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.
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
Asian chili paste or Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce
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.