Photo: Kelly Rossiter
We've had some brutally cold weather over the past few days, enough so that I was cooking from my pantry rather than leaving the house. And when it's that cold you really want something warming and comforting. Hauling stuff out of my refrigerator, I came up with enough ingredients to make mushroom dumplings. My husband loves steamed and fried dumplings dipped in plum sauce, but I really wanted the soup to go along with these, so I cooked the dumplings directly in the broth. I happened to use mushrooms for the filling, but other common vegetables you might have on hand such as cabbage, carrots, celery would all work too. This was a bit off the cuff, so the amounts are approximate. The filling should be fairly dry so add the soy sauce sparingly. This made enough for two people, about 7 dumplings each.
Mushroom Dumplings in Vegetable Broth
1 tbsp vegetable or peanut oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb mushrooms, finely chopped
1 tsp or less light soy sauce for the filling, 1 tbsp or so for the broth
1 tbsp hoisin sauce
won ton wrappers
4 cups vegetable stock
Asian garlic chili sauce (optional)
1 head baby bok choy, roughly chopped
1 green onion, sliced for garnish
splash of sesame oil (optional)
1. In a skillet heat the oil until shimmering. Add onion and cook until almost translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have given up their liquid and have dried a bit. Add just enough soy sauce to mix in without making the filling too moist. Add hoisin sauce and stir to coat.
2. Lay a won ton wrapper on your work space and place a teaspoon or so of the filling in the centre. Wet the edge of the wrapper with a bit of water on the end of your finger and fold the wrapper in half to form a triangle. Crimp the edges together to completely close the wrapper, taking care not to tear it. Set aside. Repeat until all of the filling is used up.
3. In a large pot, heat the vegetable broth with a tablespoon or so of soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce if necessary, or add some Asian garlic chili sauce to make it spicy, if you like.
4. When the broth is almost at the boil, turn the heat down a little bit and add the dumplings one by one, allowing them enough room to cook without overlapping too much. You may have to cook them in batches. Don't let the broth boil, or the wrappers will open. You can remove the dumplings as they are cooked and place them in the bottom of a bowl. Add the bok choy and cook until tender which will take a couple of minutes. Ladle the hot broth and bok choy over the cooked dumpings. Add sliced green onions for garnish, and drizzle with sesame oil, if using.