Xiao long bao, Shanghai-style soup dumplings, have become legendary for good reason, but so far their doughier pan-fried cousins called sheng jian bao remain much less well-known here in the States. If you love XLB, you need to try sheng jian bao. Here's how to make them, from the flavorful pork filling to the dough wrapper and combo pan-frying and steaming method.
'Dumpling' on Serious Eats
Some people like sinkers, some people like floaters. Here at Serious Eats, we're equal opportunity matzo-ballers, so we're giving a recipe that lets you choose the matzo balls of your dreams. Best part, it's ridiculously easy.
We're not going to lie: Potato gnocchi can be a little tricky and require some practice to get right. But if you know a few basic rules, it's really not that hard to make ones that are light and tender, not leaden and gummy. This recipe walks you through those steps, starting with choosing a gnocchi-friendly potato and cooking it the right way; then we leave it up to you whether to add egg yolk or not (yolks make a dough that's easier to work with, but also firmer); and finally we add just enough flour to make a cohesive dough while being careful not to overwork it to the point of gumminess. The result are lovely little gnocchi in a sage-butter sauce that will prove that good gnocchi aren't out of reach.
Spinach and artichoke dip isn't just for chips anymore! Stuff the snack-food favorite into delicate pierogi dough to make a meal out of it.
Siu mai, the Chinese steamed pork and shrimp dumplings, are one of the most popular items at dim sum parlors. But you don't have to go out just to enjoy them, because they're one of the easiest dumplings to make at home.
This no-cook dipping sauce features ponzu, the citrus- and soy-spiked Japanese sauce, that's enlivened with ginger, scallions, and sesame oil. It's reminiscent of teriyaki, but substantially more complex. Try it with dumplings, simply cooked chicken, or steamed or roasted fish.
South Asian flavors come together harmoniously in this easy dipping sauce, made by warming red curry paste with coconut milk, then rounding out and boosting their flavors with honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, ginger, and lime. It's perfect as a dip for dumplings, or with poached chicken.
Chinese fermented black soy beans are eye-bulgingly salty and all kinds of funky. Here, its fermented tang is transformed into a delicious dipping sauce with the help of maple syrup, creamy peanut butter, and a little chili oil for some warm heat. It's perfect as a dip for dumplings, and is also delicious with roasted chicken and seared pork chops.
To make this amazing dipping sauce for dumplings, we start with the classic combination of Asian fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar, then punch it up with raw garlic, fresh cilantro, and hot chili flakes. The flavors blend seamlessly into a sauce that's versatile enough to dress a salad, marinate a steak, and, yes, coat your dumplings.
If you've never heard of kimchi paste, you're not alone. It's a simple combination of red pepper flakes, garlic, ginger, sugar, lime juice, water, salt, and fish sauce, but the easiest way to get it is to buy it at Korean grocers and Asian specialty markets, where it's often labeled as "kimchi base." It's punchy and sharp, tangy, and incredibly invigorating. To turn it into a dip for dumplings, we temper it with honey, sesame seeds, and melted butter to create a smooth sauce that's intensely sweet, spicy, buttery, and just a little nutty all at once.
Sweet and savory. Slippery and slick. Juicy and tender. Hot and sour. Garlicky. So. Freaking. Good. These are all words that should enter your head as you slide back a bowl of suanla chaoshou, the Sichuan-style wontons that come coated in an intensely aromatic sauce made with vinegar, garlic, and roasted chili oil.
Cinnamon sugar cream cheese wontons are the dessert dumplings of your dreams.
Japanese-style gyoza are related to their Chinese counterparts but tend to be more subtle in flavor, stuffed with juicy pork and cabbage lightly seasoned with garlic, scallions, ginger, white pepper, salt, and sugar. The key to cooking them is a three-stage crisp-steam-crisp process.
Polish pierogi get a Philadelphia-style twist with a gooey cheesesteak filling with shaved beef, caramelized onions, and both provolone and mozzarella cheeses.
Pan-fried buns are a common snack in Taiwan. Similar to pan-fried dumplings, they're crisped until golden on the bottom, yet steamed through so that the filling cooks along with the noodlelike dough.
Plump and juicy, with chunks of shrimp barely visible through translucent dough, har gow are one of the most widely recognized dim sum classics. Ours enhance the shrimp with bits of pork fat in a stretchy, delicate wrapper.
The fried sweet cheese pierogi is tangy, creamy, sweet, and cheesy, straddling a line between savory and dessert that makes it perfect to eat no matter the occasion.
Pan-fried dumplings stuffed with cabbage, carrots, five-spiced tofu, and seitan.
The setup for this part dipping sauce, part soup couldn't be much simpler: add stock, some pantry staples, and scallions, dump in steamed dumplings, and that's dinner.