Crabmeat Soup Dumplings @ New Green Bo

Why in the world can't any restaurants in New York make a good soup dumpling (小籠包/xiao long bao)? (And no, xiao long baos served in stainless steel steam cages isn't a good sign.) I've had soup dumplings from many (many) restaurants in New York, but all sucked. Soup dumplings here have such thick skins they might as well be called meat buns. If you've never had xiao long baos from Ding Tai Feng in Taipei you've never had xiao long bao. (To be fair, there are some places in Shanghai that measure up to Ding Tai Feng quality.)

 

Xiao long baos from Ding Tai Feng have the most delicate skin, melt-in-your-mouth thin (think wonton or shumai). Yet somehow they don't break when you pick them up. You can literally see the thin, translucent skin stretch a little by the weight of the soupy filling as you pick it up with your chopsticks. A good xiao long bao is a delicate balance of soup, meat and skin and when the skin is thick, it ruins the balance. If you want thick, doughy skin, you go for a steam BUN, not a xiao long bao.

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Uploaded on March 10, 2005