Saturday, May 15, 2010

Soup Dumplings

I overheard one of the nurses at my peds clinic talking about a place on Buford that was known for soup dumplings. I couldn't help but ask where it was because I was immediately like "oh damn I like those." We talked about how she was a fan of Joe's Shanghai and I told her about a place my sister took me in SF one time. The next week she told me she went and that it was just completely wrong. Nothing like Joe's...completely lacking in soup inside.

I then heard about a place that happened to be right across the street from my apartment complex which was supposed to have xiaolongbao. I went with some friends:

We also ordered the fish in hot oil and the pork belly with leeks. Both were good.

The dumplings are somewhat un-appetizingly labeled as "Shanghai Juice Dumplings." They looked right. That kinda collapsed bottom look from something that used to be solid now being a liquid. They tasted fine, but weren't quite right either. The skin was a bit too doughy and there was a bit too much meat filling, not a lot of broth.

Guess I'll have to take matters into my own hands and make my own soup dumplings. Out of laziness I decided not to make the skins and just use pre-made wrappers. I knew this'd be risky if they were too thin, but apparently it'd been done with some success according to posts online.

First up was making the soup.

Then turning it into an aspic with some help from gelatin. You can also boil pork skin with the soup but the gelatin was cheaper.

Filling was next...pork, ginger, garlic, scallions, some other junk:

With a little help from the freezer, the aspic was already set a couple hours later:

Then i cut it up and mixed it in with the other filling stuff:

Let's fast forward the horrible inefficiency with which I assembled the dumplings, and straight to the steamer:

Okay they look sorta similar...but awfully collapsed. Hopefully I didn't lose all of my soup...

Good not great. If I ever make these again I'm gonna have to actually make the skin dough, which is a pain. Also I would keep the meat and aspic separate. Use a much smaller amount of meat and individually put a big scoop of the aspic in each one to ensure maximum soup.

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