Joe’s Shanghai

Ahhh the wonderful creation that is soup dumplings. I can’t remember how I first heard about them, but I remember it being a moment where I was like, “Oh, there’s such a thing as soup dumplings. They’re supposed to be really good. I need to get some.”
IMG_7227Whenever you look into getting soup dumplings in New York City, you’ll probably run into the name of a place called Joe’s Shanghai. It seems to be the spot to get these scrumptious little things.
Every time I’ve been, the place is packed but it never takes long to get a seat, since they’ll put multiple parties together at the circle tables and the food comes out quickly. Well, I say “food,” but all I’ve ever ordered here are the soup dumplings and they seem to come out instantaneously.
It’s actually pretty funny (although maybe wasn’t so funny at the time), because when I first came here with my boyfriend, I ordered soup dumplings and my boyfriend tried to order something else at which point the waiter was VERY insistent that no, he must get the soup dumplings. After a bit of back and forth of the waiter pointing at other people eating and saying, “You want THAT!” he just gave in. The second time I went, the first thing the waiter asked us was whether we would like to start off with an order of soup dumplings. They know that it’s what people come for.
Soup dumplings, also called “Xiao long bao,” are dumplings with a little pork meatball and some broth inside. I have no idea how they make them, but they’re cute little pouches and jiggle when you pick them up with your chopsticks.
Let me give you some advice before you eat them “incorrectly” and burn your mouth or get some steaming hot broth squirted into your eye. You can bite a little hole into the dumpling, but I prefer placing the dumpling in my spoon and poking it with my chopstick. That way, you let some of the broth out, yet still catch it in your spoon, and then you can gobble it all up. Or you can slurp up all the broth and then eat the dumpling. Either way, the important part is letting some of the liquid and heat escape. Trust me. The first time I ate these was a big mess, and then I started paying attention to how everyone else around me was eating it, WITHOUT pain.
They serve the soup dumplings with this vinegary sauce on the side, but they’re just as delicious without it because the broth has a great full, meaty flavor to it. As I mentioned before, I’ve been here multiple times because these things are addicting. I find myself craving them all the time. So beware! At around $6 for an order of 8, I have no problem funding this addiction.
Soup dumplings 
9 Pell St
New York, NY 10013

(multiple locations)

4 thoughts on “Joe’s Shanghai

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