How to Make Steamed Soup Dumplings

How to Make Steamed Soup Dumplings

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Makes: 48 | Prep Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Adapted From: The Wandering Eater

Steamed soup dumplings (aka xiao long bao) were originally a northern Chinese creation, but you can find them in southern Cantonese restaurants now, as well. The main feature is the wrapper, which is formed like a volcano on top and releases a mouthful of hot soup when bitten off.

This recipe uses a traditional pork filling, though another popular variation includes pork with minced crab meat and roe. I’d suggest starting with the basic version before moving to anything more complicated.

Soup dumplings are a challenging dish to make, each of the filling, soup and wrapper is a worthy effort unto itself. When the buns emerge piping hot in their bamboo steamer as your reward, serve accompanied by Zhenjiang vinegar with ginger slivers.

Can you share any expert tips from your experience making steamed soup dumplings? Want to ask a question before you try making it yourself? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Steamed Soup Dumplings Recipe

Makes: 48 | Prep Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Adapted From: The Wandering Eater


1 pound of pork bones
1/4 pound pig skin
1 quart water

2.5 pounds fresh lean ground pork
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon salt
4 teaspoons light soy sauce
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
2 tablespoons Shaoxing rice wine
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste

1 pound all-purpose flour
1 pound low gluten flour
Approximately 3 cups warm water


1. Place all ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 3 hours, then strain into a large container and cool completely.

2. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Set aside until the soup dumpling wrappers are ready.

3. Place flour on a clean surface and form a well in the middle. Pour 2 cups of water into the well and mix with your hands until the dough forms a ball. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

4. Portion the do into 48 1 1/4 ounce pieces and cover with a damp towel. Roll the dough pieces into thin, flat circles about 4 inches in diameter.

5. Fill each circle with 1 tablespoon of filling and 1/2 tablespoon of soup. Gather the edges of the dumpling together and twist at the top to seal in the filling.

6. Place the dumplings into an oiled bamboo steamer. Steam each rack of dumplings for 8-10 minutes and serve immediately.

Learn more about Steamed Soup Dumplings from these Experts

Watch May Lynn make homemade Steamed Soup Dumplings (VIDEO)
A beautiful Steamed Soup Dumpling recipe from China Sichuan Food
A complete guide to eating Steamed Soup Dumplings in Shanghai from Life on Nanchang Lu

HT: Photo by Bodhikun via Wikimedia Commons.

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