|I had no idea there was piping hot soup inside the dumpling!
So, what are XLBs?
Xiao Long Bao (XLB) aka soup dumplings are tiny, delicate, pleated pouches that encase a pork filling and a rich, savoury broth.
Xiao Long Bao literally translates as "little basket buns", so named after the bamboo baskets in which they are steamed.
How to get an XLB from the bamboo steamer basket and into your mouth
Place your Chinese soup spoon close to the dumpling and gently lift it up from the steamer onto your spoon. Haha! The first time I tried to pick one up with my chopsticks, I inadvertently punctured the skin and the leaking dumpling conspicuously left a wet trail on the red table cloth all the way from the center of the table to my plate!
I didn't know you had to use a spoon!
Once the dumpling is safe in your spoon, resist the temptation to pop it into your mouth immediately lest you suffer first-degree burns from the blistering soup.
Nibble the top of the dumpling to let some steam out. Give it a moment to cool and slowly slurp out the soup. Once this "dangerous" step is over, you can now devour the rest of the dumpling any way you please!
I like my XLB plain but you could gingerly (don't mind the pun) dunk it in the dipping sauce of vinegar and julienned ginger while waiting for your dumpling to cool.
A video to share.