Let me tell you, homemade xiao long bao (aka those pesky exploding dumplings) are still an elusive one on my lifetime food to-do, for a good reason. (This was a lone attempt in 2004!) Somehow, you need to get gelatinous parts of pork with pork meat mixed together in the right proportion so that it’s solid-ish at room temperature, but then partially melts into the soup that makes it famous at steaming temperature.
The skins are probably the hardest part. If you make dumpling skins on your own, as we’ve tended to have done during our 2004-09 dumplings parties in Montreal (I’ve abandoned the practice in Hong Kong), they have always been on the thick side. I’ve never researched why they always seemed to inflate, but with my current bread know-how, I guess it’s the gluten contents of your flour.