Foodie Tips

How to Eat Soup Dumplings That Make the Flavor Pop

Xiao long bao is dumplings that are filled with gelatinized broth. As they’re steamed in the bamboo basket, the broth liquidizes into a mouthwatering soup. If you know how to eat them, they’re the perfect dish for any table

If you don’t know how to eat soup dumplings, you’re in for a rough time. You see, you have to eat these little morsels fast. If you don’t, the broth will get gross. The dough will become a gummy mess as well. 

If you eat them too fast, however, you’re in for a boiling hot surprise. Check out this guide to learn the right way to eat your dumplings so you don’t get caught off guard.

Getting Your Dumpling on the Spoon 

The first hurdle you have to overcome is getting your Chinese soup dumplings on the spoon. As a word of caution, the dough is thin. Like, paper-thin. 

If you pick your dumpling up by the middle, the contents will pour out of it. The dumpling is closed on the top via ring-shaped skin. This isn’t only for show. 

It’s what you pick the food up by. Grab your chopsticks and get a careful hold on the ring. Slowly transfer your dumpling over to the soup spoon. 

If you’re not that adept with chopsticks, don’t worry. You can either ask the restaurant for a fork or pick it up with your hands.

Don’t Rip or Jab it 

Many restaurants steam their dumplings on top of a bed of lettuce or paper. If they didn’t, the dumpling would stick to the bottom of the basket and rip. 

Before you transfer your soup dumpling over to the spoon, carefully remove the paper. We say carefully because if you jab the dough, it will rupture.

Once the dumpling is on the spoon, congratulate yourself! The hardest part is over. Now you have to figure out how to eat your meal without burning your mouth. 

Be Careful Not to Burn Your Mouth

Caution: Contents may be hot! The inside of pork soup dumplings is boiling. If you scoop them out of the basket and put them right into your mouth, you’re in for a horrible time. 

No matter if you get them from a restaurant or Thexcj.com, you have to let them cool off for a bit. The best cooling method is putting the dumpling on your spoon and giving it a few seconds. 

You could also leave them in the basket for a while. If you start feeling a little impatient, you can take a small bite out of the top of the dumpling. It will provide enough of an opening to let the steam escape. 

Whatever you do, don’t let your dumplings sit for too long. If you do, the broth inside will begin to harden. The dough will become gummy too, which is never fun. 

Making the Most Out of the Dipping Sauce

Every order of dumplings comes with a side of black vinegar dipping sauce. There are a couple of ways you can use it to bring out the best in even frozen soup dumplings. 

Pour it in the Dumpling 

The first method is multi-functional. You’ll be able to let some of the steam escape out of the food while also getting a nice hit of dipping sauce. 

Bite off the top of the dumpling. Grab a separate spoon and scoop a little bit of the vinegar sauce into the hole you created. Slurp up the soup and vinegar mixture before popping the rest of the dumpling into your mouth. 


Dunking your food is a little dangerous. On the one hand, you get a nice coating of sauce. On the other hand, it increases the possibility of a punctured dumpling. 

Lift the dumping as carefully as you can and dunk the base of it into the sauce. From the sauce, put it on your spoon and slurp it down once it’s cooled off. 

Double Dunk 

One dipping method that’s a little more dangerous is the double dunk. You dip the base of the dumpling in the sauce and then flip it over to dunk the other side. 

Put the food on your spoon and take a small bite out of the side. Sip the contents out and slurp down the rest of the dumpling. 

Put the Vinegar on the Spoon First

If you don’t want to tempt fate (and your lunch), put the vinegar sauce on the spoon before the dumpling. If there’s any ginger at your table, consider adding that to the spoon as well. 

Transfer the dumpling to the vinegar-soaked spoon and wait for it to cool as normal before you dig in. 

Don’t Drown it 

One important thing to keep in mind is that you still want to taste the soup in your soup dumpling. This means that you shouldn’t overdo it with the vinegar sauce. 

This is why one of the best consumption methods is to wait to dip the dumpling until after it’s empty. This way, you get the full taste of the soup. 

How to Eat Soup Dumplings the Right Way 

Knowing how to eat soup dumplings is the difference between having a tasty meal and a horrible disaster. If you try to eat them right away, you’ll burn your mouth with the boiling contents. 

If you eat them too slowly, you’re in a mouthful of gummy disappointment. There’s the little matter of utilizing the dipping sauce to bring out the most in the different flavors as well. It sounds like a lot of work, but trust us when we say it will be more than worth it when you take that first bite. 

Are you looking for more ways to enjoy your favorite dishes? Check out the Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints section of our blog daily for all the latest food advice. 

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