pork, ginger, green onion, sesame oil and other
flavorings bolster the broth tucked into dumplings
made from wonton wrappers.
dumplings, darling pork-packed pillows, differ from their
landlocked cousins in one detail: Theyre bursting with
broth. Posing a puzzle worthy of the trivia app HQ: How does
the soup slip inside?
dumpling novice ponders the possibilities: a splash of
liquid and lightning-fast folding? A scalding syringe?
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
and delicious, both. Leaving only the question of technique.
A: Nibble a small hole, slurp out the soup, dip the dumpling
and down it. Small bite; big win.
soup dumplings start with homemade broth and hand-rolled
wrappers. This version takes a couple of shortcuts and
still steams up delicious.
tablespoon cold water
cup pork, beef or chicken broth
ounces ground pork
teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
teaspoon finely chopped green onion
teaspoon soy sauce
teaspoon sesame oil
teaspoon Chinese rice wine
pinch each: salt and white (or black) pepper
wonton wrappers (4 ounces total)
Set: Drop water into a glass measuring cup. Sprinkle with
gelatin. Bring broth to a boil; pour over gelatin, whisking
to dissolve. Pour into a small baking pan and chill until
jiggly, about 30 minutes.
Mix: Meanwhile stir together all remaining ingredients
(except wrappers). When broth is set, cut into tiny cubes or
scramble to bits with a fork. Stir cubes into pork.
Fold: Set four wrappers on a work surface; brush edges with
water. Settle 1 tablespoon filling in the center of each.
Bring the four points of each wrapper up to meet in the
middle, forming four pyramid-shaped dumplings. Firmly press
seams together. Are these the 18-pleat round dumplings of
soup-dumpling fame? No. Will they work just fine? Yes. Fill
Steam: Line a steamer basket with parchment paper or a few
leaves of bok choy or lettuce. Settle in dumplings. Steam
over boiling water until dumplings are cooked through, about
Serve: Set one dumpling on a big spoon. Nibble or poke a
small hole. Slurp out soup. Drizzle dumpling with sauce and
1/4 cup dark (chinkiang) vinegar into a bowl. Scatter with
fine shards of ginger.
Adapted from Imperial Lamian Restaurant, Chicago.