Thursday, November 20, 2008

more dumplings

I have to admit, since leaving Shanghai, I craved xiao long bao-- those amazing soup dumplings. So when asked what kind of food I wanted for dinner, I had to ask for them.

So, we went to Din Tai Fung-- a Taiwanese restaurant in Beijing that specializes in Shanghai dumplings. I'm not sure which Asian region is primarily responsible for our dinner, but it was delicious nonetheless.
It was here that the "real Chinese" dumpling test-- how eating these dumplings can prove your authentic Chinese-ness-- was further explained to me. Apparently these dumplings are made so that one side has a thinner skin than the other; and you are supposed to break the dumpling on the thinner side to sip the soup out--making less of a mess. But only a "real Chinese" person can tell which side has the thinner skin.

I failed this test everytime, so perhaps it is accurate.

But no matter, real Chinese or not, I still got to eat them. And I got to try the other variations of xiao long bao as well.
Ones with different fillings:

And different methods of eating:
These mini xiao long bao are meant to dipped and eaten with a spoonful of soup. For these, the soup is on the outside, so to speak.

And to cap off the meal, we had red-bean paste filled peach buns which symbolize longevity. I had seen similiar ones in Hong Kong and always regretted not trying it so I was glad to taste it during my China trip.

It was good, but somehow I had expected it to taste...peachier? Regardless, I think longevity peach buns was quite an apropos way to finish the meal. I forsee my love of dumplings being a long-lasting affection.

Din Tai Fung, Dongzhimen Branch
No.24, Xinyuanxili Middle Street, Chaoyang District