How do you eat an XLB

Xiaolongbao or XLB for short is a Chinese dimsum. Sometimes they call it Shanghai dumplings although they didn’t originate in Shanghai or soup dumplings because when you bite into it – it has a filling of ground pork with soup.

Ask me how the soup got there. From the recipes I’ve read, the soup is added frozen before you seal it which then liquifies the moment you steam the dumpling.

A Taiwanese friend of mine introduced this to me many years ago and I haven’t forgotten it. It was not written in the English menu but she knew that the restaurant makes them. In some Chinese restaurants, aside from the English menu there is one in Chinese but don’t presume that the other is just plain translation of the other. Some dishes written in Chinese characters are only for those who could read them.

We went back to Triple Crown Restaurant today. It seems like my sister wasn’t satisfied with our brief visit last week and this time we really had a fill of their dimsum and congee. Am sure after today it would be awhile before we ever have dimsum again.

And then I spotted from their dimsum list the XLB, this wasn’t there before. I ordered one basket steamer to taste. When I bite into it, the soup came spurting out of the dumpling landing in my white shirt. Of course it has to happen when you are wearing white.

Seeing this, my sisters were more careful when they had theirs. They burst it open on their plate which I thought wasted the soup.

And like I didn’t learn my lesson the first time, I took my second, carefully tore the beautiful bao with my teeth hoping the warm soup would just flow directly in my mouth to savor its flavor.

Oooops, another mishap!

Good thing I was able to wash the soiled part of my shirt in the washroom or I would have been walking around Chinatown like a pig.

I didn’t know how I ate it the first time and am sure I didn’t have that kind of accident because all I could remember from the first time was how good the dumpling, how special and different it was.

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