When I studied abroad in Shanghai back in my college days, I fell in love with xiao long bao. Xiao long bao are steam cooked pork “soup” dumplings. A pork stock is made then cooled to gelatinize before chopped into small cubes. The cubed “soup” is then mixed in with pork meat before being wrapped into a dumpling. The soup forms when the dumplings are cooked for service. To consume properly without burning yourself, you have to sip the soup from the dumpling or pour it out into a spoon. Afterwards, you add some of the ginger-vinegar to it before eating the rest.
Since that trip, I haven’t enjoyed XLB too often since it’s not a treat you find too often and when you do, it may or may not be very good. Luckily, Philadelphia’s Sakura Mandarin serves some decent XLB. It may not be Shanghai grade, but it certainly satisfies a craving! Don’t forget to try the scallion pancakes too.
1038 Race Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107