Returned to LA Sunday, and had to run an errand near Sawtelle, so stopped into ROC Kitchen for dinner. First time there, but I will be going back.
Pork Dumplings - Almost ashamed to admit it, but I haven’t yet made the voyage out to SGV, so I’m still green on the dumpling scene. I thought these were tasty, though. Had a sweetness that I didn’t expect and liked. Probably from the vinegar, I s’pose.
Pan-fried Veggie Dumplings - Solid.
Scallion Pancakes - Maybe shouldn’t have gotten these AND the pan-fried dumplings, but I still really liked 'em.
String Beans - Enjoyed these a lot. Good crunch and nice flavor. Appreciated that they weren’t drowning in dressing.
Three Cup Chicken - Really good flavor. Saved some for leftovers, which I’m looking forward to.
Overall, from the sounds of it, I’m sure there are better version of this genre of food in SVG and elsewhere, but I thought everything at ROC tasted like a good version of the blah chinese that I grew up with and didn’t really care for, so I’m looking forward to continuing my xiao long bao-ducation.
This is actually perhaps the best description I have ever seen for ROC.
Question: do you use the phrase “pork dumplings” and xiao long bao (XLB) interchangeably? I really didn’t like the XLB at ROC at all (only went once, shortly after it opened), but I’ve never had pork dumplings (jao zi) there.
I made a whole new post b/c I wanted to also add my dessert from Sunday lunch (below). I noticed a few kids running around the local Souplantation w/ these mini ice-cream cones + soft serve, and I couldn’t help but get one myself. It’s everything I love about soft serve + cone in a totally guilt-free size (about the length of my thumb).
Oops. Yeah, as I wrote it, I meant “pork dumplings” = XLB.
To be honest, I don’t have much point of reference for where ROC’s would sit on the XLB scale of goodness as my XLB knowledge is limited. I can imagine that the may pale in comparison to other places’ offerings, but for what it’s worth, I liked 'em, and they got me excited to try more.
it’s not hatred; (all) the translations are wrong, no matter how many people may have used it. there is clear distinction between cooking process (and ingredients) for dumpling vs bun/bao which renders the 2 items different products and not substitutable.
No one in China calls xiao long bao a xiao long jiao. That’s the point.
Spread proper knowledge like the Japanese do of their food.
so who wants to explain to us dumbasses what’s the technical difference between a bao and a dumpling? Cuz an XLB most certainly looks more dumpling than bao, and yes I recognize that the B in XLB = bao.
A very similar “jiao” versus “bao” name battle was fought a few year back on Chowhound, if memory serves. I recall being very passionate on the topic back then, but the patina of time has tempered my views, I suppose…
My original take (which I still adhere to) is that if the dough-outside-with-meat-inside “thing” has a somewhat circular base, it’s a bao. Otherwise, it’s a jiao (especially if it looks “empanada”-ish)… And as I translate it, jiao is dumplings, not bao. Bao, as I translate it, is just bao in my book.
We all like dropping The Knowledge, which is fun and what makes this board interesting, but “XLB: is it dumpling or bao” is Clarissa Wei level dropping knowledge. It’s really not that earth shattering and probably insignificant.
Shumai would be bao under that description. Your definition works if you add the pleated/pinched top in addition to the circular base. Wikipedia it and lets meet up for tempura (or is it tenpura?) at Seiju in Tokyo.
Which is what my parents (who are both ethnically Chinese, grew up in Taiwan, and who both use “dumplings” for XLB and jiao zi when they choose to use English) would also probably say.
But, to @TonyC, for those us who are not well-versed in the cooking process and ingredients, what ARE the differences (genuine question)? For me, jiao zi are boiled; XLB and bao are steamed. As Porthos points out, though, the wrapper of a XLB really seems more similar to a jiao zi than a bao (the latter of which seems more bready and substantial to me). For filling, it’s hard for me to say. They both seem like ground up pork mixed w/ a few other ingredients. ::shrug:: What else am I missing? And what are the literally (or figurative) translations for the Mandarin that would help us to differentiate?