I am a sucker for anything with dumplings in it. Just about all food cultures have them and they're all wonderful - comforting bites of soft dough with different fillings or just soft dough accompanying something like a chicken stew (I'm thinking of chicken and dumplings here - a Southern tradition). Most loved of all, though, are all the kinds of Asian dumplings. Take me for dim sum and I'll love you forever. Really.
There's a place by our house that makes beautiful wonton soup - a generous portion of wontons floating in a simple chicken broth, rich with fat, with bits of cabbage and scallion and pork floating on the bottom like the prize in the Crackerjack box. When I saw this recipe for an Asian dumpling soup from America's Test Kitchen, I knew I had to try it and it was great! It's easy, the flavors are complex, and it's perfect for a cold stormy night.
I couldn't find fish sauce without a trek to an Asian grocery store, but I substituted oyster sauce and a bit of sesame oil and it was pretty fabulous. I used fresh shiitake mushrooms so no steaming was required. I also added more veggies (more onion, sliced red pepper, some fresh tomato), but the rest was as written.
Ingredients4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 scallions, white and green parts separated, sliced thin on bias
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced thin
6 cups chicken broth
2 (8-ounce) bags frozen Asian-style dumplings or potstickers
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
InstructionsCook bacon in large saucepan over medium heat until crisp, six to eight minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel–lined plate. Pour off all but two tablespoons fat from pan and return pan to medium heat. Add scallion whites, ginger, and pepper flakes and cook until scallion whites have softened, about two minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until beginning to brown, about five minutes.
Add broth and bring to boil. Add dumplings and simmer over medium-low heat until dumplings are cooked through, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in fish sauce and lime juice. Serve, sprinkled with scallion greens and bacon.