You know those recipe variations occasionally tossed off at the bottom of the page in some cookbooks? I rarely pay attention to them, because they're often very vague and short. But something grabbed me while flipping through Fuchsia Dunlop's Land of Plenty. I was honestly just looking for a dipping sauce for some frozen dumplings, when I noticed this simple soup under a recipe for homemade wontons. To be sure, I was still going to use my frozen dumplings, but now I had a full meal on my hands, not just a snack.
What I love about this is that the setup couldn't be much simpler. Add stock, some pantry staples, scallions, dump in steamed dumplings, and that's dinner. It's part dipping sauce, part soup. Because I had them around, I added some shiitake mushrooms, but going with the spirit of the original recipe, the addition is optional.
- Yield:Serves 4
- Active time: 10 minutes
- Total time:10 minutes
- 24 small Chinese dumplings, fresh or frozen
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, ends removed, caps sliced 1/2-inch thick
- Kosher salt
- 3 cups homemade or store-bought low-sodium chicken stock
- 4 tablespoons preserved bamboo shoots in chili oil
- 1/4 cup scallions greens, thinly sliced
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn
Pour water into a large pot until it comes 2 inches up the sides, and top with a steamer basket. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add as many of the dumplings as will fit in one layer and cook according to the directions on the packaging. (The frozen dumplings I used took about 4 minutes.) Repeat step, if necessary, until all the dumplings are cooked.
Meanwhile, heat canola oil in a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium-high. When oil shimmers, add sliced mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release their water and start to brown, about 4 minutes. Set aside.
Warm the stock in a medium saucepan over medium high heat until starting to simmer. Turn off the heat.
Take out four large bowls. In each bowl add 1 tablespoon preserved bamboo shoots, 1 tablespoon sliced scallion greens, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon ground Sichuan peppercorn, and 3/4 cup chicken stock. Taste and, if needed, season with additional salt. Add 6 dumplings to each bowl and a quarter of the mushrooms. Serve immediately.