Oh, little dumpling, look how far you’ve come. And, no, we’re not talking about a cutesy name for your dog that completed training or a niece/nephew that’s exiting their diaper phase. We’re talking gastronomy. Yang Bing-Yi, who did more than anyone to popularize the soup dumpling around the world, has passed away at the age of 96. Attention must be paid.
For starters, what qualifies as a soup dumpling, you ask? It’s a type of steamed bun— dating back to the 1870s in Shanghai, China—involving a thin, doughy wrapper with an oft-savory filling inside. These fillings are traditionally pork, but can involve a mix of seafood, vegetables or, well—you name it. The process—and fun—of eating a soup dumpling is spooning the whole thing in your mouth and having the soupy, savory goodness explode with flavor.
Last week, there was some major news out of the soup dumpling world. Yang Bing-Yi, the founder of the Taiwan-bred, globally popular Din Tai Fung restaurant, passed away at the age of 96. Founded in 1972 and upon Yang’s passing, Din Tai Fung has more than 170 Din Tai Fung outposts, spanning Asia, Australia, the Middle East, Europe and the U.S.
In many ways, Yang is credited for popularizing the soup dumpling globally. And, certainly, his influence has touched menus throughout South Florida. The best soup dumplings in South Florida you can pay homage to Yang with—or get totally addicted to and enjoy on a daily basis—span the no-frills to high-end spectrum.
In Miami, YIP at the unpretentious 1-800-LUCKY has a traditional Shanghai soup dumpling as well as a shrimp and chive concoction. On the fancier end, Hutong in Brickell offers a colorful dumpling platter with chili cod, spinach and prawn/black truffle fillings. In Broward, dumplingAF on Hollywood Boulevard lives up to having dumpling in its name with a memorable pork and chive morsel that’s served in a 12-hour pork broth. And, in West Palm, Kapow Noodle Bar takes a modern spin with its red oil dumplings, filled with pork, shrimp, cilantro and a spicy red oil sauce.
So, RIP Yang … and thank you for making our world that much more delicious.
Photo credit: Jael Rodriguez