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The Hirshon Xiaolongbao – 小籠包

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • The Soup:
  • 2 quarts of water
  • 2 pounds chicken bones (wings/back/neck)
  • 2 ounces of Virginia Smithfield ham (or cured Chinese ham if you can get it), cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/2 pound of pork skin & fat (you can ask your butcher for this, he’ll most likely just give it to you. you could also use pork belly, or just a fatty cut of pork)
  • 1 whole dried shiitake mushroom
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, sliced into 45 ginger “coins”
  • 2 green onions, cut into 3” pieces
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup dried goji berries (optional)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, smashed with side of your knife
  • 2 teaspoons of Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • ***
  • The Broth Gelatin:
  • 1 tablespoon powdered Agar Agar or 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
  • ***
  • The Filling:
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 lb shrimp, shelled, deveined and minced finely
  • 1/3 cup finely minced green onions (white parts only)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger (use rasp grater)
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
  • ***
  • Hot Water Dough:
  • (makes about 40 dumplings)
  • 3/4 cup high gluten flour
  • 1/3 cup less 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • flour for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • ***
  • The Dipping Sauce (Combine and refrigerate):
  • 1 tablespoon of sambal (hot chili & garlic sauce)
  • 1/4 cup black vinegar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon of shaved ginger
  • ***
  • Cabbage Leaves for steaming


  1. The Soup:
  2. Combine 10 cups water and all remaining soup ingredients except gelatin in large pot. Bring to boil, spooning off any foam that rises to surface.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until chicken pieces are very soft and beginning to fall apart, adding more water by cupfuls if necessary to keep chicken submerged, about 2 hours 30 minutes.
  4. Strain and chill
  5. Strain soup; discard solids. Return broth to same pot. Boil until reduced to 2 cups, about 35 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pour 3 tablespoons water into small bowl; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand until gelatin softens. Add to hot broth; stir until gelatin is dissolved.
  6. Transfer to 13x9x2-inch glass dish. Cover; refrigerate aspic overnight.
  7. The Filling:
  8. Mix all ingredients. When the broth gelatin is fully set, run a fork through it, with criss-cross motion, to break it up into very small ¼” pieces. Take about 1 ½ cups of the broth gelatin and add that to the filling mixture. Stir to incorporate evenly throughout. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. Hot Water Dough:
  10. (makes about 40 dumplings)
  11. In a large mixing bowl, mix the ¾ cups of high gluten flour and ⅓ cup less one tablespoon water until it resembles bread crumbs. Knead into a dough.
  12. Place the plain flour in a mixing bowl. In a small saucepan bring ¼ cup of water to the boil. Add the ⅓ cup plain flour and move the saucepan away from the flame, stirring the flour vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  13. Leave it to cool a little before kneading together with the high gluten flour dough prepared earlier. Cover with clean damp cloth and leave to rest for 4 hours.
  14. Dust counter with some flour. Place dough on floured surface, use your hands to knead the dough for 8 -10 minutes, until it becomes soft, smooth and bounces back slowly when you poke with your finger. Cover with clean damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it rest for 4 hours.
  15. Forming the dumplings:
  16. Place 2 teaspoons of oil on the worktop, put the dough on top and knead for a little while. Cut the dough into 4 quarters. Form one quarter into a 20mm cylinder. Divide the cylinder into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Flatten each piece with the palm of your hand into a disk.
  17. Use a rolling pin to roll the disk out forming a 60mm disk with the edges thinner than the center. Make a well with you thumb and first finger and drape the disk over. Let it sag in the middle to form a recess for the filling. Use a teaspoon to place 2 teaspoons of filling. Top the filling with a portion of the aspic.
  18. Carefully gather the edge of wrapper making folds and holding on to them till fully gathered. Traditionally, 18 folds are made. Do not let your finger touch the filling while doing this or you will make a mess. Do the same for the rest.
  19. Make sure that you cover any dough that you aren’t currently using and cover the dumplings with a towel to prevent drying.
  20. The Dipping Sauce (Combine all ingredients and refrigerate)
  21. How to shave ginger: Take a big knob – about 2 inches long.Remove skin. Use your sharp paring knife to get a flat surface on one of the long sides. With a vegetable peeler, cut thin strips along the long side of the ginger. Use knife to further cut the strips into super-thin slices.
  22. This way, you get the full flavor of ginger in your sauce + the crunch of the little strips of ginger as you eat without tough, fibrous pieces of ginger.
  23. Steaming
  24. Cut out 10 cabbage leave disks or use thin slices of carrot and stick one piece to the bottom of each dumpling. Place the dumplings in a 200mm bamboo steamer.
  25. In a large saucepan or wok, bring water to a rolling boil. Sit the Steamer on a rack over the boiling water, close the lid and steam for seven minutes. The dumpling is done when the filling feels firm to the touch. Serve with dipping sauce.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours

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