>Pork Dumpling Soup

>This Thursday’s dinner feature was a bit of a stretch for me. I’m not sure what possessed me to try it, since I’m not a huge fan of large quantities of ginger and cilantro. Maybe it was this picture, found in Southern Living magazine (the recipe can be found online here).

Tell me that doesn’t make your mouth water.

So, I decided to leave my comfort zone and give it a try. All the ingredients were pretty easy to find, with the exception of won ton wrappers. I feel like I have seen these in the store before, but naturally, this was the one time I couldn’t find them. Which in my head, left me with no choice but to make them from scratch. Simple, right?

Here is the recipe I followed (found here):

Wonton Wrappers:
1 egg
3/4 tsp salt
2/ cups all-purpose flour
1/3 to 1/2 cup water, as needed
extra flour as needed

Lightly beat the egg with salt. Add 1/4 cup water. Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and add the egg and water mixture. Mix in with the flour. Add as much of the remaining water as necessary to form a dough. (Add more water than the recipe calls for if the dough is too dry).

Form the dough into a ball and knead for about 5 minutes, or until it forms a smooth, workable dough. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll out until very thin, and cut into 3 1/2-inch squares. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to use.

I used a fork to blend my dough together, out of sheer habit from making pie crusts. After a point, there will still be flour left in the bowl and you just have to use your hands to knead it into the dough.
Nothing like a nice dough ball.
I have to say this right now: This was one of the prettiest doughs I have ever worked with. It was very springy, but barely stuck at all and was smooth as a baby’s bottom
Given that the recipe says it makes about 24 wonton wrappers and mine only made about 15…I’d say I either cut them too large or didn’t roll out the dough thin enough. However, my arm muscles were tired so this was as good as it got!

Before I cut out the actual squares and while the dough was resting, I started to make the mixture for the dumplings. Here is the recipe I followed for the soup.

Pork Dumpling Soup:
1/2 lb. lean ground pork
1 tbsp minced fresh ginger
3 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp hoisin sauce, divided
15 won ton wrappers
3 (14 oz) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup sliced green onions
Garnish: cilantro sprigs

1. Brown pork with ginger in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 5 minutes or until meat crumbles and is no longer pink.
2. Combine pork mixture, cilantro, and 2 tbsp hoisin sauce in a medium bowl.

3. Arrange 1 won ton wrapper on a clean, flat surface. (Cover remaining wrappers with a damp towel to prevent drying out.) Moisten edges of wrapper with water. Spoon about 1 tbsp pork mixture in center of wrapper; fold 2 opposite corners together over pork mixture, forming a triangle. Press edges together to seal. Cover with a damp cloth. Repeat procedure with remaining wrappers and pork mixture.

Aren’t they cute?!

4. Bring broth and remaining 1 tbsp hoisin sauce to a light boil in a Dutch oven (or heavy saucepan) over medium heat; gently stir in 8 dumplings. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until dumplings float to top. Place dumplings in 5 individual serving bowls. Repeat procedure with remaining 7 dumplings.
5. Add mushrooms and onions to simmering broth; cook 1 minute. Ladle 1 cup broth mixture over dumplings in bowls. Garnish, if desired. Serve immediately.

Note: To freeze dumplings, assemble as directed, and place in a single layer in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Freeze up to 3 months. Cook as directed.

Mine almost looks like the original photo, right? (Or maybe that’s wishful thinking…hmm…)

Tricks of the Trade:
When cutting the won ton wrappers, I kept them between layers of wax paper, and then covered the whole thing with damp paper towels. Keeping the dough moist is essential for this recipe. If someone makes this with store-bought won ton wrappers, I’m curious to know how they came out, so please tell!

Also, we obviously didn’t divide the dumplings into 5 bowls, since there are only 2 of us. I basically just put all the finished ones in a bowl, covered them to keep them warm while I cooked the rest, and then once I had ladled out portions for Scott and I, I put the rest of the dumplings in with the broth to keep them warm.

Scott had two helpings, which means it got his seal of approval. Also, in his words, “you got the broth dead on – it tastes like one from a restaurant”. Funny, since this was one of the easiest broths I’ve ever made. I was on the fence, but mostly because of the cilantro and the ginger. The dumpling dough and the broth were delicious.

Overall, it probably would have been significantly easier and faster to make if I had store-bought won ton wrappers, or had made the dumplings ahead of time and frozen them. It’s a tasty recipe, but it definitely took some time to do. For now, I’m brainstorming other tasty things I could put into dumplings and freeze for easy soups later. Hmm… ideas anyone?

Happy Thursday!

*Note: Because I have no shame, I thought you’d like to know that when I originally typed out this post, my title read “Pork Dumping Soup”. I was about to click the Publish button when I realized this. And I probably would have wondered why no one wanted to try it. Whew for proofreading! 



4 thoughts on “>Pork Dumpling Soup

  1. >Aliesha – let me know when you try it, I want to know your opinion! :)Amanda – I seriously considered it, but I didn't think Southern Living would approve. 😉

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