Emperor Ferdinand I once said, “I am the emperor, and I want dumplings.” My thoughts exactly as I stood in line at the very popular Nan Xiang Soup Dumpling House in Flushing, New York.
This Michelin Guide recommended restaurant serves up piping-hot bamboo baskets of signature xiao long bao ($5.50), pillow-soft dumplings filled with meat in aspic, which melts into broth as the dumplings are steamed.
Nanxiang is a suburb of Shanghai, China, where they were invented, and is still known for having the best xiao long bao anywhere.
In the very small open kitchen, three women stand around the counter like the Fates, measuring out the delectable soup mixture and folding it into freshly-made dumpling skins. In fact, you’ll notice that there are only women in the kitchen. Head Chef Huang Jian Ping will tell you that women are simply better at folding dumplings.
Carefully peel a hot dumpling off the bed of cabbage without puncturing it, and dip it into a sauce of shredded ginger in seasoned black vinegar. Some like to take a nibble off the top, and some like to bite off the side. Whichever method you prefer, you’ll be hit with the intense flavors of velvety minced crab, pork, and flavorful broth in a soft skin. This is the dumpling bomb diggity bomb.
Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao Soup Dumpling House
38-12 Prince Street
Flushing, NY 11354
Originally Published March 2, 2011