How to eat soup dumplings?

In this brief guide we will explain how to eat soup dumplings and other related topics such as how to make soup dumplings.

How to eat soup dumplings?

You can eat soup dumplings using a soup spoon and the key is ensuring that you take it slow and steady. A regular spoon can work just fine if you are eating at home. Then ensure that you use chopsticks and your teeth if necessary to poke a hole on the dumplings closest knot to enable them to cool down.

Drain the soup onto the spoon and then sip the soup slowly. If you do not have a spoon big enough you can take a bite on top of the dumpling and then sip from there. 

Some restaurants are courteous enough to provide straws for the dumpling lovers so that they can sip the soup and then eat the dumplings after. Once you have exhausted the soup, it becomes a whole lot easier to eat the dumpling. 

What are soup dumplings?

Soup dumplings are native to the Chinese and are also known as xiaolongbao, tang bao, Shanghai Soup Dumplings and sometimes ‘soupy buns’. They are a steamed dumpling that has a paper thin wrapper that encloses pork fillings often seasoned and has some sumptuous hot and flavored soup.

Every dumpling is usually well pleated with numerous folds. When they are fully steamed, the dumplings are usually dipped in a combination of Chinese black vinegar and julienned ginger to bring out a well blended bite of perfection.

Soup dumplings are traditionally made with plain ork fillings while some variations use a combination of crab and pork. Some newer versions may have different types of meat such as vegan fillings and seafood.

How do you make soup dumplings?

To make soup dumplings you first require to make the Aspic which is the jelly broth. Let us look at a step-by step-guide;

Step 1: Making the Aspic

The Aspic is the first step and it serves to create the soup in the soup dumplings. You will first require to make some soup out of the pork bones and skin. This enables your aspic to be smooth and firm when it is chilled.

You can make use of the skin from a skin on pork shoulder and purchase from the store some ham bones or pork neck bones. This can be easily gotten from a butchery if not available from the store or the local market.

Gather the below ingredients to make the aspic:

  • 225 grams of pork skin and cut it into 1 inch strips of skin.
  • 450 grams of pork neck bones
  • 1 scallion and cut it up into 3 pieces
  • A tablespoon of Shaoxing wine
  • Fresh and clean water

Place the pork skin together with the bones in a pot big enough to accommodate them and add in your fresh water to cover all of them. Bring the pork skin and bones to a boil and drain off the water, rinse off the Pork bones and Pork skin to rid them of any impurities.

Clean the pot and place the pork bones and skin in. Add in 4 cups of water and add in the ginger, wine and the scallion. Once boiled, reduce the heat to LOW and cover then let it simmer for about 2 hours.

After 2 hours, completely turn off the heat and let the soup cool to room temperature, strain the liquid. Then strain the liquid into a bowl and you can throw away the leftovers in the pot. Once the liquid is cool enough, cover and put it in the refrigerator overnight.

Step 2: Prepare the dough

Ingredient you require:

  • 130 grams of all purpose flour
  • 90ml of warm water

In a bowl add in the flour and warm water just a little at a time. Work and knead the dough for about 20 minutes, once done the dough should have a smooth and soft consistency. Cover the bowl with a bowl and leave it for about 30 mins to rest. 

Step 3: Make the filling

Get some ground pork and pulse it in a food processor until it becomes paste. 

Take a mixing bowl and add the pork with the following ingredients 3 quarters teaspoon of tablespoon salt, 2 tablespoons of shaoxing wine, half tablespoon of sesame oil, 3 quarters tablespoons of sugar, 3 tablespoons of light soy sauce, 3 tablespoons of water, a pinch of ground white pepper and a tablespoon of minced ginger except the aspic.

Whip the mixture for about 3 minutes until everything is well combined and the pork takes a light and airy paste texture. Then gently fold in the diced aspic and avoid it overmixing.

Step 4: Assembly

Roll the dough on a lightly dusted surface into long cylinders of about an inch. Then cut the dough into small equal pcs of about 11 g. Roll the pcs into round discs of about 3 inches in diameter and keep them under a damp cloth.

Now prepare your bamboo steamer which you can line with cheesecloth. When everything is ready, take out the fillings and make a bun at a time. Put a tablespoon of filling in the center of the dumpling skin and pleat about 12 folds.

Put the buns in the lined steamer basket and ensure that they are 2 inches apart.

Step 5: Steaming

Use a metal steamer or wok to boil water. Once the water has boiled, put the bamboo steamer in the work or metal steamer and cover it with a lid. Let it steam over high for about 8 to 9 minutes. Once the time is up, remove the bamboo steamer from the pot and the soup dumplings should be ready to eat.


In this brief guide we have explained how to eat soup dumplings and other related topics such as how to make soup dumplings.


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