The Only Way To Eat Soup Dumplings, According To Andrew Zimmern

Soup dumplings are delicious. There's a good reason the Dragon Warrior Po is always shoveling as many as he can into his mouth in "Kung Fu Panda." Also known as Xiao Long Bao or XLB, soup dumplings are quite tasty, and when done right, these babies can result in a gastronomic awakening your taste buds will not soon forget. Andrew Zimmern is a longtime fan and aficionado of soup dumplings. Zimmern even blogged about when he sampled them in Taipei at the world-renowned restaurant Din Tai Fung. The celebrity chef wrote of his dumpling experience, "I've eaten a lot of dumplings in my life, but I'd cross an ocean for the xiao long bao stuffed with seasoned pork and black truffle shavings." 

Luckily Din Tai Fung has also found a home in the United States and Zimmern doesn't have to travel too far when he wants to feast on their "perfectly made" soup dumplings. But eating these delicate orbs is not an easy task for a newb. Per Thrillest, these bundles of dough cradling some type of filling — generally pork — and aspic, a gelatin-like broth that turns to a liquid as it cooks, can either be "heaven" if you know how to eat them or a wasted dumpling if you don't — and no one wants that. Enter Zimmern, who has shared the only way to eat XLB.

Sauce on the spoon first

Zimmern shared on Instagram that the only way to eat soup dumplings is " . . .sauce on spoon THEN lift dumpling onto spoon and eat."  He went on to call it a "Pleated porcine perfection." It definitely looks yummy, and the award-winning television personality is not the only soup dumpling expert who swears by this method. Xian Zhang, co-owner of Michelin-starred Cafe China in New York City confirmed to Thrillist that one should, "Put the vinegar in your empty spoon before scooping up the dumpling."

But not everyone agrees with Zimmern's XLB eating strategy. One of his followers suggested, "You should have asked them how to do it: dip in sauce, put on spoon, puncture the bao, add sauce and ginger, eat." Per Thrillest, Zhang would call this approach to eating soup dumplings a fail, as he told the online publication adding the sauce inside the dumpling ruins the broth. 

But regardless of what method chosen to eat XLB, the one thing that Zimmern's followers all seemed to agree on is these Din Tai Fung dumplings are worthy of your taste buds' attention. One shared, ". . .enjoyed @dintaifungusa this afternoon. Simply amazing soup dumplings," while Jasmine Roth of HGTV offered, "Omg my dream!!!! I go here every chance I get."