Soup dumplings, darling pork-packed pillows, differ from their dim sum cousins in one detail: They’re bursting with broth.
Posing a puzzle: How does the soup get inside?
A splash of liquid and lightning-fast folding? A scalding syringe? Magic?
In an act of culinary sleight-of-hand, the broth is cooked to a quiver, cooled to a gel and cubed. The cubes are tossed with pork and wrapped into the raw dumpling.
As the packet steams — big reveal — the meat cooks and the cubes melt … into soup.
Ingenious and delicious, both. Leaving only the question of eating technique.
Answer: Nibble a small hole, slurp out the soup, dip the dumpling in sauce and down it.
Small bite; big win.
BEGINNER SOUP DUMPLINGS
Adapted from Imperial Lamian Restaurant, Chicago
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1 teaspoon gelatin
- 1/2 cup pork, beef or chicken broth
- 4 ounces ground pork
- 1 teaspoon finely grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon minced green onion
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon EACH soy sauce and sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
- Pinch EACH salt and pepper
- 16 wonton wrappers (4 ounces total)
Sprinkle water with gelatin. Bring broth to boil; pour over gelatin, whisking to dissolve. Pour into small baking pan and chill until jiggly, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile stir together pork and remaining ingredients except wrappers. When broth is set, cut into tiny cubes or scramble with a fork. Stir into pork mixture.
Set a wrapper on work surface; brush edges with water. Set 1 tablespoon filling in center. Bring 4 corners up to meet in middle, forming a pyramid. Press seams together. Fill remaining dumplings.
Line a steamer basket with parchment or a few leaves of bok choy or lettuce. Top with dumplings. Steam over boiling water until dumplings are cooked through, about 6 minutes.
Serve with dark vinegar for dipping. Makes 16.
Nutritional information unavailable.