Monday, January 21, 2013

EASY Hot & Sour Dumpling Soup

This simple dumpling soup is PERFECT for rainy days and is made up from basic store cupboard / pantry ingredients. I always hate it when celebrity chefs use the words "store cupboard" and "pantry basics" because, let's face it, normal folks like you and me don't keep our cupboards stocked with the hundreds of exotic ingredients that they use. But! This is my own recipe and I really DO keep these ingredients in my kitchen all the time. You'll see that i've used bottled lime juice. You're welcome use freshly squeezed, but in the effort to always have lime juice around, I do keep the bottled stuff in the fridge for emergencies. I also often buy a pack of frozen dumplings from the Chinese grocer and keep them in the freezer for unexpected guests. I boil them up, drain and then zap them for a few minutes in a greased medium-heat pan to make potstickers, served with a soy dipping sauce (soy sauce, chopped chill & garlic and a few drops of sesame oil). Delicious!

TOP TIP: Buy fresh chilies, wash and towel dry them thoroughly, then freeze in a sealed plastic container. As you need a hit of chill in your dishes, chop as much as you need with a sharp knife while still frozen. Do the same with washed, unpeeled fingers of ginger root.

(Serves 2)

Place the following in a small saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes:
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 3 cups boiling water
  • 1 thick slice ginger root
  • 2 tsp bottled lime juice
  • 1 TBSP soy sauce
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1 green chill, sliced in half lengthways (keep it whole for less heat)

Strain out the bits and pieces and place the clear broth in a bigger pot with:
  • 12 frozen pork and leek dumplings (6 per person; use whichever flavour / filling you like)

Bring to the boil and then GENTLY simmer for 5 minutes.

Divide the dumplings and broth between 2 big soup bowls along with:
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli per bowl
  • a few drops of sesame oil and slices of red chill in each as a garnish