Where to Find Dumplings in Seattle Known For Their Fresh Ingredients
When you’re craving authentic Chinese soup dumplings, not just any will do.
You need fresh, decadent dumplings that are as full of flavor as the ones your grandma used to make. You need ingredients that are top-quality, reliable, and jam-packed with the tastes and smells you crave.
Looking for that pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? If so, we’ve got you covered.
When you’re searching for dumplings in Seattle known for their fresh high-quality ingredients, look no further than Xiao Chi Jie (XCJ).
Today, we’re sharing the secret behind what makes our dumplings so dynamite, and how you can get your hands on some today.
What Are Chinese Soup Dumplings?
The longer name for Chinese soup dumplings is Xiao Long Bao (XLB). This term translates to “small basket buns” and describes the bamboo basket they’re traditionally steamed in.
This isn’t a typical American-style dumpling that you might associate with pulled chicken and a gravy broth. Rather, bao is a special type of Chinese steamed bun.
These buns have a thin, delicate skin and are usually filled with a decadent pork filling and savory meat broth. Before steaming, the broth is gelatinized, but it turns beautifully liquid as it warms. In turn, this gently poaches the pork and creates a mouth-watering soup that you simply have to taste to believe.
There’s a delicate technique to eating bao relatively quickly while the dumplings are still soft and warm. Ideally, you’ll be able to use your chopsticks to gingerly move each one from the steamer basket onto a spoon without rupturing it and causing the golden soup to leak out!
It’s also important to wait just a few seconds to allow the steam to release before inhaling the dish. When you have dumplings as delicious as ours, we know that’s a nearly impossible feat.
Where to Buy Dumplings in Seattle Known For Their Fresh Ingredients
Any time you’re searching for quality food to go, it’s important to thoroughly vet your sources. These days, consumers are ordering takeout more than ever before, and the market seems to be ripe with options.
On some levels, that’s incredible! You now have an array of choices any time you have an itch for any type of worldly cuisine. On the other hand, the wide-open field leaves us wondering which one to choose.
This especially holds true for the sophisticated world of Chinese street food.
When you want legitimate, melt-in-your-mouth bao, it’s best to go straight to the source. Let’s talk a little bit about why that means heading to The XCJ.
When we set out to make the best Chinese soup dumplings ever, we didn’t waste any time. Instead of figuring out ways to Westernize the dish and modify the flavors to fit the American palate, we went right to the roots of this flavorful, iconic Chinese dish.
That meant moving to Shanghai, China in 2017, where we trained alongside master professional chefs. We stuck to their labor-intensive schedule and learned their time-honored techniques. We knew that before we introduced xiao long bao to our corner of the world, we had to learn the right cooking techniques and precisely which ingredients made the very best ones. We refused to settle for anything less.
A Commitment to Culture
When we arrived back home in Seattle, WA, we merged our recent knowledge with a newly refined vision. We didn’t just want to sell the best dumplings around. We wanted to introduce our stateside customers to the incredible beauty of Chinese street food culture.
We knew that some of the best eats in the world were found on the carts of local vendors all around the Jiangsu province, though they may never grow to become a household name. With a deep appreciation for the diversity and delicacy that we recognized there, we were determined to share xiao long baos within our city and beyond.
Distinct, Inventive Flavors
When you think of your favorite Chinese foods, there’s a good chance you don’t venture too far past your go-to favorites locally.
While there’s certainly nothing wrong with sticking to what’s familiar, the reality is that there’s an entire world of regional Chinese dishes that deserve more love and attention than they tend to get in the U.S. Most of the time, this is only because they’re not as commonly made.
Chinese street food tends to fall into this category, and we think baos are the unspoken leaders of the pack. With our dishes, you’ll awaken your senses with new and exciting flavors, textures and aromas that will pique your interest far beyond your comfort zone.
Once you bite into an XCJ soup dumpling, you can taste the difference between us and others on the market.
What makes our baos the best?
Put simply, we don’t take any shortcuts. We make all of our dumplings out of the kitchen in our Bellevue location every morning, using the same care and technique that you’d expect a traditional Chinese street vendor to follow.
While we’ve gotten pretty efficient at this process, we don’t rush through it. Rather than mass-producing our dumplings, we stick to small batches that contain 18 bags each.
We also stick to an on-demand production method. We only create as many dumplings as we need, and then we freeze them and pack them immediately. Then, we deliver them fresh right to your doorstep!
Unparalleled Shipping Process
You might not think too much about the procedures that must take place before your dumplings ship, but this is one of the most important ways that we add quality to your first-class experience.
First, you’ll notice that our shipping prices are lower than most of our competitors, by a long shot! Many would charge at least $40 to ship two 50-count bags of dumplings with dry-ice. Or, they would increase their product costs to absorb the extra supply chain expenses.
We don’t resort to those measures, because we’ve found an efficient and successful delivery method that allows us to pass value and savings onto you. For only $12.50, we can ship an order of two bags or more anywhere in the nation.
Curious about how we do it?
First, we make all of our dumplings right here in Seattle. Then, we strategically ship orders to California and Ohio two times per week.
This way, we can offer ground shippings rates and avoid the exorbitant costs of air shipping. While these shipments cost us around $35, we absorb the remainder of the costs to keep your price low.
We aim to ship all of our dumplings out the next business day after you order. Allow one to three days for transit, and then expect a delicious delivery!
Our quick turnaround time means that the dumplings you enjoy at home were prepared just a day or two before you received them. This helps us keep our ingredients fresh and prevents unnecessary waste.
En route, your dumplings will stay frozen thanks to special packaging features, including dry ice and insulated liners. This is the strategy behind our Melt-Free Guarantee, which promises that your order will arrive just the way you expect it. If it doesn’t, then we’ll happily re-ship your order and do anything and everything we can to make it right.
Another technique that puts us head and shoulders above the rest? We know the value of a handmade touch.
While there are some parts to the bao creation process that we can use technology to facilitate, there are others that must be performed by hand. Knowing this, we take the time to individually prepare each one, so no subtle detail goes unnoticed.
Only Fresh Ingredients
You can’t fake fresh.
We know this, and you know this. For that reason alone, we’re fully committed to using only the freshest ingredients we can source. This means that every bite of your bao will be rich in flavor and high in quality.
Let’s start with the soup.
Our premium chicken broth is delicately seasoned with Chinese rice wine. When it cooks and combines with our juicy pork filling, the result is the unmissable savory soup filling that’s quickly become our speciality.
Now, onto the flour.
We only use Mandako flour to prepare our soup dumplings. This particular flour is milled from a special blend of northern winter and spring wheat. We chose it primarily for its incredible consistency and unbeatable quality, but it also creates the softest, most tender dumpling skin imaginable.
Inside of each dumpling, the attention to detail and quality continues.
We stuff each one with only the best raw ginger, always prepared fresh and never dried or powdered. Then, we add flavorful ground pork that strikes the perfect balance between lean and fat. Rather than toss the dice, we spent an extensive period of time testing and tasting special meat blends until we found one that exceeded all of our criteria for flavor and texture.
Finally, we include bright green scallions in the filling blend. A must-have staple in traditional Chinese cuisine, scallions add a hint of spice to the dumplings and give them an amazing aroma. These pair perfectly with our pork filing for a well-rounded assortment of aromatic and savory flavors.
That’s it! While you won’t find any nuts, tree nuts, or seeds in any of our products, keep in mind that the dumplings will contain soy and traces of egg and dairy. These are components of the chicken base that we use in our soup!
Traditional, Authentic Recipe
As we were honing our craft, we were careful to learn the exact technique required to make the perfect Shanghai soup dumplings. This meant taking a few different factors into consideration.
For instance, we knew that we had to follow a recipe that allowed the filling inside of the dumplings to remain soupy, even after each one was fried in hot oil. We also wanted to develop dumplings that would create maximum soup as they cooked, amplifying your dining experience.
We took our time and got it right, without cutting corners or sacrificing quality along the way.
We started with the signature soup dumpling in Shanghai, Xiao Long Bao. Then, we took notes from another favorite dumpling, Sheng Jian Bao. The latter is similar to XLB, but has crispy, pan-fried brown bottoms and a thicker dough.
When you fry these dumplings, the result is a crispy, delightful morsel that you must consume in bulk. These dumplings are larger than the average XLB, with a dough that’s thick enough to leave plenty of tasty broth on the inside to accompany the filling.
Easy to Prepare
It wouldn’t be too convenient to have frozen Chinese soup dumplings that were better than restaurant quality if you didn’t know what to do with them!
For that reason, we insisted on making ours delightfully simple and easy to prepare.
As soon as they arrive, go ahead and freeze them. Then, keep them in the freezer until you’re ready to prepare them.
The only accessories you’ll need when it’s time to cook the dumplings are:
- A liner (e.g. steamer sheet, parchment paper, cabbage leaf)
- A steamer basket (or a steam rack inside of a pot with a lid)
- Tongs or chopsticks
- A soup spoon
Once everything is assembled, you can take your XCJ dumplings from frozen to piping hot in just four steps.
First, place the frozen dumplings on top of the liner. Then, space them out so they’re about two centimeters apart. Then, just stem them for 10 to 12 minutes!
When the time is up, let the dumplings sit for one minute to cool slightly. The waiting might be the hardest part! When they’re this easy to make, you’ll want to have our dumplings for every meal.
How to Order From XCJ
Now that you know a few of the features that make XCJ stand out, are you ready to snag some incredible soup dumplings for yourself? Whether you’re planning to feed a crowd or you just want to elevate your personal at-home dining experience, we’ve got you covered.
If you live in Seattle, you’re welcome to stop by our store and pick up your order. If you purchase at least two bags, we can also deliver to local areas within a 20-mile radius. We deliver every Monday through Friday, from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Not a local? Not a problem! We can ship anywhere, thanks to our tried and tested delivery methods.
When you head to our online ordering page, you’ll see that we offer a few different options. Let’s take a look at what you can buy.
50-Count Xiao Long Bao
In this package, you’ll receive 50 of our amazing soup dumplings! The Xiao Long Bao - 50 PC bag contains enough baos for five family meals. You can choose either our Classic Pork option or the Shrimp and Pork combination.
The best part? It steams right up and is ready in just a few minutes! We’ll even include steamer liners so you can spend less time prepping and get straight to the good stuff.
If you’re local to the Seattle area, you’re welcome to pick up your order in person. When you do, we’ll throw in a free hand-crafted sauce trio, worth $5!
If you order delivery, don’t worry.
You can still enjoy our famous dipping sauces! We sell bottled sauces, including our incredible Umami ginger-scallion sauce, that make an excellent complement to your meal. Each bottle contains 270 ml (9 fl oz) of sauce and should cover at least two 50-count bags of dumplings!
The three different sauces available for purchase include:
The Umami Sauce features ginger and scallion flavors and is our best seller! It amplifies the flavor of our dumplings and also blends beautifully in a variety of other Asian dishes.
The Classic Sauce is a traditional Chinese vinegar sauce, adjusted slightly to be a little sweeter and lighter. This helps it pair well with our bao filling and brings out the rich flavors of our soup!
If you prefer a little more kick, try our Spicy Chili Crisp! It contains a house-made blend of 12 distinct spices, toasted to perfection and simmered for four glorious hours. We also add in our proprietary chili crisp blend for a little extra heat!
Want to try them all? Order our hand-crafted Sauce Trio and get all three sauces to enjoy at home!
A great, authentic bamboo steamer completes your culinary experience. While you can use a pot with a lid, a steamer is specially-suited to help you extract all the yummy flavors from your dumplings.
If you don’t have one, you can find one in our online shop. Our steamer includes two trays, so you can gently steam your soup dumplings the traditional way.
When you do so, you preserve their nutrients and enrich their flavors. You’ll also find that the colors are bolder and more vibrant.
Our steamers are handmade out of 100% bamboo, and are super lightweight. This way, you can easily transport them to and from your table when it’s time to serve and eat. While there are two tiers available, you can use a single tier for wok steaming.
Don’t Just Take Our Word For It
We could wax poetic about our soup dumplings for days, and we often do!
However, we know that peer reviews and feedback are much more relatable and meaningful. For that reason, we’re proud of the positive comments that we continuously receive about our products!
When you want to hear firsthand accounts of how delicious and top-quality our products are, you can head over to our review page. Here, you’ll find comments from customers just like you, raving about their experiences creating and consuming our soup dumplings and sauces.
We’ve also linked our social media pages to our website, so you can easily hop over onto those platforms to read more about what we’re up to. This is also a great way to see what others are saying about our company!
We love to interact with our online audience in this way and we often share giveaways, news features, and other helpful information.
Subscribe to Enjoy More
If you think our soup dumplings are delicious as-is, then you’ll definitely want to subscribe to our VIP Program, which is coming soon!
Through this program, we’ll offer members-only perks such as surprise new dumping flavors every month! You’ll also have access to new products before they hit the shelves, as well as special, limited-run flavors.
Of course, there will also be plenty of XCJ swag available in this program, so you can wear your favorite dumpling shop on your sleeve!
Remember: We keep our shipping costs low thanks to a low advertising budget, relying instead on word-of-mouth marketing. We rely on you to spread the word about our dumplings to all of your friends, family members, and your local community!
Order Your Soup Dumplings Today!
We could go on about how delicious our premium-quality soup dumplings are, but we’d rather you taste them first-hand to believe.
We didn’t set out to change tradition or reinvent an age-old culinary classic. Rather, we started this journey with one aim: To create the very best dumplings in Seattle known for their fresh ingredients.
What began as a passion project back in 2017 has turned into a nationwide phenomenon that we’re honored to lead. When you’re ready to see what all the hype is about, feel free to order online now!
Want to make it easy to place future orders and remember your favorites? Go ahead and create an account with us today!