Chinese Pork Dumpling Soup

When the weather turns cold, I love to warm my family with a steaming pot of homemade soup. And while we all love to savor the distinct nuances in Asian food, this recipe seems to combine those essences into zestful flavors; something special and unique for each of our individual pallets. It is a pleasing and hearty mix of tang, sweet, and spice. A perfect choice for Chinese New Year celebrations as boiled dumplings are believed to symbolize the ushering in of wealth and good luck for the coming year.

Ingredients

8 cups low-sodium chicken, vegetable or mushroom stock
1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup Shaohsing rice cooking wine or pale dry sherry
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Pinch of salt
2 carrots, thinly sliced on the bias
1 zucchini, large, halved and thinly sliced on the bias
2 baby bok choy, halved
24/ 1 pound frozen Chinese pork dumplings (chicken or shrimp could also be used)
3 scallions (white and green parts), thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups collard or mustard greens or baby spinach

Garnish

Cilantro, chopped
Asian chili paste or Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce


Directions

Put the broth, ginger, soy, wine, vinegar, sesame oil, sugar and salt in a soup pot and bring to boil, reduce heat and continue simmering for 10-15 minutes to flavor the ginger.

Add the carrots and zucchini. Continue to simmer until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Just before serving, add the dumplings, cook for 3 minutes, stir in the scallions and spinach and garlic. Simmer until the greens wilt, about 1 minute.

For added spice, serve with chili or Sriracha sauce and thinly sliced red chilies on the side.

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