Here’s the thing…the Chinese have so many names for dumplings that I really have no idea what to call this…soup that I made tonight. Using Lee Anne Wong’s Dumplings All Day Wong cookbook, I started out a day or so ago rolling out a pile of a Pork and Chive Dumplings…for simply no other reason than I felt like it.
It was a simple matter to make them, bettering my folding technique each moment, and then flash freezing them on sheet pans in the freezer, then bagging them for future noshing. These dumplings apparently are versatile enough to be boiled, steamed, pan fried, or deep fried. Given time constraints and other cooking projects tonight, I opted to make a soup and include the frozen little balls in the broth with a selection of veggies.
But here is the fun—what I know about making Chinese-style soup is…hmmm. Well, significantly less than what I know about cheese or making confit. Still, I long ago came to the awareness that while I want people to like my cooking, my concern for ‘failing’ is at the same level as my Chinese cuisine experience– zip.
I’d made dumplings before, a more Korean style, and seeing my steamed dumplings sticking to the wooden slats of my bamboo steamer taught me a helluva lot in a very short time.
But I have made soup, so I simply applied that experience to my Chinese dumpling soup. I began by slicing up some onion, garlic, and ginger which I sautéed in the bottom of a big soup pot in a neutral oil till lightly browned. In went a pile of the wontons I had made, along with a liter of low-sodium chicken broth, some snow peas, sliced mushrooms, and broccoli.
Once the broth came to a boil, I added a cup of room temperature broth and the boiling subsided. When the soup boiled again, I added another cup of cool broth and a few minutes later after a third boil, I turned the heat down, added a squeeze of lemon juice, then ladled out the soup.
A final touch of a light drizzle of toasted sesame oil and we ate. Sipped. Slurped. OK.
Came out just fine. Layered flavors, light acidity, and the sweet pork and chive filling made it wonderful. The wonton wrappers also added a bit of thickening to the broth, as well, so a good dish.
OK, time to start on the New Year’s Day dessert. The Reversed Impossible Chocolate Flan. How will that come out, I wonder?