Xiao Long Bao (Little Buns)

READY IN: 1hr 15mins
Recipe by Spicy Little Sister

These will keep you warm on a cold winter night.

Top Review by mianbao

These turned out pretty good. I was worried that there would be too much yeast in the dough, but it seems to be all right. The dough recipe, especially, was rather hard to follow because there were no amounts for salt and water. I ended up using about 1 cup warm water to 3 1/2 cups flour, with 1/4 teaspoon salt. I think the salt could be increased to 1/3 teaspoon. The spiced oil in the filling is a nice touch, and gave it a definitely "Chinesey" flavor. Again, some indication of how much oil to use would help. I doubled the filling (only) and used 3 tablespoons vegetable oil and 1 tablespoon sesame oil. Although I did double the meat and shrimp, I used only one egg, and not as much as twice the garlic and ginger. I now have filling left in the freezer that I can play with later. I think 1-inch balls of dough would be about 50 grams. In my case, I could have made a lot more than 8 buns. I would also like to experiment with adding Shaoxing wine and maybe some vegetables to the filling. Also, I'm still not sure if the filled buns should be rested before steaming, as it was not mentioned in the recipe. The ones that got more time seemed to be better, I thought. Overall, this was an interesting experiment that gave me some new ideas. I would not recommend this recipe, however, to a beginner.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Mix the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Slowly add warm water; use as little as possible. Cover the dough with a hot, moist towel, and put it somewhere warm to rise.
  2. Flavor the cooking oil in a wok by adding the chilies, anise, and peppercorns. Add the garlic slices and saute until cooked. Throw away the chilies, star anise and peppercorns.
  3. Put the ground meat in a bowl. Pour the flavored oil and garlic onto the meat and mix the ginger, onions and egg together. Add soy sauce and salt to taste.
  4. Knead your dough. Roll into 1" balls and flatten with your palms. Flour the surface and rolling pin and roll out the edges of the dough bits, making sure the center is thicker than the outsides.
  5. Scoop the meat mixture into the center of the dough disc. Pinch the dough together in a circular motion around the dumplings using a watch-winding motion.
  6. Steam the filled dumplings in a bamboo basket for 7-10 minutes. To prevent sticking, place the dumplings on cucumber slices.
  7. Let people mix their own dipping sauce from these ingredients: dark vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, raw garlic, sesame oil, salt.

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