The delicate soup dumpling, popularly known as Xiao Long Bao here in Manila (and the rest of Southeast Asia), is Shanghai’s signature take on dim sum. Most restaurants serve six to twelve of these inside a large bamboo steamer lined with cloth. Making them on your own is not as difficult as you think—but it can be very time-consuming. A lot has to do with the preparation of the soup, which makes its way inside the raw dumpling skin in gelatinized form.
This is a recipe where you cannot substitute the homemade dumpling wrapper for the store-bought variety since the latter cracks easily and tends to crumble. You’ll need your dough to be flexible enough to fold them into its proper shape, so we also provided the recipe for that below. The measurements we gave for the wrapper yield a thicker skin, but feel free to thin it out by rolling it flatter so you get a skin that’s similar to Lugang’s and Din Tai Fung’s.