Recipe: Chicken Soup with Asian Dumplings, Sensational Version
As I have mentioned before I adore Asian supermarkets and one of the things that I love most about them is that you can buy all manner of frozen won tons, pot stickers, soup filling dumplings (my current favourite) pork buns, filled sticky rice wrapped in leaves (they are leaves, don’t ask me to be more specific) the list is extensive. But here’s the thing, making these little parcels of delight is a simple process and it opens up a world of possibilities. There is virtually nothing (within reason) that you can’t chop up and wrap in a won ton skin. This means that you can cater to food allergies (remembering that the wrappers themselves contain flour) food dislikes, vegetarians, vegans whatever you like.
In our family, my mother is the undisputed queen of the dumpling. She makes tons of them at a time and stores them in her freezer so that if people drop by unexpectedly (and let me tell you they do, en masse) she just whips them out, bungs them in the steamer and hey presto instant sensational.
This soup is so flexible that you can add whatever combination of protein, noodle and vegetable that you like. I call this my sensational version because the addition of the homemade dumplings really does raise it to a level that is above the everyday. But my tip to you is if you are going to make them yourself, make a lot and freeze them for unexpected guests. That way, like my mother, you can wow people at a moment’s notice.
For the Dumplings
- 16 won ton skins (I can actually get them in the regular supermarket now, if not your local Asian grocery)
- 4 oz chicken roughly chopped (don’t use ground chicken)
- 1 stalk of cilantro (roots and stalks chopped, leaves chopped)
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
- 2 dried shitake mushrooms
- 1 green onion
- 3 tablespoons cup finely chopped water chestnut (canned)
- 1 tablespoon sweet Chinese vinegar (or malt vinegar with a teaspoon of sugar)
- 1/2 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon Hoi Sin Sauce
- 1/2 tablespoon corn starch
For the Soup
- 1 1/2 litres chicken stock (buy the best you can find, or make it if you have the time or the inclination)
- 3 Baby Bok Choy (I don’t know what you call them individually, in my local store they come three with an elastic tied around them)
- 100 g Swiss Brown Mushrooms halved if small quartered if large
- 2 green onion cut into one inch slices
- Handful of chopped cilantro
- Put the chicken stock in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
- Chop the roots and stalks of the cilantro finely and either blend in a food processor or pound in a mortar and pestle along with the garlic and ginger. Mix the chopped chicken with the garlic mixture and the next seven ingredients and stir until combined. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the middle of a won ton wrapper, brush the edges with water and fold in half, pushing out the air as you do.
- Now you can get as funky as you like with your dumpling, you can fold the two corners until they meet (if they are square), you can round the edges, knock yourself out, let your culinary genius show.
- Put the completed dumplings into the boiling stock and boil for 5 minutes (if you are not going to use the dumplings immediately freeze them or the wet filling will dissolve the wrappers. Also make sure you add them all together or the ones you added first will have turned to mush by the time you finish the last one).
- Add the mushrooms and Bok Choy and boil until just tender and the filling in the dumplings is completely cooked, about two minutes.
- Add the green onions and cilantro
- Serve immediately.
|158||0.7g||542 mg||14.9 g||1 g||5.5 g|