When it comes to soup dumplings, unsurprisingly, it's mostly about the quality of the soup, which is why we make our crab and pork broth from scratch. It may seem like a lot of work, but the results are completely worth it.
Of course, the quality of the dumpling skin also matters, which is why we provide a dough recipe here in this home-adapted version of our restaurant recipe. It's worlds apart from store-bought wrappers, but if making stock from scratch already seems like more than enough work for a day, then by all means use store-bought wrappers.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Place the pork bones in a roasting pan. Roast until golden brown. Meanwhile, heat up the oil in a stockpot over medium heat. Add the carrot, celery, and onion and sauté. Once the vegetables start to brown, add the garlic, chile pepper, and ginger.
Add the Shaoxing and cook off the alcohol. Add the XO sauce and rice vinegar. Then, add the roasted pork bones. Cover completely with cold water and simmer for 2 hours. Place the crabs on the roasting pan and roast in the oven until browned.
Then, add them to the simmering pork broth, and continue to cook for 45 more minutes. After the broth has finished cooking, strain the liquid and chill completely. The natural gelatin in the pork bones should cause the broth to set up into a solid block. If the chilled broth is still a liquid, return it to a stockpot and reduce by half. Chill again. When ready to make the dumplings, cut into cubes.
Add all of the ingredients to the bowl of an electric stand mixer. Mix with a dough hook for about 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients together until completely mixed. Refrigerate until ready to use.
In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together to make the dipping sauce.
Then, take about a 1/2-ounce of dough and roll it into a flat disc. Next, spoon about 1 teaspoon of the pork and crab mixture into the center of the disk. Gently press 1 of the small gelatin cubes into the center of the filling.
Brush the edges of the dough with a little water. Bring all of the edges of the dough to the top of the dumping and gently pinch together to seal in the dumpling. Repeat to make the remaining dumplings.
Set up a steamer basket over a wok and bring water to a boil underneath, making sure the water doesn't touch the bottom of the basket. Steam the dumplings until the filling feels firm when gently squeezed, for about 6 minutes. (You will need to do this in batches.) Serve with the dipping sauce.