Monday Morning Food Love: Soup Dumplings From Din Tai Fung

Shrimp and pork xiaolongbao from Taipei's Din Tai Fung. (photo by Carol Shih)

Greetings from the other side of the Pacific Ocean! I’m sorry to hurt your stomachs, but I can’t resist sharing this photo of Din Tai Fung’s xiaolongbao (steamed soup dumplings) in Taipei, Taiwan. Look closely: There are at least twenty delicate folds twisted into a spiral shape on top of each bun (I counted), and the skin is so thin it’s practically translucent. So naked are these xiaolongbao, you can see the shrimp and pork filling swimming inside a shallow pool of hot soup. Who wants to die and go to soup dumpling heaven with me? Alright, then, stay with me here…

Jump.

Clearly, Dallas isn’t known for its ability to twist and fold xiaolongbao from scratch, but in case your mouth is also itching to slurp some steamed dumpling soup, the closest thing to Din Tai Fung’s xiaolongbao are the ones at Jeng Chi in Richardson’s Chinatown. Of course, it won’t be the exact same as the famous Taiwanese dumpling restaurant’s, but they’re definitely the next best thing when all you want is to gingerly bite into soft dumpling skin and pop a juicy burst of xiaolongbao into your mouth – shredded ginger and Chinese black vinegar sauce and all. A note to the wise, from one dumpling fan to another: Move those chopsticks fast or risk getting left with an empty bamboo basket. Humans turn into crazy xiaolongbao lust monsters as soon as an order arrives. Believe me, lunch at Din Tai Fung was a chopstick war. But I’m a survivor.

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