Chef Jairam Pariyar shows us easy hacks to make delicious dumpling
Chef Jairam Pariyar shows us easy hacks to make Shanghai's popular snack, the xiao long bao
One of social media's trending food-porn items from last year was this huge soup-filled dumpling that wrapped the goodness of warm broth and delicious meat in a delicate layer of flour. It's unfortunate that Mumbai is yet to embrace this fad, but there are still a couple of restaurants in the city that serve these traditional Chinese soup dumplings, which are also known as xiao long bao. These dim sums from Nanxiang, in Jiangnan region, are traditionally cooked in xiao long (small bamboo steaming baskets) which gives them their name.
Chef Jairam Pariyar, head chef at Yauatcha, reminisces about his first attempt at making these delicate dumplings. "My first and instant reaction was, wow! It's very different from a regular dim sum in terms of taste and flavour," he tells us. Pariyar says that making a batch of 20 xiao long bao takes more than six hours.
After years of mastering the recipe, Pariyar has found a few hacks that will allow you to recreate these at home. The three-part recipe starts with making a thick soup, followed by minced meat mixture, and finally wrapping it all in a delicate sheet of flour and starch. To ensure that these dim sums do not break open, the key is to massage it dough really well.
If you don't, it well it'll either break open or the skin of the dim sum will have a lot of bubbles. "The other important factor to keep in mind is the recipe for the covering. You can use a mixture of wheat starch and potato starch," recommends Pariyar. If you are trying to make these at home, Pariyar suggests you use maida instead of potato starch as it is easy to procure. If you do not have a wicker basket to steam these dumplings in, he suggests using the same steamer that you use to make idlis.
"Just make sure that the water is boiling before you steam and steam for about five minutes on a full flame. Make sure that once you put the filling inside the dim sums, do not steam them immediately. Set them aside for a while before steaming," he says. And once your dim sums are ready to eat, serve them with shredded ginger and black vinegar.