What is a soup dumpling? It is a dumpling with a filling of meat and/or vegetables, but what separates the soup dumpling from the rest of world's dumplings is that it is also filled with about one tablespoon of soup. When the dumpling is punctured, there is a delicious juicy pop.
Soup dumplings are from Shanghai, so the Shanghai branch is usually where I go when I need a Din Tai Fung fix, but it doesn't matter which branch you go to...the recipe is exact and precise at all the restaurants. The filling is a specific weight, apparently 16 grams. The wrapper is also a specific weight. The circumference of each dumpling is the same. And every dumpling is sealed with 18 pleats at the top. In this way, every dumpling that Din Tai Fung sells is cooked evenly during the four minutes in the steamer.
How do they get the soup into the dumpling without spilling out while creating the little packages? The soup is cleverly disguised as a small cube of jelly that melts inside the dumpling as it steams!
Join me in China and see, and eat, the magic for yourself!