Jiaozi Soup

Sunday, April 01, 2007

This vegetable based soup comes together quickly and is a great way to stretch your supply of jiaozi. Jiaozi are Chinese dumplings, usually stuffed with meat and some kind of vegetable. Korean mandu would be great eaten this way too. Jiaozi are fantastic things to have in the freezer, whether you make them or buy them. I love jiaozi eaten traditionally, boiled and dipped in black vinegar and sesame or chili oil, but they feel more familiar this way.

The correct stage to add the greens to the soup depends on what vegetable you are using. I added the you cai shown after the potatoes were cooked. For something more delicate like spinach or watercress, wait until the jiaozi are cooked before adding the green so that it just wilts without getting slimy or losing its colour. On the other hand, if you have something sturdier like cabbage or kale add it earler, just after the onions, and decrease the amount by a third or so.

Chop a tablespoon of garlic (or less, or none) and two tablespoons of onion and sweat in a saucepan with some oil and salt until tender but not browned. Add three cups of water and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, peel and cube one large potato and add to the boiling water. After potato is cooked, taste broth for salt. (You want it salty enough to flavour the jiaozi, and the potatoes will have absorbed some while cooking.) Add two cups chopped leafy greens, bring soup to a boil, then add six to eight fresh or frozen jiaozi and simmer until dumplings are cooked through. Serves 2.

10 comments:

A GROWN AZZED WOMAN said...

It looks doable!

Almost Vegetarian said...

This soup looks marvellous. And so easy (especially if you cheat and buy the dumplings in Chinatown). Just the thing for a nice, chilly day to take the cold out of you bones. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

The soup looks gorgous and utterly worthy of spring with all of those greens.

Mimi said...

Pepper, you have one of the most inventive blogs on the 'net. You have introduced me to a new way of thinking about food.

This looks good and so healthy.

the veggie paparazzo said...

How did you end up in China? And what are you doing there? I'm so curious.

pepper said...

Hi Jennifer, I was thinking it was good student food. The odd thing is that the potatoes really make it. I've done it with chicken broth instead of water too, but it's really good just like this.

Veggie, I got here on a plane : ) Like many Westerners here I am teaching English. And trying to learn Chinese in my spare time, which is coming verrry slowly.

Erika said...

That looks completely delicious! I've never heard of jiaozi- would any Chinese dumpling work here?

pepper said...

I've made this with pork and cabbage, pork and chive, and even fish jiaozi and it has been great. Jiaozi are basic dumplings, not the very thin skinned or elaborately folded ones that are better steamed. As long as they can be cooked by boiling they will be fine.

Anonymous said...

Good ideas, thank you. Before I read this I was starting to use Mr Noodles instant soup and adding sliced spinach, a couple of chopped green onions and sliced mushrooms. I also have used Chinese noodles, the 3 minute boil type + boullion instead of Mr Noodles and that works well too. Bon appetit.

Pepper said...

Anon, I am an ex-fan of packaged ramen though they are definitely convenient. One tip is to have two batches of hot water so you can boil and rinse the noodles separately to get rid of the oily crud before you add the seasoning packet and vegetables. You can also keep dried mushrooms in salt water in your fridge; they are great with the ramen.