Chinese soup dumplings. Have you had them? They’re the most magical dumpling of them all if you ask me. Looks like a regular dumpling but bite into it to reveal, you guessed it, liquid soup with bits of meat and whatnot. Also, be careful, these little suckers are served piping hot and will burn you with no forgiveness or apology. On that note, my five and seven year old children love these so suck it up (the soup and your emotions) and enjoy these bad boys. They’re a real treat.
The dumplings pictured above are ones I ate at Joe’s Shanghai during my visit to NYC last week. Joe’s is, what I would consider, the American institution for xiao long bao and an absolute must-hit if you’re headed out to eat in Chinatown, NYC.
I too have attempted (and succeeded!) in soup dumpling making. It was a process and took me a few tries to get it right but it was a fun, rewarding one, nonetheless. Here I will share my recipe for pork soup dumplings- A perfect dim sum idea or just a fun thing to try out with another friend who is passionate about cooking. The most important thing is that you MUST make a stock that gelatinizes in the fridge in order to make a soup dumpling. If it doesn’t gelatinize, there will be no soup dumpling.
Here’s a pic of my dumplings (screen shotted from a video so excuse the quality) with the recipe to follow. Happy dumplingin’!
Chinese Soup Dumplings
For the soup (stock):
1 pig foot (trotter)
1 lb chicken wings
2 inches ginger
2 Tbsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese cooking wine)
Kosher salt; as desired
Place all ingredients except for wine and salt in a stock pot. Fill with six quarts of water. Cook on medium low for the entire day; probably about 12 hours, until stock reduces to 1 quart. Strain stock. Add Shaoxing and salt to taste. Chill until stock is gelatinized. IT NEEDS TO BE GELATINIZED FOR RECIPE TO WORK.
For the filling:
1/2 lb ground pork
1 scallion; minced
1 clove garlic; minced
2 tsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp Shaoxing wine (Chinese rice wine)
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp toasted sesame oil
1/4 tsp finely grated ginger
Pinch white pepper
In a bowl, combine all ingredients. Once stock is gelatinized, freeze half for later use and gently mix the other half with pork mixture, allowing large, up to marble sized pieces of stock to remain while. So, mix but don’t mix TOO much.
For the dough:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup boiling water
Combine boiling water and oil. Place flour in bowl and slowly mix in water mixture using two chop sticks until a shaggy dough forms. Cover bowl with saran wrap and let rest for 15 minutes. After 15, uncover and knead dough until smooth. Let rest for 1 hour in Saran Wrap.
For the dipping sauce:
1 part Chinese black vinegar
1 part soy sauce
Chili paste; as desired
Mix together all ingredients. Drizzle a bit of sauce over each dumpling before eating.
To assemble dumplings:
Roll pieces of dough into balls just a bit smaller than ping pong balls. Flatten a bit and roll out to be as thin as possible without breaking. Dough should be super thin but not at all see through. Fill with about 1 Tbsp of pork mixture. Close by pinching dough together at the top. Repeat with all filling and dough until it is all gone.
Heat a steamer basket with a good rolling boil below it. Line with cabbage leaves sprayed with vegetable oil. If you don’t have cabbage use another leafy green or just spray the basket well with oil. Steam dumplings over a good rolling boil for about 11-14 minutes until dough is no longer sticky. Serve immediately, fresh from the basket.