Crabmeat Soup Dumplings @ New Green Bo

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    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.

    1. Miss Peach 111 months ago | reply

      LOL love your rant on these dumplings! i totally agree!

      at least you still have Ding Tai Fung event there in NY... i can only get this when i go back to taiwan (>__<);;

    2. schav 110 months ago | reply

      interesting rant...

      i thought ding tai fung in taipei was good, but fact is, xiao long baos originated in shanghai. where did you eat when you were there? not sure if there are any large famous places, but you need to find the right street shops for the good ones in shanghai.

      as for new york, all the shanghainese people i know seem to think that the buns at Shanghai Cuisine are the best they've had in the states.

    3. yusheng 110 months ago | reply

      To be honest, I don't even love xiao long baos that much. I mean I enjoy them (when they are good) but I'm not crazy for them. Nevertheless, I stand by my assertion that the ones in NY suck ass. And suck bad.

      I didn't go xiao long bao hunting in my many trips to Shanghai (since like I said, I'm not a huge xiao long bao fan). But every place I've tried it was good. No surprise, since as you said, it is a Shanghainese invention.

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