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  • Alex Gillam

Xiao Long Bao, Shanghai's Famous Soup Dumplings

A delicate, paper-thin steamed dumpling filled with pork and a hot, tantalizing soup, Xiao Long Bao is a perfectly balanced bite that belongs at the top of every "to-do” list for all who make the journey to China.

Served everywhere from the back alleys of Shanghai to the most revered Michelin-star restaurants, Xia Long Bao is one of the few dishes to be named a National Treasure by the Shanghai government. First introduced to the country in the 19th Century, Xiao Long Bao gets its name from the dish in which it is served; literally translated, Xiao Long Bao means “small basket bun”, a reference to the charming little baskets that the dumplings still arrive in even today.

What makes Xiao Long Bao so special is its mouth-watering soup filling, a result of adding aspic, a jellified meat stock, to the dumpling’s pork mince. Once steamed, the aspic becomes liquid, thus filling the dumpling with a deeply flavorful soup sure to please even the most discerning of palates.

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