Soup Dumplings Get A Glow-Up At Ms. Chi, Din Tai Fung, MìLà And Laoban

Dumpling queen Shirley Chung, the inventive Los Angeles chef known for her Top Chef-famous cheeseburger potstickers, is at it again. And this time, her new dumpling mashup is really showcasing the classic taste of American cheese.

Chung has teamed up with Kraft Singles to create her latest contemporary Chinese-American version of dumplings. Starting today, Chung’s Ms. Chi in Culver City will serve Kraft Singles Souplings, which are soup dumplings with the flavors of tomato soup and grilled cheese. And on November 15, Goldbelly will roll out nationwide shipping for the Souplings, which are filled with tomato soup, Kraft Singles and croutons.

The idea was to make an ooey-gooey dumpling that evokes the experience of dipping a grilled cheese sandwich in tomato soup.

“I love marrying traditional, authentic Chinese cuisine in new and progressive American ways,” Chung says in a statement. “What better way to marry the traditions of Chinese cuisine than with the delightful, simple flavors of grilled cheese and tomato soup?”

This seems to be soup dumpling season in Los Angeles and beyond. In LA, legendary xiao long bao slinger Din Tai Fung is about to relocate from The Americana at Brand to a bigger space down the street at the Glendale Galleria. There will, of course, be a show kitchen that lets guests see the dumpling-making action at the new Din Tai Fung. And the design of the restaurant will evoke pinched folds of dumplings in the wood-paneled walls and entryways.

“We are grateful to our team members and guests in Glendale and the greater LA area who have been dedicated supporters of Din Tai Fung since November 2013, and we look forward to seeing our guests’ reactions to our new restaurant at the Glendale Galleria,” Aaron Yang, family operator and vice president at Din Tai Fung North America, says in a statement. “The thoughtful architectural and interior design elements reflect our Taiwanese heritage and the craftsmanship involved in the dumpling-making process.”

Din Tai Fung’s Americana at Brand location will close after service on November 13, and the Glendale Galleria restaurant will debut on November 15.

In other soup dumpling news, MìLà (the brand formerly known as XCJ) has just expanded its slurp-worthy repertoire and unveiled limited-edition creamy corn soup dumplings with chicken. It’s a riff on Cantonese chicken-and-corn egg-drop soup, but without the eggs.

MìLà founders Jennifer Liao and Caleb Wang (who were inspired by the success and cultural impact of Din Tai Fung) want their business to reflect the experience of being “third-culture kids.” It’s about being proudly Chinese and proudly American at the same time. MìLà’s frozen dumplings are available for nationwide shipping and also sold at stores including Costco, Target and Whole Foods.

Another dumpling brand that’s making big moves is chef Tim Ma’s Laoban Dumplings, with freezer-aisle options including pork soup dumplings. You can find Laoban Dumplings at grocers like Erewhon, Whole Foods, Sprouts and many others around the country.

So it turns out that it’s always soup dumpling season.

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