The story appears on

Page A4

April 13, 2012

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Metro

Xiaolongbao restaurants deny rumor of gelatin

LOCAL restaurants serving xiaolongbao, or little steamed buns, dismissed an online accusation that they used gelatin instead of traditional "pork skin jelly" in the stuffing of the buns.

Earlier a netizen claimed online that using gelatin has become an "open secret" in the industry, causing a stir among the public. Gelatin stood in the media spotlight now after a CCTV reporter tipped that some manufacturers use industrial gelatin, rather than edible ones, to make thicker yogurt.

The poster, named "duoduo," said using gelatin, even the edible kind, is cheaper than making "pork skin jelly," which usually needs several hours' stewing, and therefore many restaurant use gelatin to save the energy and human resource cost.

Restaurants and the Shanghai Food Association, however, said they had never heard of using any kind of gelatin in the steamed buns.

Restaurants said the "pork skin jelly" is the key part of the taste of xiaolongbao because when the buns are steamed, the jelly melts into the meat juice that fills the buns.

But restaurants admitted that making the jelly is complicated.

Cooks need to remove the fat on the pork skin first, then chop the skin into small pieces, boil the skin for several hours, wait for the skin gravy to cool down to jelly, and mix the jelly into the meat stuffing.

The whole process may take half a day.

Taste would be ruined

Staff members from the Nanxiang Steamed Bun Restaurant in Jing'an District said they didn't know where the gelatin idea came from because any miscue on the jelly would spoil the whole taste of the buns. Although gelatin can melt into juice under heat, the taste would be totally different from pork skin.

Under Chinese law, edible gelatin belongs to food additives. Although regulations don't ban it from buns, manufacturers or sellers must tell consumers that food additives are used.

Meanwhile, consumers hope that if restaurants use gelatin in foods, they don't use industrial gelatin, which is illegal in food and is made from waste leather products and costs much less than edible gelatin.

"I didn't know whether the buns I eat are made from pork skin jelly or from gelatin," said Ye Kui, a Shanghai consumer. "If they use gelatin, I assume they will add other food additives too because they have to make the gelatin tasty."


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend