Number 77: Soup dumplings from Chopsticks China Bistro
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The first time I had the Shanghai-style dumplings at Chopsticks China Bistro, I endured throbbing blisters on the roof of my mouth for a week, which wouldn't have happened, of course, had I actually heeded our server's warning: "Hot! Dangerous! Really hot!" he alerted. And again.
He was right. The sealed xiao long bao, creased and shaped like spheres, harbor minced pork and scalding juices that threaten to scorch anything in their line of spray, including your lips, chin and tongue. But as soon as the threat of smoldering subsides, those orbs of liquid and pig become a dependency, an addiction that necessitates weekly, sometimes daily doses. They're served with slivers of ginger, chile paste and astringent Chinese black vinegar, the sum of which you slide onto your spoon and slurp with utter abandonment.
Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
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