Cheap & good: Dumplings with a bite

Cheap & good: Dumplings with a bite

There's a kind of xiaolongbao (basket dumpling) that explodes in the mouth, and which is a hit with many people.

There tends to be so much juice in the dumpling that it has separated from the filling and gathers like soup in a saggy bag.

That's not what you will find at Whampoa Guotie Xiaolongbao, a stall run by a couple from Qingdao, north-east China, that serves an array of plump, firm dumplings (most priced at $3.50 a serving).

The Singapore permanent residents make everything by hand at the stall except for the skin of the wonton, which has to be machine-pressed.

Their xiaolongbao is close-knit. The juice is still seeping out of the pork, and not yet a separate entity. (Yep, as far as dumplings are concerned, I am pro-unification.)

The wonton, served in soup, has a thick, silky skin. The chive dumpling, boiled and served dry, is ample and bursting with flavour.

The fried dumpling, filled with pork and chives, has a thin, crispy skin. The guotie (pot sticker) is long and flat, with a skin that is soft and melting.

A meal of their dumplings is educational. Who knew so much diversity could be coaxed out of dough and pork?

This article was first published on Nov 30, 2014.
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