Chicken and dumpling soup – its good for the soul

I had an earache.  It was the weirdest feeling, it was in both ears and I felt all woolly. Seemed like a chicken soup night to me.  I’m always going to prefer Asian flavours in this circumstance so I made this up on the spot. That makes it more of a method rather than an actual recipe and you will have to do lots of adjustment to taste as you go, and just before serving adding anything you think will help the flavour – go mad, go crazy add as much or as little as you want.


The key ingredient is the dumplings, I buy them frozen from Countdown, I’m sure you can get them other places.  You can panfry them for Gyoza but I love them in soup.  Go check out the frozen food cabinets.

As soon as you decide to make this go out to your freezer and get some of these yummy dumplings (or gyoza) and cook them in the microwave according to the instructions on the packet.  They will cook a bit in the soup but you don’t want them to go all manky and soggy and fall to pieces.

Put about a litre of chicken stock into a pot and begin to heat it up. (You have the option of defrosting your carefully pre prepared chicken stock or using a litre container that you bought – try to get a low salt one because there is plenty of salt in our lives without adding more, and this is why you are not allowed to use stock cubes for this soup.)

Grate into the stock a 3cm (ish) peeled knob of ginger this will depend on your taste but I’m a ginger kind of girl.

Add about 2 tsp of sesame oil, 2 tblsp of mirin, 1 tblsp of soy sauce (light is better but whatever you have will be fine)

I like a limey flavour and I have some Boyajian oils in citrus flavours and I add a little of that but you could substitute some lemon or lime juice.

Chop up a red chilli (discard the seeds) (or add half a tsp from a jar which you handily have in the fridge) and add to the pot.

Let this mixture simmer away, while you grate or slice a carrot into long slivers, and slice a spring onion to match.  Add the carrot to the broth and half of the onion.  Let it simmer away for a little bit – about 3 minutes.  Add the dumplings and simmer till they are heated through and cooked. If you have some greens throw them in (could be Asian greens or some spinach, broccoli would be good, steam it and add).  Adjust the flavourings.  Add some grindings of white pepper and a little salt if you really need to.

Serve with the rest of the green onion on top and sit in a big comfy chair and enjoy.

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