Easy Homemade Xiaolongbao Recipe: Perfect Steamed Shanghai Soup Dumplings

Ingredients for Homemade Xiaolongbao

Starting your Xiaolongbao journey means gathering all the right ingredients. You’ll need detailed amounts and alternatives as required. So, let’s dive right in.

For the dough, it’s pretty straightforward. You’ll need:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • About 3/4 cup of water

Onto the filling. As a go-to, ground pork is traditional but you’re not limited to it. More creative palates might enjoy ground turkey or chicken as a substitute. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 lb of ground pork, turkey, or chicken
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped scallions
  • 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger, grated

The star of Xiaolongbao: the soup! You can kick up your flavor with added bones if you like. Here’s the breakdown:

  • 4 cups of chicken or pork stock, try to use one with bones in for extra flavor
  • 1 sachet of gelatin or 1/2 cup of agar-agar. Gelatin adds that silkiness to your soup but is an animal product. For the vegetarians out there, agar-agar is a great substitute.

Building your Xiaolongbao also requires Dumpling wrappers. You can make these at home or sub in store-bought. Either way, ensure it’s thin!

Nutritionally speaking, a serving of Xiaolongbao is balanced. With a mix of protein, carbs, and essential nutrients, your homemade Xiaolongbao is as tasty as it’s wholesome. Here’s a nutshell:

Nutrient Amount per serving
Calories 250kcal
Carbs 20g
Protein 17g
Fat 10g

Step-by-Step Dough Preparation

The first thing you’ll need is flour for making the dough. A cup of all-purpose flour will do the trick. However, for a unique, velvety texture, consider using cake flour instead. Remember, the key to delicious Xiaolongbao is in the dough.

The next step is to mix the flour with approximately half a cup of hot water. By using hot water, you’re virtually ensuring your dough turns out super soft. Take special care with this step because if the water’s too hot or if there’s too much of it, you could end up with a sticky mess that’s too difficult to handle. If you’re unsure, here’s a tip: use slightly less water than you think you’ll need. You can always add more later if your dough is too dry.

After that, it’s all about kneading too perfection. To do so, knead for a solid ten minutes, until your dough is as smooth as silk. However, be cautious not to overdo it. Over-kneaded dough can become tough and chewy, killing that delightful softness Xiaolongbao is known for.

Now we move onto the resting stage. Ensure your dough rests for at least two hours. This wait can be frustrating, but never skip it! Resting allows the dough to absorb more water and makes your dumplings way easier to roll out later.

Let’s assume the two hours have passed and you’ve mastered the art of patience. The final part of dough prep is all about rolling. Roll your dough into a long cylinder – around one inch thick. Then, using your trusty kitchen knife, divide it into one inch sections.

These sections, or pieces, will soon transform into your dumplings. Congratulations! You’ve just made the dough for your homemade Xiaolongbao.

Do follow this process precisely, remember consistency is your ally in this preparation. But also feel free to add your personal touches where suitable. The charm of homemade food lies in those unique, unexpected sparks of creativity. You’re not just crafting dumplings; you’re crafting memories. Trust your instincts, engage in the process, and let the magic unfold.

Making the Savory Broth

Now that your dough is ready and resting, it’s time to shift focus. This next segment of the Xiaolongbao journey involves creating a flavorful and fragrant broth.

Here’s the secret. You’ll need pork skin, chicken, ham, ginger, and green onions. You might think, “Well, that’s typical soup ingredients”. Here’s the distinction: Pork skin. This element, uncommon in other recipes, adds another layer of taste. It gives your Xiaolongbao that extra kick, that memorable ‘oomph’.

Ingredient Quantity
Pork Skin 500 grams
Chicken 1, whole
Ham 200 grams
Ginger 50 grams, sliced
Green Onions 100 grams, roughly chopped

Here’s the easy 5-step process that’ll boil into a savory broth:

1. Prep: Rinse all the ingredients and set them aside. Don’t forget to slice the ginger and chop the green onions.

2. Simmer: In a large pot, add all the ingredients and cover with water. Bring the contents to a simmer.

3. Skim: Now, patience is needed! Let the items simmer for two hours. However, make sure to skim the surface for impurities periodically.

4. Strain: Afterwards, strain the broth. What you keep is a golden and aromatic liquid. Let it cool a bit.

5. Congeal: The final step is adding agar-agar powder to the broth. This’ll solidify the soup, making it easier to handle when filling the dumplings.

Relish the enticing aroma that fills up your kitchen and prep yourself for the next step. And while the process may seem lengthy, remember quality takes time. By allowing the broth to simmer for two solid hours, you’re building an intense flavor profile that’ll seep into your dumplings.

Here’s the nutritional value of the broth per serving:

Calories Carbs Proteins Fats
150 2g 20g 8g

As you embark on the next stage, keep in mind the tagline of this Xiaolongbao adventure. Precision, patience, and personal creativity! The journey continues…

Crafting the Meat Filling

Onto the next savory stage, the meat filling! Traditionally, Xiaolongbao primarily uses ground pork for the filling. For every 16 dumplings you plan to make, you’ll need 1/2 pound of ground pork. Though, replacing or mixing the pork with chicken, shrimp, or vegetables is a fun experiment in flavor transformation and customization.

Let’s get to it. Begin by adding the ground pork into a mixing bowl. Season it with one tablespoon of soy sauce, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of white pepper. Combine these ingredients well by stirring in one consistent direction.

To add more depth, flavor, and texture to your dumplings, let’s throw in a secret ingredient. Shiitake mushrooms. These mushrooms, after being finely chopped, add a layer of umami and texture that harmonizes with the pork filling perfectly. You’ll need 3 shiitake mushrooms for this recipe.

Take a look at this quick breakdown of the necessary ingredients:

Ingredient Quantity
Ground Pork 1/2 lb
Soy Sauce 1 tbsp
Salt 1/2 tsp
White Pepper Pinch
Shiitake Mushrooms 3

After mixing your ingredients, cover the bowl and refrigerate. This allows the mixture to marinate as the different flavors meld and intensify.

It’s not just about the pork, soy sauce, or mushrooms. Excellent Xiaolongbao takes practices, a keen eye for detail, and a dash of your personal touch. While spending hours making these tiny bundles, you’re building a tasty tradition in your kitchen.

Rather than being a chore or a task, Xiaolongbao-making should feel like embarking on an exciting journey of flavor. Keep these reminders and you’re well on your way to crafting sensational, savory dumplings.

(Note: For those who are interested, each dumpling with pork filling has approximately 70 calories, 4.5 grams of protein, 5 grams of carbs, and 3.5 grams of fat, making it a healthy and satisfying part of any meal.)

Assembling and Steaming Xiaolongbao

Following the resting period for the flavorful pork mixture is the energizing phase of crafting the actual dumplings. You’ll begin by laying out your Xiaolongbao wrappers on a clean, dry surface. Spoon a teaspoon of the filling onto the centre of each wrapper. For the iconic pleated look, fold and pinch the edges together at the top. With careful hands and a touch of patience, you’ll soon get the hang of it!

These delightfully delicate packages now need to be steamed to reach their full potential. For optimum results, line your bamboo steamer with cabbage leaves or parchment paper with small holes in it. Both serve a dual purpose – preventing the Xiaolongbao from sticking and keeping the steam circulating evenly. Position your freshly wrapped dumplings in the steamer, being careful not to let them touch.

Steam your Xiaolongbao for about 15 minutes on medium heat for perfectly cooked dumplings. After you’re finished with the steaming process, let them slightly cool before serving.

Ingredient Calories Protein Carbs Fat
Pork filled Xiaolongbao (each) 70 4.5g 5g 3.5g

Look at that! You’ve already mastered the art of creating homemade Xiaolongbao with a rich, satisfying filling. Next up: crafting the perfect dipping sauce to go along with your dumplings. Now, wouldn’t that sound tantalizing?


You’ve mastered the art of making homemade Xiaolongbao. You’ve learned how to prepare the pork filling, assemble the dumplings, and steam them to perfection. You’re now ready to take your culinary skills to the next level by creating a dipping sauce that’ll elevate your dumplings. Remember, the key to a great Xiaolongbao lies not only in its filling but also in the sauce that accompanies it. So, don’t hold back. Experiment with different flavors and find the perfect match for your dumplings. With your newfound knowledge, you’re well on your way to becoming a Xiaolongbao expert. Happy cooking!

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