We’ve all had this happen to us at one time or another when a delicious steaming hot basket of soup dumplings arrives at the table. That one friend eagerly picks up the dumpling and puts it in their mouth, only to realize that the scalding hot soup has now burnt their mouth, and the people sitting in the splattering distance also suffer from the soup splash.
Do not be that person.
The Xiao Long Bao (XLB) or soup dumplings are undoubtedly one of the most magical creations in Chinese cuisine created with a thin wrapping around some scrumptious filling and a savoury heart-warming soup inside, courtesy of the gelatinous broth inside.
The XLB is the perfect comfort food if you know how to eat it. Eat it too quickly, and you will have a scalded mouth. Nibble one side, and all that soup will be wasted and spoil whatever you’re wearing.
Don’t worry; we will outline a simple and effective way to eat soup dumplings in San Francisco without getting hurt.
How To Eat Soup Dumplings - A Simple Guide:
If you are a pro with chopsticks, then this method of eating soup dumplings should be your go-to:
- Take the lid off the steamer basket carefully and let that steam cool off for a minute.
- Pick the dumpling up using chopsticks. Make sure to reach for the middle/twisted part of the dumpling since it's the thickest part.
- Take a large soup spoon and place your ball of goodness (aka soup dumpling) on it.
- Make a tiny hole in the dumpling using your chopstick or nipping a piece off with your teeth.
- The broth will slip out on the spoon. Let it cool down for a few seconds, and then slurp it up.
- Eat up the rest of the dumpling.
You can always dip the dumpling in the sauce if you are exceptionally good with chopsticks, but be careful not to drop the dumpling in the dip or on the table. If you can’t use chopsticks, just ask the server for tongs. Most Chinese restaurants in San Francisco will have these on hand and you don’t have to be embarrassed since a lot of people really have no idea how even to hold a chopstick so you should be good.
What Not to Do When Eating a Soup Dumpling:
So we’ve covered how to eat a soup dumpling like a pro without hurting yourself and others, but here are some things you can keep in mind to be extra careful while enjoying this delicacy:
- Do not ever lift the entire soup dumpling and put it in your mouth without draining the soup or broth. You will end up with tears and a very burnt mouth.
- Do not stab a fork as you would with any other dumpling; all that yummy warm soup will be lost, and you will be devastated.
- Don’t be too patient and eat it in more than a bite because soup dumplings are designed to be slurped up in one big bite. Of course, the large XLBs don’t fall in this category and come with their straw to gobble up the soupy broth inside.
We’re sure we’ve gotten you craving for some warm XLB. Come on over at United Dumplings at any one of our three locations in San Francisco and enjoy the best soup dumplings in San Francisco!