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When I visit Shanghai, this is about all I want to eat - Shanghainese Dumplings.
We have two different varieties, one that is steamed and the other that is fried. I love both equally but today I`m showing you guys the steamed version. They are referred to as , xiaolongbao.
We usually eat these as part of dinner. Our dinners are a bit different than Western culture as we usually eat in one large family group, including cousins and then there`s a 3 course meal. These dumplings are served during the entree course.
Most of the time, they include pork inside the bun. Dumplings and buns are generally synonymous. But sometimes, depending on which restaurant you go to, they`ll add our native hairy crab in it. Hairy crab is a form of crab that has a lot of bristles on the shell. They`re relatively small but they have a lot of flavor and fat, which makes it taste very good especially in buns.
The outside bun is very soft and chewy and usually these dumplings come in a steamed bamboo bowl, each being the size of a spoon. However, we got the giant ones because we wanted to see how it tasted.
This one is served on a plate to help catch all the juices inside. The inside bun contains a very savory soup with the hairy crab and pork. When eating it, you have to bite a small hole, release the soup and then eat the dumpling while dipping the soup. This enhances the flavor.
This one had so much crab in it! The dumpling was the size of my fist and it was super filling! But too bad, all of it was meat though =(.
*photo is mine*