Homemade Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao): A Delicious Chinese Delicacy

Authentic Sheng Jian Bao Recipe: Pan-Fried Pork Soup Dumplings from Scratch

Dive into the world of authentic Chinese cuisine with these mouthwatering soup dumplings, also known as Xiao Long Bao. While they may take some time to prepare, the results are absolutely worth it!

Xiao Long Bao are a Shanghai specialty that will transport your taste buds straight to China. These delicate dumplings are filled with savory broth and a tender meatball, creating an explosion of flavor with every bite. Get ready for a culinary adventure!

The secret to these magical dumplings lies in the broth. We’ll be making a rich, gelatinous stock from scratch using chicken bones and aromatic Chinese ingredients. As the dumplings steam, this jellied broth melts into a flavorful soup, creating the signature Xiao Long Bao experience.

While it might be tempting to use store-bought gelatin or canned broth, trust us – the homemade version is infinitely more delicious and satisfying. Your taste buds will thank you for the extra effort!

Once you’ve mastered the broth, the rest of the process is straightforward. We’ll create a flavorful pork and shrimp filling, then carefully wrap it along with the jellied broth in homemade dumpling skins. The result? Pure dumpling perfection!

The Art of Folding Xiao Long Bao

Shaping these dumplings requires a bit of practice, but don’t be intimidated! Unlike other dumplings with a long seam, Xiao Long Bao are pleated into a little purse shape. This special folding technique ensures that the precious soup stays safely inside until you’re ready to enjoy it.

Remember, practice makes perfect. Even if your first few dumplings don’t look picture-perfect, they’ll still taste amazing!

Updated for Modern Kitchens

This recipe has been cross-tested and updated in 2022 to ensure the best results in today’s kitchens. We’ve fine-tuned the folding instructions, adjusted the bone broth and salt quantities in the filling, and optimized the cooking time. You’re getting a tried-and-true recipe that’s sure to impress!

Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao) Recipe


For the Broth:

  • 3 pounds (1.4kg) chicken backs or wings
  • 1/2 pound (8 ounces; 225g) Chinese ham or slab bacon
  • 6 scallions (4 ounces; 115g), whites separated, greens roughly chopped
  • One 1-inch knob fresh ginger (1/2 ounce; 15g)
  • 1 tablespoon white peppercorns
  • 10 cups (2.4L) water
  • Kosher salt

For the Filling:

  • 1/3 pound (150g) ground pork
  • 1/4 pound (115g) raw shrimp, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Diamond Crystal kosher salt, plus more as needed; for table salt, use half as much by volume

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups (9 ounces; 255g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup (235ml) boiling water

For Cooking:

  • Napa cabbage leaves


  1. Start by creating a flavorful broth. Combine chicken bones, ham, scallion whites, half of scallion greens, ginger, and white peppercorns in a stockpot. Cover with cold water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 2 1/2 hours. Strain the broth through a cheesecloth-lined strainer into a large bowl. Season with salt, cover, and refrigerate until it sets into a jelly-like consistency (at least 8 hours). Once chilled, remove and discard any fat that has solidified on top.
  2. While the broth chills, prepare the filling. In a food processor, combine pork, shrimp, soy sauce, wine, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and remaining scallion greens. Pulse 12 to 15 times until a fine paste forms. Refrigerate until needed.
  3. Now, let’s make the dough. Place flour in a food processor. With the machine running, slowly add water until a cohesive dough forms. Process for 30 seconds, then form into a ball with floured hands. Place in a bowl, cover with a damp towel, and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Once the broth has gelled, mix 1 1/2 cups of it into the chilled filling until well combined. Adjust seasoning with salt if needed. Keep the filling cold.
  5. Time to shape the dumplings! Divide the dough into 4 sections, roll each into a 6-inch log, and cut into 10 pieces. Roll each piece into a 10-gram ball. On a well-floured surface, roll each ball into a 3 1/2 to 4-inch round wrapper, making the edges thinner than the center.
  6. To form each dumpling, place 1 tablespoon of filling in the center of a wrapper. Moisten the edges and pleat, pinching after each pleat to seal. Finish by twisting the top closed. Place completed dumplings on a lightly floured board.
  7. Steam the dumplings in a bamboo steamer lined with napa cabbage leaves. Cook over simmering water for 10 to 12 minutes until fully cooked. Serve immediately, being careful not to break the delicate skins. Enjoy your homemade Xiao Long Bao!
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
218 Calories
5g Fat
31g Carbs
12g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 218
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 8%
Cholesterol 35mg 12%
Sodium 287mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 31g 11%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 12g
Vitamin C 1mg 4%
Calcium 35mg 3%
Iron 2mg 12%
Potassium 189mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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