Portland is lacking in XLB, otherwise known as “xiao long bao” or “soup dumplings”. I don’t know why that is but it needs to be remedied STAT. I’ve read that the closest I can get to enjoying these may be in Seattle but my best bet would be crossing the border to Vancouver BC.

Or I could just head back down to my old stomping grounds of SF.

But that’s impractical, SO I decided to make them myself.

stock simmering for the soup to be turned into aspic or gelatin inside the dumplings. I used a whole chicken, lots of pork skin, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, garlic and xiaoshing wine.

agar agar powder to make gelatin, xiaoshing wine, black vinegar (for dipping) and thin wonton wrappers which I didn’t really use. I ended up making my own dough. The premade wrappers were too thin and small.

filling: pork, shrimp, ginger, green onions, garlic, white pepper, xiaoshing wine, sesame oil, salt and soy sauce

making my own wrappers instead

my irregular and odd looking dumplings. the 2 smaller ones on the left are from using premade wrappers. They were pretty useless!

I had no bamboo steamers so I made use out of my dinky basket steamer from Ikea. It worked but the bamboo baskets would’ve been MUCH easier.


-This was my first time making any sort of dumplings ever. It was very, very time consuming. I had no rolling pin/dowel either so I used my wooden mojito muddler. It worked!

-As thin as I could possibly make the wrapper, it was still a bit too thick, especially on the twisted part. Probably a pasta machine would help achieve better thinness.

-I used the dough recipe and the pleating technique from here.

-I used the filling and soup stock/gelatin recipe here

-My dumplings kind of flattened out in the steamer, making them bigger than before and I think it’s because the filling was a little too wet from too much gelatin soup that I’d incorporated after shredding them into bits. Still tasted good though! I would probably try adding less gelatin mixture into the filling mixture OR spooning in filling onto the wrapper and then adding a cube of gelatin on top if I do make them again.

quick clip of me rolling out dough, the filling, the strained soup stock (didn’t skim off the fat, but will next time) and the soup gelatin in the fridge.


6 thoughts on “Basketcase

  1. midori says:

    ahhhh i was once tempted to try making xlb but assumed it would be too difficult for me. maybe i’ll give it a try after all!

  2. Walter P says:

    Omg!!!!!!!! Let me say it again as I drool…… OMG!!!!

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