Soup dumplings are not simply just dumplings in soup, which is what I thought until about one year ago. No, my friends, the soup is actually in the dumpling and these delicious pouches of love are a Chinese favorite. But if you don’t eat them correctly, they turn into pouches of pain! Since the soup is so hot in the dumpling you have to put one on your spoon, nibble a bit off with your teeth, pour the soup onto your spoon, drink it, and then dip and eat the dumpling. It’s a little complex, but I like to add some danger into my Chinese dining experience (that doesn’t involve ultra-strange foods to the Western palate).
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao
38-12 Prince Street, Flushing
Nan Xiang was recommended to us specifically for soup dumplings or xiao long bao, which was helpful, because it’s a little non-descript joint in a row of places in Flushing. All the dishes were good, including soup dumplings and dumplings in soup, scallion pancakes, rice cakes, etc. and the place is certainly authentic as almost all the clientele is Chinese. While this was my first soup dumpling experience, I can’t compare it to others, but I know Joe’s Shanghai in Flushing and Shanghai Cafe Deluxe in Chinatown are popular destinations as well.
For more on how and where to eat soup dumplings, check out this Serious Eats post.