The Art of Eating Xiao Long Bao

If you know me well, I don’t usually or I think I’ve never agreed to any breakfast meet-ups as I love frolicking lying in bed especially during the weekend moanings mornings :P But when Yvonne suggested to meet up for some Xiao Long Bao in Din Tai Fung Pavilion, I agreed as I love Pavilion and I wanted to go to Tokyo Street!

Xiao Long Bao is a type of steamed bun from eastern China. It is traditionally steamed in small bamboo baskets, hence the name (xiaolong is literally small steaming basket). Xiaolongbao are often referred to as soup dumplings or simply dumplings in English, but are not regarded as “dumplings” in China.

Jennifer, me and Yvonne

So there we were in Din Tai Fung when we were greeted with a pleasant surprise as not only did we get to eat xiao long bao, we also got to learn the Art of EATING Xiao Long Bao! I’m so naive to think that all we need to do is pop the xiao long bao into our mouth and swallow but boy, was I wrong! Try popping a freshly steamed xiao long bao into your mouth and you’ll be guaranteed to scream as the piping hot steam will definitely cause some damage within the walls of your orifice!

Now, let me share with you the delicate art of eating xiao long bao as demonstrated by Ms Wong of Din Tai Fung :D

Soya and Vinegar

It’s important to have soya sauce and vinegar when eating xiao long bao.

Soya Sauce

According to Ms Wong, we must first pour soya sauce into the saucer filled with slivers of fresh ginger.


Next, pour vinegar into the same saucer. The ratio of soya sauce and vinegar should be one part soya sauce and three parts vinegar.

Xiao Long Bao

Xiao Long Bao @ Din Tai Fung

The delicate skin of xiao long bao requires very careful handling. It is important not to puncture the skin before placing it onto the spoon. How do we ensure that it won’t happen? Place your chopsticks on the top/folded part of the dumpling as this is the thickest part and gently lift it off the basket.

Place the xiao long bao onto a spoon. Slightly poke the dumpling to let the steam of the soup out and sip the little soup that flowed out. (Sorry for the blurry pic of the dumpling here. My camera is more fascinated with the other camera there hence the wrong focus! >_<)

Xiao Long Bao

Add slivers of ginger, dab some vinegar onto the dumpling and consume everything, enjoying every bite and sip with much pleasure.

Xiao Long Bao

Haha… CUTE! :D

It was an enjoyable brunch we had today. We proceed to take a walk in Tokyo Street right after and it was awesome! I will definitely be BACK here again!

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About the Author: Merryn Tan

31 Comments + Add Comment

  • //

    Wow, nice sharing!! Got skill to eat? Now i only know.. =D

  • //

    Huh? You really dunno the art of eating xiao long bao? U mean everytime u just pop it into your mouth? Haha!! Well, never too late to learn : D

  • //

    Wow! Feel like eating xiao long bao but I rather go Dragon-i for that haha!!

  • //

    next time we goin :P okiee

    • //


      My buku 555 still got your PappaRich ABC outstanding… wanna add this in as well? I wait until neck long dy lor… =_=

  • //

    Use a straw, use a straw!

  • //

    Of all the paos, this is the one that I don;t like. Don't like the strong ginger taste of the soup inside. No, thank you…

  • //

    I've never tried xiao long bao before! I heard canton-i's ones are not bad as well, I guess I have to try both :D

  • //

    I love xiao long bao. I remember the first time I ate it, I took one bite and the soup picit out like a water gun = so embarrassing!! Good tips on eating it here. Didn't know the ratio of vinegar and soy sauce – usually already served.

  • //

    nice hor that new Tokyo Street?? But parking at Pavillion is so freaking expensive :(

  • //

    i hv tried it somewhere else n i love it as i like ginger.

  • //

    The Xiao Long Pao there.. very nice d.. I eat before at Taiwan

  • //

    my art… just throw into mouth! :P

  • //

    I love Ken's art!! ;)

    It was certainly a lovely Sunday breakie.. we shld do this again…

  • //

    Ooh I love xiaolongbaos! I was taught to take a little nibble (instead of to poke it) and then to slurp up the soup. Poking sounds more practical as it can be really hot! I never eat them with soya sauce though, only the vinegar and ginger. They're already so flavourful :)

  • //

    Superb macro pixs of the xiao long pau! However, I prefers BBQ pro bun more leh… Less hassle!

  • //

    I just walloped them using my chopsticks… haaha…. i like them.. very nice!

  • //

    Got art one meh? Just makan can already lor. :p

  • //

    oooh, i love xiao long bao!! or maybe to be exact, the process of eating it, sucking the broth out from the dumpling, haha!! :D

  • //

    tQ for sharing how not to be burn by piping hot little dragon bao and the correct way to tame the fiery & steaming dragons bao..yeah hor my 555 buku also show Mr BOOH owing one Pappa Rich ABC leh hahaha.

  • //

    For breakfast, I enjoy most is a pao with a cup of tea..

  • //

    I love XLB ;)

  • //

    i love xiao long bao!! :D:D

  • //

    pls tell me more about what you see in Tokyo street!!! Think I got to leave this Company I am working as I am just opposite PAVILION!!! With Snowflake and now Tokyo street.. there goes my salary!!!!

  • //

    Tried it at Dragon-i before, quite nice. But I prefer the durian pancake wahaha

  • //

    I only tried this at Dragon-I. Thanks for sharing, will keep this in mind next time.

  • //

    I like the feeling of throwing the whole xiao long pao in my mouth, and let the 'water' come out from the pao… yummy!~

  • //

    nice write up.. just know theres skills to eat siao long pao…

  • //

    now i learned the art of eating xlb. thanks for the tips.;)

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I am a mother to two boys; Ethan and Ayden and a wife to Darling William. I'm a stay at home mum who blogs to break the monotony of life and to avoid feeling jaded. Would love to get to know all the Super Mommies and Daddies and Babies or Singles out there with the hope that we can learn more from each other. Most of all, I am a happy person, and I hope YOU are too.

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