Let's face it. Sometimes underneath the Christmas tree, there's nothing but disappointment. Sure, shitty gifts may be wrapped in pretty paper. But they can still be a big bummer.
So if you're looking for a wrapped gift that's a sure thing, we've got a selection of the top wrapped dishes in Miami. Think masa, dumplings, burritos, and even lotus leaves. What follows are our favorite five.
Lotus leaf wrapped.
5. Sticky rice wrapped in lotus leaf at Kon Chau Restaurant
In this Kon Chau creation, glorious sticky rice is enhanced with the fragrance of lotus leaves. Unwrapping this present ($5.50) is a steamy endeavor, one that reveals chunks of pork, chicken, and delicious Chinese sausage.
4. Malfouf at Kabobji
Malfouf ($6.99) are stuffed with rice and ground beef and wrapped into long cabbage cylinders and served with tomato sauce and Middle Eastern spices. They take a dip in a cool yogurt and cucumber sauce. If you want a different wrapping, try the dolmas -- they're wrapped in grape leaves.
3. Tamal en hoja at El Cristo
'Tis the season for tamales! This Cuban version at El Cristo ($2.99) features soft, savory masa with little bits of pork. The tamal is served out of the husk, but the wrapper is there as a reminder of the preparation. The garlic sauce that accompanies it, is no joke.
2. Burrito Maya at Cheen-Huaye
You have to cut a burrito in half to behold the beauties inside. One of the tastiest burritos in Miami is the Maya ($7.95), which is filled with cochinita pibil (slow roasted-pork wrapped in banana leaves), beans, rice and pickled onions.
Rainbow of soup dumplings.
Photos by Carina Ost
1. Xiaolongbao at Tropical Chinese Restaurant
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Xiaolongbao, also known as XLB and soup dumplings, are flavorful dumplings that pack meat and broth into one delightful package. Sure, there are other places that serve XLBs for much cheaper, but these are colorful and flavor specific. At Tropical, you can choose five dumpling for $15 and follow th color key: yellow means shrimp, green means chives, and red means crab.
Follow Carina on Twitter @CarinaOst