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Xiao Lung Bao – Little Dragon Buns

A couple of weeks ago, I visited my cousin. Her boyfriend’s mother is a talented cook. She prepared this amazing dish called Xiao Lung Bao (小笼馒头) which literally translates into Little Dragon Bun.

This is an amazing dish, the gravies literally bursts in your mouth in an explosion of flavour and amazing texture. Word of caution, do not attempt to take a nibble or risk squirts around your dinner guests.

Little Dragon Bun

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  • Filling
    • 250 gm minced pork (you can substitute it with beef if you prefer)
    • 3-4 pieces of woodear (soaked in warm water and chopped fine
    • 4-5 pieces of shiitake mushrooms (soaked in warm water and chopped fine)
    • Soy Sauce
    • Dash of white pepper
    • 1 X Egg
  • Dough
    • 100 gm of flour
    • Water
  • Condiment
    • 1 thumbsized ginger (julienne)
    • Balsamic vinegar



  • Start by making your dough, mix together water and and flour and give it a good kneading until you get a nice smooth and soft dough. Feel free to add more flour or water to achieve the required dough texture.
  • In a mixing bowl add all your filling ingredients and give it a good stir. Add a dash of soya sauce and white pepper to give it a little more flavour.
  • Next, comes the challenge. Roll your dough into a long cylindrical shape with a diameter approximately 1 inch.
  • Then pinch the dough into meatball size nuggets (sorry I couldn’t find a more descriptive way of explaining the size of the nuggets)
  • For each of the nuggets, press down on them until they’re semi flattened, then using a rolling pin flatten the dough until you get a perfect circle. You do this by rolling the nuggets from the edge to the centre of the circle. Repeat the same process by rotating the nuggets.
  • Once you get the all your nuggets sorted, add a little filling and start pleating to make your xiao lung bao
  • Place your xiao lung bao in a steaming tray and steam for 15 minutes
  • Lastly prepare your condiments by soaking your ginger in balsamic vinegar
  • Serve hot


Notes: Feel free to substitute minced pork with other types of minced meat such as beef, lamb or fish.

Here’s a quick video on how to pleat your buns

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Cinta Dapur is authored by Ivan Cho, who currently works as a Project Manager in the Digital Advertising arena in London. He is also a freelance photographer and a hobbyist food photographer

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