I could never get sick of soup dumplings. Never.
During my second pregnancy with Gravy Too, I would talk wistfully with the hubby about wanting a piping hot steamer basket full of soup dumplings. The hubby would indulge my crazy talk, letting me wax poetic about how I missed mixing fresh ginger and black vinegar in a sauce dish as I waited with bated breath for a steamer to arrive, how I’d gingerly pick them up with my chopsticks and place them in my soup spoon, and how I’d tenderly nibble a hole on the dumpling skin to create a little vent to let out enough hot steam to make the dumpling safe to eat without scalding the roof of my mouth. He’d hold my hand patiently and then, sighing dejectedly, remind me that we weren’t living in Malaysia anymore. Then he’d offer me a sandwich.
When we finally made our way up to New York City last month, the hubby and I were in a fever pitch about dashing to Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao in Flushing, a famed dumpling house with a location in Shanghai of the same name.
Clockwise, from top left: hao you (spicy sesame oil) wontons; my sister and brother-in-law excitedly greeting the arrival of a stack of steamers filled with xiao long bao (soup dumplings); another beautiful steamer of crab and pork xiao long bao; a scallion pancake stuffed with beef; the Gravy Baby loves his hand-pulled noodes; and one of our favorite cold dishes, kaofu (seitan)
Nan Xiang didn’t disappoint. We happily munched away on steamer after steamer of pork and crab-filled pockets of wonder along with some other of our Shanghainese favorites. As we were leaving, a crowd had formed outside, clamoring to get a piece of the dumpling action. Nothing makes my family happier than a line they don’t have to wait in, and so we sauntered out, fat and happy.
If that doesn’t make for a good vacation meal, I don’t know what does.