Here’s How to Make Bone Marrow Xiao Long Bao

January 12, 2016

Xiao long bao has invaded Manila, even long before stalwart Din Tai Fung made it to our shores. Combine this tradition-turned-trend with something incredibly Filipino, that incites the same reaction—bulalo. Its clear soup is the perfect antithesis to the fatty, viscous marrow burrowed in the giant bone that sits in the middle of a bowl, and cures many an ailment with its satisfying quality. Imagine the broth with nuggets of marrow hidden behind a translucent dumpling; this cross-cultural hybrid could become as classic as its origins.

Bulalo XLB

Bulalo Xiao Long Bao

Yield: 30 pcs dumplings
Total Time: 3 hours, including resting and refrigeration

Ingredients: Filling

  • 250g Ground beef
  • 1/4 cup Corn kernels
  • 120g Bone marrow, cut into .0.5cm cubes
  • 1 tbsp Fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp Light soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup Cabbage, blanched, mined, and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 cup Native Pechay, blanched, mined, and squeezed dry
  • 1 Tsp Sugar
  • 1 tsp Fresh black pepper

Ingredients: Dough

  • 2 cups All-purpose flour
  • 1 cup Hot water
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Salt

Ingredients: Stock

  • Bones, from where the bone marrow was extracted
  • 500g Chicken bones
  • 3 sheets Gelatin
  • 2 tbsp Vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp Calamansi juice
  • 1 tsp Fish sauce
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Onion

Procedure: Filling

  1. In a large bowl, mix the ground beef, bone marrow, and corn kernels.
  2. Salt a deep pot of boiling water. Add the cabbage and pechay, blanch for around a minute. Remove the vegetables from the liquid and submerge in icy water until completely cool.
  3. Finely mince the vegetables and squeeze out all excess water.
  4. Combine the vegetables and the rest of the ingredients into the meat mixture. Refrigerate for at least one hour.
  5. Fold in the cubes of gelatinized stock. Set aside in the fridge.

Procedure: Dough

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a bowl, create a well in the center.
  2. Combine the hot water and vegetable oil. Slowly pour the liquid into the center of the flour.
  3. Push and knead the dough until it is smooth and pliable, around 7–10 minutes.
  4. Cover with plastic wrap and allow the dough to rest for at least an hour.
  5. Roll the dough into a log that is an inch in diameter; divide the dough into 3/4 inch pieces. Cover with a damp towel to keep the dough from drying.

Procedure: Stock

  1. Roughly quarter the carrot and onion. Toss the vegetables with the oil and beef bones. Spread on a tray and bake at 185°C for around 1.5 hours, or until the ingredients have browned.
  2. Put the browned ingredients in a pot and add 1.5 liters of water. Bring to boil, skimming off impurities that rise to the top. Lower to a simmer and continue to cook it without a lid for at least 2 hours.
  3. Bloom the gelatin sheets in ice water until rehydrated and softened, around 12 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth and mix in the bloomed gelatin, calamansi, and fish sauce. Season to taste.
  5. Cool completely in the fridge until the broth has set. Cut into 1cm cubes. Fold into the filling.

Assembly & Steaming:

  1. Push down on a piece of dough with the heel of your palm. Using a thin rolling pin, roll from the center moving outwards while rotating the dough in order to achieve a circle.
  2. Put a half inch ball of filling into the dough. Using your thumb and index finger, pleat the edges in a circular motion until the top has sealed.
  3. Carefully arrange them in a steamer lined with either parchment paper dotted with holes, or a piece of clean cheesecloth. Steam for 8-10 minutes. Serve Immediately.
Pamela Cortez Pamela Cortez

Pamela Cortez writes about food full-time, and has honed her craft while writing for publications such as Rogue, Town and Country, and The Philippine Star. She once rode on a mule for a mile just to eat mint tea and lamb in Morocco, and has eaten a block of Quickmelt in one sitting. Her attempt at food photography can be viewed online @meyarrr.

3 comments in this post SHOW

3 responses to “Here’s How to Make Bone Marrow Xiao Long Bao”

  1. wanderingtribe says:

    thanks for this! ehm… what’s the equivalent for 3 ‘sheets of gelatin’?

    • Monica Yang says:

      Hi! Gelatin sheets come in individual leaves that you can count. We prefer using sheets for this particular recipe because it melts at a low temperature. Agar-agar (“gulaman”) has a much higher melting point. The resulting broth might not be smooth.
      Note: You can get gelatin sheets at Santis or Japanese grocery stores.

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