Xiao Long Bao or "Little
Dumplings in the Basket" was originated from Nan Xiang, a suburb of
Shanghai. Their perfectly symmetrical shape, resembles a pagoda.
These tender pouches, "little
dumplings", are freshly made to order. They arrive at the table in
piping hot bamboo steamers. Each plump dumpling contains a little pork
meatball surrounded by a delightful meaty broth.
To prevent burning one's mouth
and to savor the dumpling, the preferred method of consumption is to
bite off a little piece of the doughy wrapper, drip the broth to a
spoon or suck the broth with a "slurp", then eat the rest.
There are two variations
available at Joe's Shanghai - crab meat and pork meat. Each basket is
freshly made to order, so don't forget to order your Soup Dumplings
upon arrival at your table. Otherwise it might be a long wait.
A cartoonist, Robert Zimmerman,
had drawn "Soup Dumplings: A Survival Course" comic strip that was once
published in the newspapers. It comedically depicts the hazard of
eating a fresh, piping hot dumpling. Although a little extreme, the
danger of burning one's mouth is no different from the dangers of
enjoying a hot cup of coffee. (See Below)