Instant Pot Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

To those tho know me well, they may tell you I’m the Soup Dumpling King of NYC.

I’ve been unofficially crowned this title because I’ve been to pretty much all the joints that serve up these little pillows of heaven.

We are talking dumplings that aren’t just regular dumplings.  No, these are dumplings where SOUP is embedded INSIDE the dumpling skin encasing the pork mixture!  They are Shanghai-style and known as Xiao Long Bao in Chinese (and commonly referred to as XLBs).If you go to the right place (after going to all of the “must trys,” I’ve found that Joe’s Shanghai in Flushing, Queens in NYC is consistently THE best) you will literally be transported to cloud nine.

So – HERE IT IS GUYS!  The HOMEMADE SOUP DUMPLING in the Instant Pot!  They are going to make ALL of your nearest and dearest go “WOW! – You actually made these?!

Here’s How I Made It!:

Let’s start off by creating the “soup” part by adding some water to a pot.

Then we’ll add some chicken base…

…soy sauce…

and unflavored gelatin powder.

We’ll bring it all to a boil and stir it up nicely…

…and then transfer the gelatinous soup mixture to a small baking pan.

And let it set in the fridge for a few hours until firm and like Jell-o.

While the soup is becoming firm and jiggly in the fridge, make the black vinegar sauce by combining some black vinegar, soy sauce and some fresh stands of ginger.  Set aside.

And now let’s make the meat mixture by staring with some chopped scallions (use the whiter, crunchier part of them)…

…some chopped shittake mushrooms…

…ground pork…

…some crushed ginger…

…some crushed garlic…

…a little sesame oil…

…and a little Shaoxing wine (or Chinese rice wine or even sake).

Mix it up well by hand and form into a ball…

…put a lid on it and also set it in the fridge along with the soup mixture.

After a few hours have flown by, take the set soup gelatinous mixture out of the fridge and cut into little squares.  Take the meat mixture out from the fridge too.

Then we’ll take a pack of dumpling wrappers…

…and place about a marble-sized ball of the meat mixture and place it in the center of the dumpling wrapper.

Then spoon one of the squares of the soup gelatin on top of it (it’s okay if it becomes a bit messy and is no longer a square).

Using a bowl of water, dip your finger in and run it along the perimeter of the dumpling wrapper as this will serve as our glue.

Now let’s fold our dumplings!  Take two edges of the perimeter and have them meet and “kiss.”

Then, take the other edges and fold them in so the outer edges look like wings (you may want to wet your fingers again for more traction).

Finally, fold all the edges in towards the center and upwards so it forms that classic dumpling shape.  (Think of it like a Troll doll’s hair!)

Repeat until you make as many as you want and then place them all on parchment or waxed paper to rest so they don’t stick.

Take some pre-cut lined parchment paper…

…and line it in a two-tiered bamboo steamer that will fit inside your Instant Pot.

Add the soup dumplings to each tier of the steamer.

Now to the Instant Pot, add the trivet and some water…

…place that adorable bamboo steamer into the Instant Pot, secure the lid and cook on high pressure.

And there you have it!  Soup dumplings made RIGHT IN YOUR INSTANT POT!  Sure to please any crowd at any party.  Just make sure you serve them immediately as beloved XLBs are known to have a short life span before they dry out!

Instant Pot Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)
Yield: 6

Instant Pot Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Instant Pot Soup Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

If you've ever had soup dumplings (aka Xiao Long Bao or "XLB"), then you know what a treat they are. Now you can make your own inauthentic, yet delicious, version at home and steam them in your Instant Pot!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes


  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (regular or low sodium), divided
  • 1 tbsp of chicken flavored Better Than Bouillon (can get in most supermarkets)
  • 2 tsp of unflavored Gelatine powder (can find in the Jell-O section)
  • 1/2 pound of ground pork
  • 3 good-sized Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 bunch of scallions (with the bottom white half only reserved), finely chopped
  • 2 tsp of minced ginger
  • 2 tsp of crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp of Shaoxing Wine (or Chinese rice wine or even sake which can be found in most international supermarkets)
  • 2 tsp of Sesame Oil
  • 1/4 cup of Chinese Black Vinegar
  • 1 small chunk of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into a few thin match-stick size strands
  • 1 pack of dumpling wrappers (make sure you use the round ones instead of the square wonton ones. Can be found in any international market usually in the frozen section)


  1. Make the soup gelatin! On the stove in a small soup pot mix the 1.5 cups water, 2 tbsp of soy sauce and 1 tbsp of chicken Better Than Bouillon and bring to a boil (which will be quick). As soon as it does, turn off the heat and add the 2 tsp of gelatine powder, mix in and immediately bring to another boil for another minute until the lumps are out. Transfer to either an 11×7 metal tray or you can even set in this cute little mini-silicone ice cube tray. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to firm up like a Jell-O would! Also, if your dumpling wrappers are frozen, place them in the fridge now as well so they thaw.
  2. Make the vinegar sauce! In a small mixing bowl, mix the 1/4 cup of black vinegar and 1/2 tbsp or soy sauce and then add the strands of chopped ginger. Cover and refrigerate
  3. Make the meat mixture! In a mixing bowl, add the ground pork, chopped scallions, mushrooms, minced ginger, crushed garlic, Shaoxing wine and sesame oil and mix together by hand so it’s formed in one big ball. Cover and refrigerate
  4. Make the dumplings! When two hours have passed, remove the soup gelatin mixture from the fridge and cut into small cubes (make sure the temperature in the room is normal and not too hot as it could make the gelatin melt. And it’s okay if not in perfect cubes – a small spoonful is fine too). Create an assembly line of the dumpling wrappers, a bowl of lukewarm water, the gelatin and the meat mixture. Start by taking a wrapper and about a marble-sized ball of the meat mixture and place in the center of the dumpling wrapper. Add a cube of the soup gelatin on top of the meat and then using the tip of your finger, dip in the water and lightly drag along the edge of the dumpling wrapper so the whole thing is moist. The water serves as the glue and is super key to keep it all together! Fold by watching how Richard does it in the video at the 5:55 mark (this is easiest to SEE than to explain)! Set the completed dumplings aside on a large baking tin lined with parchment or waxed paper so they don’t stick. Be patient! It’s OKAY if you screw the first few up! You’ll get in the groove of it and be a pro dumpling wrapper in no time. You’ll have about 40 of these babies when all’s said and done!
  5. Cook the dumplings! Here’s where your Instant Pot comes in. Add the trivet and 1 cup of water. THEN, using a 6 inch Bamboo Steamer (this one fit inside my 6QT perfectly), line each tier with a small perforated parchment round (totally necessary so the dumpling doesn’t stick to the bamboo!) and place about 4-5 dumplings on each tier allowing for 8-10 dumplings to be cooked at the same time! Secure the lid and cook on “Manual” High Pressure for 3 minutes and then allow a 5 minute natural release before finishing off the rest in a quick release! Serve IMMEDIATELY (soup dumplings are known to have a very quick shelf life once cooked) and watch my video at the 10:27 mark (again – easier to see then to type) to see how to properly eat these bad boys! (And yes! The meat will be totally cooked through!)
  6. ENJOY!

Jeffrey's Tips

Have more dumplings than you want to eat? GREAT – FREEZE THEM! Put them in the freezer (not touching each other or else the dough will stick) and take them out again whenever you want to eat them! Just cook them exactly like in Step 5 even when frozen as they will cook the same as when made fresh!

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