Vinegar with thinly sliced ginger are the best when it goes with Chinese dumplings. Somehow, as years go by, I had started taking raw ginger because of Chinese dumplings. I used to enjoy my Chinese dumplings with vinegar, but now, I’m starting to love the ginger too.
Mr Boyfriend bought this frozen Xiao Long Bao (小笼包) from NTUC not long ago and I wasn’t very enthu about making it at home because there’s no vinegar at my house. Yes, not a bottle of vinegar ever exist at my house. So because of Le Le Xiao Long Bao, Mr Boyfriend went to bought a bottle of black vinegar.The vinegar we had to go along was from Tiger Brand and there’s a sticker on it saying that it’s meant for dumpling, dry noodle and shark fin soup (please please no shark fin soup, i’m anti-eating-shark-fin).
To be true, I was pretty worry when I open the packet as some frozen dumplings will actually stick to each other and thus, unable to separate them unless you want to leave one of it with a hole in the skin. And being Xiao Long Bao-s, it’s very important that there’s no hole so that the ‘soup’ which is the essence is retain inside. And surprisingly, there’s no such incident. There’s 15 pleasant looking individuals in the packet.
I did both steaming and frying to them. Using a non-stick flat wok, pour some water (to steam) to cover the whole wok and add some oil (to fry) to it. Next place the Xiao Long Bao-s in, cover the wok and cook it on medium / low fire. Once all the water evaporated, the sound will change and let the oil fry the base of the Xiao Long Bao-s slightly. This method was caught by an auntie who sells pan-fry dumplings.
It took me around 10mins and we had a wok-ful of Xiao Long Bao-s to enjoy with the vinegar and ginger.
As a frozen product, I wasn’t expecting a lot of soup/ juice in the Xiao Long Bao-s. But there was! It’s enough to make me a happy girl.
The skin was not overly thick too. The top part where they ‘close’ the Xiao Long Bao is actually thinner than the one I had one of the outlet of Crystal Jade. But sadly, I was a bit disappointed with the minced meat filling inside. There was almost no texture to speak off. A bit too soft and there’s lots of fats in it. I think that’s the only thing lacking for this frozen product. Taste-wise it’s alright. Not extremely tasty and not unacceptable, but just no wow-factor to it. But keeping in mind it’s actually a frozen product, it’s pretty worth getting a packet just in case you have the craving for it.
Will I buy this again? Likely. It will still be a pleasure to have this with ginger and vinegar at the comfort of my home.
Updated 27 Sep 12: i tried the Chicken Xiao Long Bao and the filling is much much better. more texture and not mashed like the Pork Xiao Long Bao. Recommended.