Now, I'm not one for chains. Besides the occasional indulgence of McDonald's fries and a Subway low-fat sandwich on the road, I eat what the locals eat.
3 days before my trip to Shanghai, my dad called up and said, "Hey you know, you have a cousin who's an expat there. Her mom is my cousin, and if you have time, I think you should meet up." Wow. Really? A cousin from Sao Paolo, Brazil who's working in Shanghai. Who knew?!?!
Helen asked what I would like to eat. "Do you like dumplings?" she asked. Do I ever! Even if I had just had the most outrageous 10-course meal, and someone told me they had a really good dumpling, I would squeeze it in. I always have room for a good dumpling.
So we met at Din Tai Fung, a restaurant chain that made its start in Taiwan, and has expanded globally, and even has chains in the US.
I have a special place in my heart for soup dumplings, or Xiao Long Bao, which literally translates to Little Dragon Dumplings. And you know why I love them so much? Because I'm completely in awe of how these tasty little pork bundles manage to capture and contain the oh-so-flavorful juices. And then eating them is an art in and of itself. I'm sure it comes to no surprise to you, but I am a little obsessed with not wasting a single drop of the soupy goodness. So my method...