Heavenly Crab Soup Dumplings Recipe – A Must-Try

If you’re a fan of flavorful and unique dishes, then you’re in for a real treat! I’m excited to share with you my recipe for Crab “Soup Dumplings” (Dim Sum) – a popular Chinese dish that is quickly gaining popularity in the West. This isn’t your average dumpling stuffed with bland meat filling; it’s filled with succulent chunks of crab meat mixed with juicy shrimps and flavored minced pork – all wrapped up in a thin, pliant dough that practically melts in your mouth.

These soup dumplings are also known as “Xiao Long Bao,” which is Chinese for “little basket buns.” They’re incredibly satisfying, with their tender wrapper and savory broth bursting out when bitten into. It’s like having a delicious surprise in every bite!

Although they might seem intimidating to make at first glance, rest assured that this recipe is easy to follow and delivers mouthwatering dumplings that will impress even the most discerning of eaters. So, dust off your bamboo steamer baskets and prepare to embark on an unforgettable culinary journey with this unique dish!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Crab “soup Dumplings” (Dim Sum)

Are you a fan of delicious dim sum? Then you won’t want to miss out on these Crab Soup Dumplings! This recipe is a must-try if you’re looking for something new and exciting to add to your culinary repertoire.

First and foremost, the combination of fresh crab meat and shrimp makes for an incredible filling that is sure to impress your taste buds with each bite. The savory broth oozing out of the delicate dumplings is truly heavenly, blended seamlessly with Chinese red vinegar, black soy sauce, ginger, and white pepper.

Not only are these dumplings packed with flavor, but they are also a feast for the senses. Imagine the warm aroma traveling through your nose as you take off the bamboo basket lid, innocent steam rising from small white folds, waiting to be swallowed into your mouth. The contrast of textures adds an extra level of pleasure: the chewy dough and the juicy burst of savory soup filling blend beautifully into a harmonious symphony of flavors.

These soup dumplings are perfect for any occasion or gathering since they are always a crowd-pleaser – everyone loves them! Whether you’re hosting a party or simply looking to expand your palate knowledge, this dish will surely be a hit among friends and family alike.

Moreover, making them by yourself can be an equally fun experience. Crafting the dough and assembling these dumplings is a great way to bond with loved ones while also creating something delicious together. Who wouldn’t like getting involved in recreating this popular dim sum dish right in their own kitchen?

Finally, embrace the spirit of adventure by integrating new flavors such as chicken broth or even adding agar-agar to make vegan variations accompanied by soy sauce mixtures. Additionally, there’s no need to stick exclusively with crab meat in the filling – pork or shrimp can offer tasty alternatives that will keep you coming back for more!

Overall these Crab Soup Dumplings are sure to become a new culinary favorite for all lovers of soup dumplings and adventurous eaters alike.

Ingredient List

 Delicate soup-filled dumplings with a decadent crab filling!
Delicate soup-filled dumplings with a decadent crab filling!

This recipe calls for a flavorful combination of ingredients that perfectly balances the taste and texture of the perfect Crab Soup Dumplings. Here’s what you’ll need to make these delicious dumplings:

  • For the Dough:
  • 2 cups of all-purpose white flour
  • 2/3 cups of cold water
  • 1 egg

  • For the Filling:

  • 4 ounces of crab meat, fresh or frozen (thawed if frozen)
  • 4 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh ginger, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • A pinch each of white pepper, sugar, and salt

  • For the Wrapper:

  • The dough (above)

  • For the Soup Broth:

  • 1 cup of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of Chinese red vinegar
  • A pinch each of white pepper and salt
  • A quarter teaspoon of agar-agar

These ingredients can be found at most grocery stores or at your local Asian food market. If you cannot find agar-agar, you can use gelatin powder as a substitute. Agar-agar gives the soup broth a firmer texture, but gelatin powder works just as well in this recipe.

Make sure to purchase high-quality crab meat and shrimp to ensure that your dumplings turn out delicious. If you’re allergic to seafood, you can substitute ground pork or chicken for the crab meat and shrimp.

Now that we have our ingredients ready, let’s get started on making some delectable Crab Soup Dumplings!

The Recipe How-To

Finally, the fun stuff! It’s time to make some delicious Crab “Soup Dumplings” or xiao long bao. If you’ve ever wanted to impress your guests with something unique and flavorful, these soup dumplings are the perfect addition to any dinner party or gathering. Here is how I make them:

Step 1: Make the Dough

The dough for the soup dumplings includes just a few simple ingredients: all-purpose white flour, cold water, and a pinch of salt. Start by mixing the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl. Gradually pour in the cold water and stir until a smooth dough forms. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it becomes elastic and smooth. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for at least 30 minutes before using it.

Step 2: Make the Filling

For the filling of these Crab “Soup Dumplings,” you’ll need crab meat, shrimp, chicken broth, garlic, fresh ginger, soy sauce, black soy sauce, Chinese red vinegar, white pepper, sugar, and agar-agar. Begin by chopping up the crab meat and shrimp into small pieces. Prepare a mixture of chicken broth, garlic and ginger by blending them in a mixer until they become smooth paste consistency.

Step 3: Combine Filling Ingredients & Wrap Dumplings

Mix together the chopped crab meat and shrimp along with the blended chicken broth mixture you had prepared earlier. Now take small portions of dough and flatten them to form small discs. Place about a tablespoon of filling in each disc and wrap it up into a small pouch so that all ends meet on top.

Step 4: Steam

Place each dumpling on top of thin slivers of carrots or lettuce leaves in order to prevent them from sticking to the steamer basket. Steam over high heat for around eight minutes.

Serve hot while they are freshly made!

Substitutions and Variations

 The perfect savory bite bursting with juicy flavors!
The perfect savory bite bursting with juicy flavors!

Are you in the mood to get creative with your Crab Soup Dumplings? Here are a few potential substitutions and variations that could add some extra flavor to your dish.

– Meat Selection: While this recipe calls for a combination of crab meat and pork, you could easily swap out one or both of these ingredients. Consider using shrimp, chicken or an alternative seafood for a unique twist. Or, if you’re looking for a vegetarian option, consider using tofu for the filling.

– Dip Options: Feel free to experiment with different dip options to accompany your Crab Soup Dumplings. Black soy sauce is traditional, but soy sauce mixed with Chinese red vinegar is an excellent variation. Add some heat by mixing sriracha or chili oil into your dip.

– Gluten-Free Options: If you’re avoiding gluten, it’s still possible to prepare delicious Crab Soup Dumplings. Use rice flour instead of all-purpose white flour for the dough, and be sure to use gluten-free soy sauce in the recipe.

– Flavored Dough: While traditional dumpling dough is made with basic ingredients like egg, all-purpose white flour and cold water, there’s no reason why you couldn’t add some extra flavor to your dough. Try incorporating fresh ginger or white pepper into your mix for some extra zing.

The beauty of this recipe is that it can be tailored to suit your preferences. Take advantage of the potential substitutes and variations available to make this dish even more impressive!

Serving and Pairing

Once your Crab “Soup Dumplings” are ready, it’s time to dig in! These delicate and flavorful bites are best enjoyed hot and fresh out of the basket, with the savory broth oozing out of the dumpling with every bite.

Pair these velvety soup dumplings with a hot mug of Chinese tea or a cold glass of Tsingtao beer for an authentic taste. The aromatic complexity of black soy sauce and Chinese red vinegar dip is also the perfect complement to the flavors of crab meat and pork in the dumpling.

For a complete dim sum experience, serve the Crab “Soup Dumplings” alongside other favorite dishes such as Shrimp Dumplings, Congee, or Steamed Pork Buns. As you savor each delectable bite, you’ll be transported straight to the bustling streets of Hong Kong.

So gather around the table with friends and family and indulge in these savory and indulgent Crab “Soup Dumplings.” They’re sure to be a hit at your next party or gathering!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The texture of these little pockets are simply divine!
The texture of these little pockets are simply divine!

Now, when it comes to these delicious crab soup dumplings, you’ll be pleased to know that they can easily be made ahead of time. In fact, I recommend making them ahead of time as they taste even better after resting for a while.

To make-ahead, simply follow the recipe instructions until the point where you would steam the dumplings. Instead of steaming them right away, place them in a single layer on a baking sheet and put them in the freezer for about an hour until they are completely frozen.

Once frozen, transfer the dumplings into a large sealable plastic bag or other freezer-safe container. They can be stored in the freezer for up to two months.

When you’re ready to serve them, don’t worry, you don’t need to defrost them! Simply place them in a single layer on a steaming basket or rack and steam, following the recipe instructions from there, adding an extra minute or two to the steaming time.

If you happen to have some leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for up to three days. To reheat them, simply steam them in the same way as above for about 5-7 minutes or until heated through.

So there you have it! With these make-ahead options, storing and reheating your delicious crab soup dumplings will be sure to impress your guests at any party!

Tips for Perfect Results

Every dish has its secrets, and the perfect dumpling is no different. Making soup dumplings can be a bit tricky, but with some tips and tricks, you can make them like a pro in no time. Here are some of my secrets to keep in mind:

First of all, the dough must be perfect. Too thick, and your soup dumplings will be chewy; too thin, and they will fall apart. A good rule of thumb is to make sure it’s thinner than regular dumpling dough, but thick enough to hold the soup inside.

Secondly, make sure you add enough filling. You want to strike a balance between the wrapper’s thickness and the soup filling that goes inside. This way, you’ll avoid any accidents while cooking.

It’s also essential that your soup filling is at the right temperature before steaming. If it’s too hot or too cold, it may not gel correctly and could cause leaks or other problems. I suggest letting them sit at room temperature for a few minutes before steaming.

When you’re steaming the dumplings, make sure not to overcrowd them in the steamer basket. Inadequate space can cause them to stick together and ruin their shape.

Another important step is to use high-quality broth. Soup dumplings are all about the soup inside, so it’s crucial to use a flavorful broth like chicken broth or seafood broth. If you want a vegetarian version, try a mushroom broth or vegetable broth.

To enhance the flavor even more, I recommend serving them with black soy sauce mixed with Chinese red vinegar and fresh ginger slices. The sauce provides an excellent balance between salty and sour flavors that perfectly complement the taste of crab meat.

Finally, practice makes perfect! Don’t get discouraged if your first batch of dumplings doesn’t turn out perfectly — it takes time to perfect this delicious dim sum treat. Keep trying until you get them just right!

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to make perfect soup dumplings every time!


Now that you know all about the ingredients and the recipe how-to, it’s time to answer some frequently asked questions about these tantalizing crab soup dumplings. In this section, we’ll address some common concerns and queries that home chefs may have while attempting to prepare this fantastic dim sum dish. So read on, and let’s tackle any challenges you may face together!

What is the difference between soup dumplings and dim sum?

There are two popular Chinese dishes that are quite similar but have a few differences. One is called “dim sums,” which is usually made with a mixture of flour and various finely chopped fillings. The other dish is called “dumplings,” where the filling is enclosed by an outer covering of flour, bread, or potatoes and can be filled with meat, fish, or vegetables.

What is the difference between dumplings and soup dumplings?

When it comes to dumplings, there are two main varieties: juicy and soup dumplings. The former type is filled with ground meat and usually boiled or steamed, creating a deliciously juicy flavor. The latter, on the other hand, features a soup-based filling and is served in a steaming hot broth. Both types offer their unique, satisfying tastes and textures that food lovers definitely need to try!

How do they get soup in soup dumplings?

To add some exciting texture and flavor to your dumplings, try including some jelly in your filling mixture. Simply wrap the jelly up with the other ingredients, and when cooked, it will transform into a deliciously soupy center. This unexpected twist will surely be a crowd-pleaser at your next party or gathering. So, don’t hesitate to give it a try!

What are dim sum dumplings made of?

When it comes to dim sum delicacies, dumplings reign supreme. These bite-sized delights are filled with a variety of flavorful ingredients, ranging from succulent meats and seafood to fresh vegetables. The dough used for dumplings is typically a simple blend of wheat flour and water, and can be cooked either through boiling or frying. To add an extra punch of flavor, dumplings are usually paired with a tangy dipping sauce, such as soy or vinegar.

Bottom Line

So what are you waiting for? Gather your friends and family and try making these Crab Soup Dumplings. Impress them with your culinary skills and knowledge of Dim Sum culture. With the right ingredients and techniques, you can make this Chinese classic dish that is enjoyed all over the world.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting out, this recipe is perfect for anyone looking to try something new. Don’t be intimidated by the lengthy ingredient list or the seemingly complex steps – just take it slow and follow the instructions.

Trust me, once you’ve tried these delicious soup dumplings, you’ll know why they’re so popular in New York, London, Shanghai, and beyond. So go ahead, give it a shot! Your taste buds will thank you.

Crab "soup Dumplings" (Dim Sum)

Crab “soup Dumplings” (Dim Sum) Recipe

Not soup with dumplings in it, but dumplings with soup in them. This is a famous kind of steamed dumpling for dim sum. You bite a little hole in the dumpling, then carefully sip the scalding hot broth out of it, then dip the rest of the dumpling in a dip and eat. It's amazing how they get it inside-out like that. I have just learned, from a cookbook called "Dim Sum and Other Chinese Street Food" by Mai Leung, that the secret is to gel some broth with agar-agar and seal the solid broth inside the dumplings. When the dumplings are heated, the broth liquifies again, so you get dumplings full of soup. I haven't tried this recipe yet, but I don't usually make my own dim sum, so I thought I'd go ahead and post it for those who do. She says you can only make these a few hours in advance, and if you do, you should refrigerate them before steaming.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 45 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 24 dumplings
Calories 55.4 kcal


  • 1 cup dried agar-agar, loosely packed
  • 2 cups chicken broth, clear


  • 1 cup crabmeat, fresh or frozen. drained on paper towels
  • 4 ounces shrimp, shelled, deveined, cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 4 ounces lean pork, cut into pea-sized pieces
  • 5 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in hot water until spongy, stems discarded, caps cut into small squares
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil


  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cold water


  • 1/4 cup fresh ginger, finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup Chinese red vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons black soy sauce


  • Hours or a day before making the dumplings, cook the agar-agar in the chicken broth until completely dissolved. Pour into a shallow dish. Cover and refrigerate for a few hours until it gels.
  • Mix all the filling ingredients.
  • Dice the gelled agar-agar/broth into small pieces and mix with the filling ingredients.
  • Refrigerate this mixture.
  • To make the wrappers:.
  • Mix flour and egg.
  • Add water a little at a time until a soft but not sticky dough is formed.
  • Knead until dough is smooth and elastic.
  • Roll the dough into a long sausage, 1 inch in diameter.
  • Cut the dough into walnut-sized pices, then roll them into round balls; cover the balls with a damp towel.
  • You are now going to make crescent-shaped dumplings.
  • Dust your work surface with a little flour.
  • Roll a piece of dough into a paper-thin circle.
  • Put about a tablespoon of filling (now including the gelled broth) in the center of the circle.
  • Fold the circle in half to look like a half-moon.
  • Pleat the top curved edge.
  • Pinch the pleated edge and the unpleated edge together to seal.
  • Gently tap the crescent's round bottom so that it can stand up.
  • Place the crescent-shaped dumpling between towels.
  • Make the remaining crescents in the same way.
  • Place a layer of cheesecloth in the bottom of a steamer.
  • Arrange the crescent dumplings on the cloth.
  • Cover and steam over high heat for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with ginger-vinegar-soy dip.
  • To make the dip:.
  • Mix all dip ingredients in a serving bowl, cover, and allow to stand at room temperature for at least 10 minutes before serving; it should keep for hours at room temperature.

Your Own Notes


Serving: 1081gCalories: 55.4kcalCarbohydrates: 7.2gProtein: 3.9gFat: 1.1gSaturated Fat: 0.3gCholesterol: 19.1mgSodium: 292.7mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.5g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Asian, Brunch, Cantonese, Chinese, Crab, Lunch, Savory, Steam, Stove Top
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