Hi, I'm Aaron.
And we're part of the family that runs Din Tai Fung in the United States.
Our grandpa opened Din Tai Fung in 1958 as a cooking oil retail store, and in 1972 he converted it to a restaurant with only four tables. And, you know, because of his dedication to service and the quality of food, it started getting recognized abroad. And that's really how it started, and it kind of grew from there.
我們的爺爺在 1958 年創立鼎泰豐，原本是一間食品油零售商，後來在 1972 年轉型成一間只有四張桌子的餐廳。然後，你知道，因為他致力於提升服務及食物品質，鼎泰豐逐漸名揚海外。鼎泰豐的創立過程就是這樣，大致是這麼起家的。
Xiao long bao means soup dumpling. "Xiao" means small, "long" means basket, and "bao" means dumpling. So literally translated, it means "little dumpling in a basket."
小籠包的英文是 soup dumpling（湯包）。「小」對應到英文的 small，「籠」對應到 basket，「包」對應到 dumpling。所以從字面翻譯，就是 little dumpling in a basket（在竹籠裡的小湯包）。
The xiao long bao is so special because there's soup inside the dumpling, which makes it so hard to make. It's just also a food that's so different than anything you've had before. Nothing really has that burst of flavor in your mouth like a soup dumpling does.
The xiao long bao skin is very basic ingredients: flour, water, and the fermented starter. They go in the mixer, and we put it in the machine for several minutes. After the dough is mixed up, the dough is placed into the dough sheeter. It takes about six to 10 times to knead the dough to create that perfect xiao long bao skin.
Xiao long bao is really a very difficult thing to make, especially up to Din Tai Fung standards, because we really want every dumping to be the same. So it takes three to six months for someone to even learn the basics of how to make the xiao long bao. And it takes years and years to truly master the craft of making it. It felt really good to finally make one that was up to the quality of Din Tai Fung because we probably made, like, 10,000 that we had to throw away before we made the first one.
Yeah, we spent months and years practicing, and it was really nice finally being able to cook one and being able to sell it up to the quality that we achieve.
Every single dumpling is weighed down to the gram, including every single dumpling skin.
So the ideal weight that we're going for is five grams. We don't pass anything unless it's between 4.8 or 5.2 grams.
所以我們選擇的理想重量是五公克。介於 4.8 到 5.2 公克才算符合要求。
So, I think the way we make our dumplings skins is really special because we make it thinner on the outside rim and thicker in the center. And the reason for that is because with the thinner outside edge, you can make very delicate crimps so that you don't have a very thick knot at the top of the dumpling.
And we definitely pride ourselves on having the thinnest skins of all the xiao long bao stores out there. So everyone needs to work very quickly because the skin dries out in a manner of just a couple of minutes. Everything needs to be kept extremely fresh to deliver the best quality to our customers.
The flavor of the soup dumpling, a lot of it comes from the soup itself. And we make the soup from a really rich bone broth of chicken and pork. And from there, we have to figure out how to get the soup into the dumpling. And the way we do that is by gelatinizing the soup and turning it into a Jell-O form. And then once that, you're able to wrap it up in a dumpling. When you steam it, it turns back into a soup.
Over the years, Din Tai Fung has discovered that 18 folds is the golden ratio. It brings a perfect amount of both texture and the best aesthetics to each xiao long bao that we make.
這些年來，鼎泰豐發現 18 摺是黃金比例。能讓我們做出的每個小籠包都擁有完美的口感跟美感。
So, a lot of restaurants, they make their xiao long bao with a machine, or they make a lot of them and freeze them. But here at Din Tai Fung, we don't really care about making the process easier. We think that even though a machine makes it easier, you lose a lot in the process because it's such a delicate food, so we choose to make our dumplings by hand and to order.
We steam them inside of a bamboo steamer. We think that's actually a really important part of the flavor component of the dumpling because some of that bamboo flavor ends up seeping into the skin.
If you're eating it for the first time, it's really special because when you bite into it, you get really an explosion of flavors from the soup that, you know, kind of bursts out when it's in your mouth, and it's a just, like, truly unique experience.
Means a lot for us to take over the business because, you know, we pretty much grew up in this environment. And we really think it's important that we have the opportunity to take authentic Chinese cuisine to the mainstream, and really change people's perceptions of what Chinese cuisine can be.
It brings great pride in me when one of our customers or guests come up to us and they tell us, oh, how proud we are of bringing this Chinese experience to the United States, and just how proud they are to be Chinese. And it really means a lot to us.