Xiaolongbao, literally "Little Basket Buns",are traditionally filled with broth and pork, but beef, seafood, and vegetables are very often used as fillings. The broth inside is made by using some meat jelly inside the dumpling before steaming. Gelatin melts when steamed. Xiaolongbao always have soup, otherwise they are just Jiaozi.
- Use a heavy knife to smashed the ginger root. Place them in a bowl. Add in spring onion and water. Squeeze the mixture to release the juice from the ginger and onion. Strain. Season the ground pork with salt, sugar, Maggi sauce and pepper. Mix well. Gradually add in the prepared ginger-onion liquid and mix until all the liquid is absorbed and the mixture forms a firm and cohesive mass. Drizzle in the sesame oil and combine well. Dice the jelly and blend together with meat mixture. Cover with a plastic wrap and store in the fridge while prepare the wrappers.
- Whisk the flour and salt together in a mixing bowl. Add in water and start mixing by hand. Once the dough has come together, turn onto a floured work surface and knead dough until it becomes a smooth, elastic ball. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and allow it to rest for at least half an hour.
- Half the dough lengthwise. On a floured surface roll each dough with palms back and forth to form a long rope of dough of even thickness. Portion the roll into 10-gram pieces and flatten each piece with the bottom of your palm. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out forming a disk of 7cm with the edges thinner than the center. Hold a wrapper in your left hand and raise fingers up to form a recess. Place 2 teaspoons of filling in the middle of the wrapper. Carefully fold the edges of the wrapper together in a pleated fashion with the right hand. Pinch edges together to close the wrapper.
- Soak cheese cloth in hot water, wring out water and lay in a steamer. Besides cheesecloth, cabbages, carrot slices, and parchment paper are a good source of lining the steamers too. Put in the dumplings and set the steamer over a pan filled with boiling water. Close the lid and steam for 8 minutes over strong heat. Serve with a sauce dish of thinly shredded ginger and black rice vinegar.