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Get the big soup dumpling while it's hot
Extra large soup dumplings at Din Tai Fung, photo from Din Tai Fung's Facebook page
We like things big in Australia - take the Big Banana, the Big Merino, and the Big Pineapple to name a few things, for example. And for the month of November, we now have the Big Soup Dumpling - courtesy of our friends at Din Tai Fung.
If you have never had soup dumplings, or xiao long bau, as they are called in their native land, then you have been missing out. This innocuous type of dumpling has the usual meat filling, but in addition, usually has a spoonful of soup carefully enclosed alongside the meat, so that when you put it in your mouth, it explodes like a sensational broth bomb, sending delightfully soupy, meaty taste sensations in all directions through your mouth.
So why not just make them bigger - say, the size of a grapefruit? Well, that's exactly what Din Tai Fung has done, and hats off to them - I can't wait to try it.
While I have reservations about the safety of these things - (it is common for the uninitiated trying the standard-sized xiao long bao to burn their mouths the first time because the broth is so hot inside - officianados know that you should poke a hole in the top with your chopstick first to let the broth cool a bit before biting into it. I can only imagine it's a lot worse with a greater quantity of broth) this is one gimmick that I've just got to try.
What is it? It's a giant soup dumpling - pay attention! It's about SEVEN TIMES larger than a normal dumpling, and is filled with pork and prawn mince, and broth. Din Tai Fung will thoughtfully be serving each one with a straw, so you can suck out the hot broth to bring the dumpling content to manageable levels before tucking into the dumpling proper.
Where do I get it? As of writing, it is only on offer at Din Tai Fung in Chatswood Westfield, World Square, Westfield Miranda, Central Park Mall Broadway and Emporium Melbourne.
How much? 8.90 for one, which is so fat, it fills the whole steamer.
Currently it's on offer just for the month of November, and in limited quantities - so get your skates on!