better luck trying the fried version
>instead, Shen Jian Bao, at Shanghai Flavor Shop in Sunnyvale that holds
>way more soup and is bigger than the average XLB in SF Bay Area.
As ML800 noted, what you are thinking or are sheng jian bao, and the place you are thinking of is my namesake's, Xiao Yang's on Wujiang Lu. I've had them recently at three places locally, (left to right) Shanghai Dumpling King, Shanghai Restaurant (Oakland) and Sunny Shanghai (San Bruno). Shanghai Restaurant had the prettiest ones, but Shanghai Dumpling King's were the best of the three.
930 Webster St, Oakland, CA 94607
Shanghai Dumpling King
3319 Balboa St, San Francisco, CA 94121
189 El Camino Real, San Bruno, CA 94066