When East Meets West- Chinese Chicken Dumpling Soup

Chicken Dumpling Soup

By Joyce

At 55F (~13C) today, it was unusually cold for a September day. With the AC still blasting in the office because the temperature control is locked by the building’s management, I was definitely craving something toasty all day long.

My boyfriend’s also been having the sniffles, and what do sick people eat? Chicken Noodle Soup! Well, I’m not a big fan of can soup for the most part, so I was going to make my own chicken noodle soup. I was browsing recipes for chicken soup, and stumbled upon a healthy version of chicken and dumplings soup.

Now, to the Americans, this is the classic Southern comfort food. And I’m about to offend many people, but I’m not the biggest fan of the American dumplings. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Southern food (Fried green tomatoes, anybody?)  To me, growing up, dumplings need to have feelings fillings. It’s more than just a piece of dough.

But I couldn’t get the dumplings of my mind. So….I did the unthinkable.

I made Chicken Dumpling Soup, instead of Chicken AND Dumpling soup. I decided to still go with a regular American chicken soup base, and made some Chicken dumplings to go with it. Now…my dumplings aren’t exactly the most traditional either, considering Chinese dumplings are generally filled with ground pork, napa cabbage, shitake mushrooms, scallions and what not. I opted for ground chicken instead for a healthier version. I also used regular white button mushrooms because it’s much milder than shitake mushrooms. Since the soup will have a relatively strong flavor, I didn’t want the dumplings to be overpowering.

(Yankee candles are optional)

The last time I made dumpling, was probably when I was 11 making them at my grandma’s place. Since then, I’ve been getting store-bought frozen ones. So it was sort of an experiment as I was making this.

I used 1 lb of ground chicken with a box of mushrooms and diced up some scallion. Mixed them together with cornstarch, soy sauce and sesame oil.
I know, I know, not a pretty sight.

Scoop a teaspoonful of filling onto the center of the dough

Wet the edge of the top half with slurry water mixed with cornstarch, then pinch the middle of both sides together. After that, tuck in the corners and fold in the excess skin until it’s completely sealed.

1 lb of chicken turned into about two batches of this, which is about 50 in total. My wrapping skills have HUGE room for improvement.
A Chinese would be ashamed of this.

And here’s the (blurry) money shot:

The boyfriend was happy.

Chinese Chicken Dumpling Soup

Disclaimer: The Chinese rarely cooks with a cookbook in front of them, so I sort of just winged it and estimated the amount used in the dumplings, just go with your gut feeling if things don’t seem right.

Chicken Soup
About 4 servings

Ingredients
1 box of chicken broth (about 4 cups)
1 cup of water
Half a large onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1 cube of chicken bouillon

Directions
1. Cook chopped onion and carrots in a large pan with a teaspoon of oil until onion is translucent.
2. In a large pot, boil the chicken broth with all the spices and water
3. Mix in the vegetables into the chicken broth
4. Lower the heat and cook for about 20 minutes. In the meantime, make dumplings!
5. Add salt to taste

Chinese Chicken Dumplings
Makes about 50

Ingredients
1 lb of ground chicken
1 box of mushrooms
3 stalks of scallion (chopped)
2 teaspoon of soy sauce
2 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 teaspoon of sesame oil
1 package of pre-made dumpling wrappers

1. Mix in all ingredients except the wrappers
2. Scoop a teaspoonful of fillings onto the center of the wrapper
3. Wet the edge of half the wrappers and pinch the centers together
4. Gently fold in the excess skin from both sides, from the outer corner towards the center
5. Once dumplings are made, boil them in the chicken soup for about 5 minutes.
6. Freeze leftover dumplings in a freezer bag, just boil them for extra 2-3 minutes when cooking frozen ones.

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3 thoughts on “When East Meets West- Chinese Chicken Dumpling Soup

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