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soup dumplings

bayatote Nov 11, 2013 10:23 AM

just returned from the east coast where soup dumplings reign....
where in SF, are THE BEST soup dumplings.....i'm in withdrawal

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  1. Robert Lauriston RE: bayatote Nov 11, 2013 10:28 AM

    That might be the most-discussed topic on this board.



    1 Reply
    1. re: Robert Lauriston
      bayatote RE: Robert Lauriston Nov 11, 2013 10:35 AM

      thank you…new to the site.

    2. eatzalot RE: bayatote Nov 13, 2013 04:52 AM

      What happened to the long-running introductory / FAQ topic for this Bay Area board? Explaining frequently-used shorthand like XLB and FL? I recall it being posted as a "sticky" topic, yet now I don't even see a link.

      1 Reply
      1. re: eatzalot
        Robert Lauriston RE: eatzalot Nov 13, 2013 11:45 AM

        The FAQ's still around. Probably a mistake that it's no longer sticky.


      2. r
        Ridge RE: bayatote Nov 13, 2013 07:43 AM

        My favorite ones are the ones at Koi Palace. They are served in little tin cups. Always soupy. Very flavorful and satisfying.

        17 Replies
        1. re: Ridge
          c oliver RE: Ridge Nov 13, 2013 07:51 AM

          Little tin cups? Not in a steamer basket? I've not been to KP. Are you just supposed to "shoot" them? Just can't picture that.

          1. re: c oliver
            JonDough RE: c oliver Nov 13, 2013 09:40 AM

            They come in a tin cup placed in a steamer basket. Koi Palace calls them Shanghai Style Juicy Pork Dumplings (they also have one with crab roe).

            1. re: c oliver
              Alan408 RE: c oliver Nov 13, 2013 11:33 AM

              They can be very hot, they can be bigger than a mouthful

              Eat them from a spoon

              1. re: Alan408
                c oliver RE: Alan408 Nov 13, 2013 11:38 AM

                I pick them up from the steamer with chopsticks, dip in sauce, hold over spoon and take a bite. Sometime poke a hole in to cool off. I'm just trying to imagine how one eats them out of the little tin cup.

              2. re: c oliver
                soupçon RE: c oliver Nov 14, 2013 07:55 AM

                At "Xiao Long Bao Restaurant" on Clement (cheapest place in town for XLB) they also use individual tin cups. http://goo.gl/YRVhSx

                1. re: soupçon
                  c oliver RE: soupçon Nov 14, 2013 08:16 AM

                  Thanks for the photo. But how does one eat it? Same as usual with chopsticks?

                  1. re: c oliver
                    bobabear RE: c oliver Nov 14, 2013 08:53 AM

                    Yeah, with chopsticks to pick it up out of the cup and you can either use the cup or a spoon to catch the soup that spills out.

                    I actually like the cup idea because it helps contain any soup that escapes if the dumpling rips while you pick it up (which it does if you let it sit long enough to cool down...). Works well for take out, as suggested in the photo!

                    1. re: c oliver
                      wolfe RE: c oliver Nov 14, 2013 08:57 AM

                      I do chopsticks on bao, dip, bring to lips with cup to catch soup squirt.like the spoon in this image.

                      1. re: wolfe
                        c oliver RE: wolfe Nov 14, 2013 09:13 AM

                        Exactly what I do. And thanks, bobabear for the explanation. I was having a hard time picturing.

                  2. re: c oliver
                    soupçon RE: c oliver Nov 14, 2013 08:32 AM

                    M.Y. China, in which Koi Palace is a partner, serves XLB in individual "tiaogeng" spoons. The best there is the wild boar XLB, IMHO. UNfortunately, like Yank Sing (and Koi Palace?) they use the WRONG vinegar,


                    1. re: soupçon
                      c oliver RE: soupçon Nov 14, 2013 08:37 AM

                      Great photo. IMO however that presentation seems a bit too precious. But I understand that M. Y. China is going for a different audience than places in Chinatown and the Richmond.

                      1. re: soupçon
                        Ridge RE: soupçon Nov 14, 2013 12:25 PM

                        At Koi palace they use the correct vinegar. In Hong Kong and Taipei the XLB I have had was always served with a rich brown sherry-like vinegar. Some places in the US serve a one-dimensional red vinegar. But Koi palace uses brown vinegar.

                    2. re: Ridge
                      bayatote RE: Ridge Nov 13, 2013 11:47 AM

                      thanks, but when I went there the dough was too thick, and the dumplings didn't have much soup...

                      1. re: bayatote
                        soupçon RE: bayatote Nov 14, 2013 08:14 AM

                        Like most xiaolong bao eaters in the U.S. you are confused between true Shanghai style xiao long bao and Nanjing style tang bao pushed by the likes of Din Tai Fung and Jia Jia Tang Bao:

                        " 'Fu Chun is the closest you can get nowadays to an authentic xiaolongbao,' explains food critic Shen Hongfei. 'What most shops sell these days are not xiaolongbao, but Nanjing tangbao [Nanjing soup dumplings] marketed as xiaolongbao. These are the soup-filled dumplings with very thin skin, like the kind you find at Jia Jia Tang Bao or Din Tai Fung.'

                        Restaurant consultant and chef Anthony Zhao explains how to distinguish between real-deal xiaolongbao and the Nanjing tangbao import: 'In a tangbao, the dumpling will sag between your chopsticks because of the soup. For a Shanghainese xiaolongbao, the filling should be like one big meatball with a bit of soup. The skin should be a bit thicker than tangbao, but not as thick as in shengjian [pan-fried dumpling].'"


                        1. re: soupçon
                          c oliver RE: soupçon Nov 14, 2013 08:17 AM

                          Thanks for that. Does one find the "authentic" XLB in the us?

                          1. re: soupçon
                            hyperbowler RE: soupçon Nov 15, 2013 05:11 PM

                            Thanks for the clarification. That's a much better summary than the mishmash I tried to get through when I asked about this earlier this year on the Asia board: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9022...

                            Question 1: It's funny that guidebooks, and even the Asia board, seem to direct people to places in Shanghai that serve Nanjing tangbao rather than xiaolongbao. Is that a locals preference too?

                            Question 2: I've eaten at most of the Shanghainese places in the Bay Area (and some in NYC like Joe's Shanghai), and I don't think the sag factor jumped out at me until eating at Din Tai Fung. Does anyplace have Nanjing tangbao in the Bay Area? The only sag in recent memory has been from Shanghai Dumpling Shop in Millbrae. No place has the Giant Tangbao which seem to be China's equivalent to "soup in a breadbowl."

                            Question 3: While we're discussing this, note that Sheng Jian Bao have evolved from being a pan-fried bun with a little soup inside to having one to two spoonfuls. This article frames it as an innovation of Xiao Yang Lipeng, but I recall a regional variation being brought up at one point too.
                            http://www.timeoutshanghai.com/featur... No reports of the 1-2 spoonful soupy kind in the Bay Area, right?

                            1. re: soupçon
                              calumin RE: soupçon Nov 16, 2013 11:26 AM

                              Are you sure you mean Nanjing tangbao -- to mean that this style of dumpling comes from Nanjing, not Shanghai?

                              Or do you mean Nanxiang -- which is an area in Shanghai's Jiading district where this specific form of dumpling is assumed to have been invented in the 19th century?

                              I thought xiaolongbao is really a form of tangbao, and that tangbao in Nanjing would more commonly refer to a larger bun where the soup is drunk with a straw.

                              I have seen that linked article quoted across the Internet a lot, but I think it's quite confusing. There are clearly lots of shops in Shanghai, that cater to locals, that sell the version with thinner skins.

                        2. soupçon RE: bayatote Nov 13, 2013 07:55 AM

                          I don't know where on the east coast you've been, but in New York the only decent XLB I've had were at the unilkely M Shanghai Bistro in Brooklyn. In the Bay Area, try Shanghai House and Bund Shanghai in SF Shanghai Dumpling Shop in San Mateo. For haute XLB, the wild boar XLB at M.Y. China aren't bad.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: soupçon
                            bayatote RE: soupçon Nov 13, 2013 11:22 AM

                            Joe's Shanghai, and Shanghai Deluxe Cafe, as well as the M Shanghai Bistro in Brooklyn

                            1. re: bayatote
                              Robert Lauriston RE: bayatote Nov 13, 2013 11:47 AM

                              Some discussions comparing local XLB with Joe's Shanghai:


                              1. re: bayatote
                                bbulkow RE: bayatote Nov 13, 2013 11:00 PM

                                A number of discussions on the NYC board regarding Joe's Shanghai being unlike anything in Shanghai, and thus being a ( delicious ) variant --- but SF dumplings should be compared to Shanghai if you care about "authentic". I can attest to this truth - have sampled both Joe's Shanghai and various places in Shanghai proper.

                                In my neck of the woods, I like Little Shanghai in San Mateo.

                                I am always looking for Shen Zhen Bao, possibly mis-spelled, the juicy pan-friend dumplings (canonical example is Yang's in recently and sadly moved Dumpling Alley in Shanghai). I have not settled on a favorite Shen Zhen Bao in the bay area, it's rarer than it should be. Best recent example was in San Gabriel Valley.

                                1. re: bbulkow
                                  Melanie Wong RE: bbulkow Nov 13, 2013 11:03 PM

                                  A recent rec for SJB http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/923572

                                2. re: bayatote
                                  psb RE: bayatote Nov 14, 2013 02:53 AM

                                  KUNG FU XLB are pretty good ... thin wrappers and flavorful soup. A couple of them collapsed when being picked up, but other than that, those are the best I've had in NYC (an better than Shanghai Bund, and some of the cheaper places in the Richmond/Sunset).

                                  I have not gone to any high end XLB places in NYC, comparable to YANK SING.

                                  My friends said they could takes the difference between the PORK and the CRAB+PORK but they pretty much tasted the same to me (at KF-XLB).

                                  (Parenthetically, the RAVA DOSA I had at the GANESH TEMPLE CANTEER near KF-XLB is the best Dosa I have had in the United States. The masala/potato filling which was served on the side was good, but not great)

                                  1. re: bayatote
                                    soupçon RE: bayatote Nov 14, 2013 08:23 AM

                                    Unless Joe's Shanghai's XLB have improved since the mid-90s, they are among the most wretched attempts at xiao long bao I have ever seen. I don't think I've tried Shanghai Deluxe, but a place called Yeah Shanghai had the best XLB I could find in Manhattan. That Nanxiang place (however they spell it) in Flushing had the second best city-wide (to M Shanghai) when I tired it.

                                  2. re: soupçon
                                    moto RE: soupçon Nov 14, 2013 12:36 AM

                                    during Dungeness season, about to begin, of the two variations of xiao long bao at Bund Shanghai, the one to try is the crab and pork.

                                  3. wolfe RE: bayatote Nov 15, 2013 07:15 AM

                                    s this what you mean by soup dumplings reign?
                                    "Taking the traditional Chinese soup dumpling and giving it a French twist that's not the addition of a beret, Masaharu Morimoto's whisky lounge Bisutoro has filled these tender, steamed dumplings with French onion soup (studded with caramelized onions) in a thin bath of broth, and topped with panko-fried maitake mushrooms and kabocha (that's winter squash) purée. That's right -- the soup is IN THE DUMPLING.."

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