I’m back on an almost every day Asian food diet now. I realized that’s what does best to my body thus my mind, therefore I am indulging on a daily basis with all sort of warm Asian delicious bowls. The winter is so cold this year that it’s getting to my head and making me crazy, I am so much more of a Summer person!
When the weather is cold like this, I am nostalgic of the old times when I was living in southern China and used to go and have fun in Hong-Kong for the week-end. There, I would eat all kinds of international foods, but sometimes a local dish based on soup was perfect to re-hydrate the body. In this sub-tropical part of the world, you sweat so much on a 24/7 basis 8 months of the year that your body often is calling for soups, even during the warmest days. I remember I even had Thai seafood tom-yum soup on the beach of Lamma island in Hong-Kong a few times (warm and super spicy!), and was not slightly bothered by the heat of peppers.
For this weekend’s world food challenge, I’ve made a typical Shrimp Dumplings Noodle Soup from Hong-Kong, that reminds me so well of the flavors and aromas of the superb Cantonese cuisine. The most common version uses shrimp wontons that contain a bit of pork, so I preferred the shrimp dumplings. To give a bit more color to the broth and slightly enhance the taste (I apologize to the purists), I’ve added just a small spoon of Japanese miso paste, but that is totally optional.
INGREDIENTS for two
- 6 shrimp dumplings or wontons of your choice
- 2 portions of egg noodles
- 8 Asian mushrooms (here are shiitake mushrooms) + 1 cup of cold water
- 1 tsp of vegetal oil
- 1 large garlic clove
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 tsp of miso paste (totally optional)
- 1 tbsp of soya sauce
- 1 tsp of sesame oil
- 4 Chinese spinach stems and leaves
- 1 scallion (green parts only)
- Re-hydrate the shiitake mushrooms in a small bowl by soaking them in cold water for at least 30 to 40 minutes. Chop or slice them, and keep the flavored water.
- Cook the egg noodles 4 minutes in a pot of boiling water, then drain and reserve.
- Mince the garlic.
- Next, prepare another pot of boiling water. When it comes to a boil, transfer the frozen dumplings inside the pot. The cooking time usually is around 8 minutes for frozen dumplings, so it means you have 8 minutes ahead of you to achieve all the next steps. The true cooking time of dumplings is when they’ve come back up to the surface of water, so you’d better hurry up, just in case it goes faster! If a few of them seem to re-surface way too early before the 8 minutes are up, lower the fire to slow down the overall cooking.
- Back to the main pot, start from scratch, heat the vegetal oil and fry the garlic.
- Before it turns golden brown, pour the chicken broth, pour the mushroom-flavored water, add the ginger and the optional miso paste. Stir well.
- Let simmer a few minutes on medium heat, then add the soya sauce, and put the slices mushrooms back. Let simmer again.
- While you wait, transfer the noodles into individual bowls.
- Dip the Chinese spinach a few minutes to cook them in the broth.
- Normally, that’s about time for your dumplings to be removed from their boiling water. Directly display them in the individual bowls.
- Carefully remove the spinach from the pot and transfer directly to each bowl.
- Stop the heat, and carefully pour the broth and mushrooms over the noodles, spinach and dumplings.
- Chop scallion greens over the bowls.
- Serve immediately, and eat with chopsticks in one hand, a Chinese soup spoon in the other hand. There you totally go Hongkongese!
For a lighter version, skip the noodles!
Created and Written by Sophie Rebibo-Halimi. © 2017 All Rights Reserved.