poor scientist. will blog 4 food.

the culinary adventures of a self-described foodie

Hot Dumplings!



One of my major goals for this blog is to bring world-renowned cuisine to my readers whenever possible. One such restaurant is Din Tai Fung, which started out as a small, struggling oil shop in Taipei that sold steamed dumplings as a side business. Since then, it’s opened branches all over the world, expanding to Japan, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Indonesia, Korea, and Los Angeles.


Steamed dumplings, or xiaolungbao, ready for eating!

What is a steamed dumpling, or xiaolungbao (literally “small steamed basket bun/dumpling”), you might ask? Typically, they are filled with pork, though you can also get them with crab or other meat fillings. The legit places will cook them to order. This means you usually have to wait at least 20 minutes, but boy is it worth it! A good xiaolungbao will have chewy al dente skin and be piping hot in the inside with flavorful pork and pork “soup.” This soup I’m referring to is savory pork stock that comes from the steaming process. Because of this, I prefer the name soup dumplings instead of steamed dumplings. Due to the high liquid content, it’s a good idea to eat xiaolungbao with a soup spoon. It’s tempting, but don’t dunk your steamed dumpling into soy sauce. No, the best way to eat xiaolungbao is with red vinegar and ginger, which brings out the flavor of the pork filling really nicely.


Careful, it’s full of hot, delicious liquid!

So what sets Din Tai Fung apart from all of the other restaurants serving steamed dumplings? In all honesty, there are plenty of other restaurants in Taipei with comparably delicious xiaolungbao. However, Din Tai Fung is one of those restaurants that provides an “added-value” experience, from the open kitchen where customers can watch the intricate process of dumpling-making, to the friendly and professional service staff. This is why there’s a huge line out the door every weekend, and how they can charge US$1 per tiny dumpling.


A side dish of pickled cucumbers, my favorite!


Their noodles were also excellent. The broth was clear and light.


Mmmm good! (This photo was taken by my sister to make my brother-in-law, who stayed home in Maryland, very jealous that he wasn’t at Din Tai Fung with us. Yes, we’re evil!)

Author: Jen

Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

4 thoughts on “Hot Dumplings!

  1. OH GOD, DIN TAI FUNG ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    I'm so jealous!

  2. mmm! soup dumplings and marinated cucumbers! btw xiao long bao is “little steamer dumpling” not “little dragon dumpling” 😉

  3. Looks delicious. Steamed dumplings are my favorite! Thanks for the tip to dip in red vinegar and ginger! And all these years, I’ve been ruining them dipping in the mystery “dumpling sauce.”

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