OK. What about this one?
How does these store-bought-home-steamed Frozen Xiao Long Bao look like to you?
You can see straight away that the skin is too shiny and that you suspect it is also thick.
So let’s compare the XLBs of the ones above with the best of 2009 and 2010 below. I know it is not a fair comparison and neither do I expect a store-bought-home-steamed version will beat the best of Vancouver’s XLB. So, don’t lynch me for making this comparison OK? Here goes …
On the left is the XLB from Lin’s which won the award in 2009 (see post here) and on the right is from Wang’s, this year’s winner of best XLB (see post here).
And the above is the store-bought-home-steamed frozen XLB we tried.
Where’s the bag? LOL! It should be droopy.
We bought these frozen XLBs from the Osaka Supermarket. There are three different versions but we bought only two of the more soupy versions. The “Soup Pork Bun” has more soup in it than the “Juicy Pork Bun”.
Price-wise, this is very cheap. It costs us $9.99 for two packs (on sale). Each pack has 24 dumplings and so that works out to be about 21 cents each only.
As a comparison, Wang’s XLB is $3.75 for five pieces which works out to be about 75 cents each.
Here is the nutritional facts of the XLBs … per five pieces:
|Soup Pork Bun||Juicy Pork Bun|
|11 g (17%)
3.5 g (18%)
|11 g (17%)
3.5 g (18%)
|Cholesterol||40 mg (13%)||40 mg (13%)|
|Sodium||560 mg (23%)||560 mg (23%)|
|Carbohydrate||30 g (10%)||30 g (10%)|
|Fibre||2 g (7%)||2 g (7%)|
|Sugars||2 g||2 g|
|Protein||14 g||14 g|
Other than the thick skin, the dumplings are just as soupy as those you find in restaurants.
It take about 10-12 minutes of steaming to make it at home. The instructions also mentioned that it can be boiled too. However, we stuck to the conventional way of steaming it. Suanne did not even take out the bamboo steamer to make this. She used just a deep pan with a steaming rack.
Most of you know that the “soup” is made of liquefied gelatin. One thing I am not sure of is the question whether gelatin is unhealthy. Is it? Is it as unhealthy as pork fat?
Frankly, other than the thick skin, this XLB is pretty good especially when you consider the price and the convenience of making this at home on demand. It is definitely not like the award winning XLBs from Wang’s and Lin’s for sure.
Would you consider trying these frozen XLBs at home?
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Most gelatin is made from the boiled bones, tissues, and other parts of animals, mostly cattle, pigs and horses. The collagen is extracted from the boiling and turned into gelatin. Strict vegetarians won’t eat gelatin desserts because of this, but will use something functionally similar called agar agar, made out of red algae. Some women will add commercial unflavored gelatin to their diets because they think it will strengthen their nails. The liquefied gelatin in the XLB is probably made out animal products rather than from the algae, but it is probably not as bad for you as pork fat, and it might even give you stronger fingernails.
Apparently, agar agar is commonly used by nutritionists to reduce patients’ weight while keeping all the nutrients…it is also considered high in fibre.
Well the gelatin is made by boiling pork skin with fat so I guess it is as bad as pork fat.
Actually from a Nutrionist viewpoint,Its worse since boiling the fat evaporates the water and concentrates the cholesterol.
Actually gelatin has no fat or cholesterol and very few calories. It does not have most of the essential amino acids so it isn’t even a full protein.
Ben – does the package list the nutritional info ? I’m curious about:
And the ingredients themselves.
I had updated this post with the nutritional facts. Check it out.
1. Wang’s is now $4 (probably because of HST since taxes are included).
2. There is nothing especially unhealthy about pork fat, as long as you eat it in moderation and you balance it with omega 3 fats like from fish, and monounsaturated like olive oil.
33% of your fat intake should come from saturated fats, so pork fat can play an important role!
“33% of your fat intake should come from saturated fats, so pork fat can play an important role!”
I’ll take that as sarcasm 😉
that’s a fairly outdated view, probably espoused because it’s very easy to overdo it on saturated fat. but they are quite important to your health!
They constitute at least 50% of our cell membranes and give our cells integrity.
They play a vital role in the health of our bones.
They lower Lp(a), a substance in the blood that is said to indicate proneness to heart disease.
They protect the liver from alcohol and other toxins like Tylenol (Acetaminophen).
They enhance the immune system.
They are needed for proper utilization of essential fatty acids.
Stearic acid and palmitic acid, both saturated fats, are the preferred energy source of the heart. This is why the fat around the heart muscle is mainly saturated. The best sources for palmitic acid are beef, butter and palm oil.
Short and medium chain saturated fatty acids have strong antimicrobial properties. They help protect us from harmful microorganisms. The best sources are tropical oils such as coconut oil and palm oil.
Thanks Jason So Pork Fat is Good!!!I will tell this to my wife the next time She scolds me for eating too much Lechon
Which did you prefer – the soup or juicy dumplings? Nutritionally, they look about the same – I was just curious as to which you thought was better.
Hi Sandi: I prefer the soupy version much more. Both the versions are the same except that one has more soup over the other. Ben
I am just wondering Ben; do both “soup pork buns” and “juicy pork buns” mean XLBs?
The two of them are identical except for the amount of soup in it. If you like it soupier, get the “soup pork bun”.
We usually buy our frozen xiaolongbao from Yummy on Victoria…quite nice for frozen ones…but not cheap…approximately $16/bag.
Hi Buddha Girl: Do you know how many pieces there are in the $16 bag of XLBs? No worries if you don’t. Am just curious. Ben
Good question Ben…I honestly have no clue…we just buy and eat…hahaha…Buddha Boy usually pan-fries XLB…lol!
I have to drop by there this weekend to pick some up anyways…will let you know!!! This place makes good Watercress & Pork Wontons too!!!
No worries, Buddha Girl. Don’t go out of your way to pick up some. I was only curious because for $16 I wanted to know if the bag is bigger than the $10 version we bought. I would certainly be interested to know of any place which we could buy good frozen XLBs. We had stopped buying those frozen XLBs from Osaka — doesn’t taste really good anymore since we had a close comparison with restaurant ones. Ben