Soup Dumplings

Imagine a fat, round, pale dumpling, glistening on a bamboo steamer amidst wilted greenery. You pick one up, bite it, and there is a meatball surrounded by lovely, salty broth. In one morsel, you have dough, meatballs, and soup. You’ve just had a soup dumpling.

My son introduced us to soup dumplings at a place called Joe’s Shanghai on a narrow street in New York’s Chinatown. They’ve become a key feature of any trip to New York now; I’ve never seen them anywhere else.

The trick to making them without having the broth melt out is gelatin. When chilled, the broth is gelatinized, only to become a rich, silky broth when gently steamed. That bit of ingenuity makes for a tricky-to-eat burst of oxymoronic exotic comfort food.

If you’re ever in New York, visit Joe’s Shanghai. Elsewhere, they may appear as “Xiao Long Bao”, though their quality may vary.

One Response to “Soup Dumplings”

  1. Jim says:

    I absolutely love those things. Joe's is the only place I've ever had them, but there is more than one Joe's and the one in Chinatown is MUCH better than the one up near Central Park. I'm starving.

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