Recently something reminded me of a soup recipe I'd developed, and I thought I'd share it here. There are two versions: the detailed and the quickie. Also: gyoza are otherwise known as potstickers or dumplings.
Start heating some chicken broth on low.
Snap off a couple of knobs of ginger. Sniff the broken flesh. Peel and
slice into coins. Toss them into the broth. Sniff your fingers. God, I
Peel a head of garlic and break apart into cloves. Peel them and
sliver them. Toss into pot. You may or may not want to sniff your
Turn the heat up to medium.
Go check your email while within scent range of the soup pot. When the
fragrance of gingery chicken broth lures you back, return to kitchen.
Scrub and slice carrots. Ponder the appropriate thickness. Go for
wafer-thin. Recite Monty Python lines to yourself. Somehow it seems
appropriate that everything in the soup be delicate except the
dumplings and Monty Python's sense of humor. Toss in carrot coins.
Get out the frozen gyoza and slip as many as you desire into the pot.
Remove half a dozen mini sweet peppers (red, yellow, and orange) from
their resealable bag. Bless Costco, which makes fresh these available
for so little money. They keep amazingly well, add color and flavor,
and because they're close to seedless, they're cheaper per pound than
big peppers. Slice into coins, removing any stray seeds. and toss them
Chop up three baby bok choy. Admire the curved moons of the stems. Cut
the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Toss all into a colander and wash
well. Shake off excess water while singing "Baby Got Bok (Choy)" in
the style of Jonathan Coulton. (This is a good time to dance, too.)
Toss the greens into the pot.
Taste the broth and marvel at its gingery goodness. Add Chinese chili
paste and stir. If you're me, you've added a lot of chili paste. Shake
in a little tamari.
Eat when the dumplings have bloomed into their full state of doneness.
Serve in a big handled mug with a fork and spoon. Use the spoon to eat
the veggies. Eat the dumplings by stabbing them with the fork and
letting the scalding broth drain out, then nibbling the gyoza like a
roasted marshmallow from a stick. Drink the broth, marvelling at its
flavor and power to clear your sinuses.
If you don't have gyoza, you can use ramen for a completely different
yet still tasty soup. Or rice. Also, you can add other veggies: cloud
ears, for example. Baby corn. Broccoli sliced thin. Maybe a handful of
corn kernels. Sugar snap peas.
Also, if you're sick, make the ginger-garlic-chicken broth and stir in
some chili paste to clear your sinuses and fill you with warmth and
pleasure. Drink by itself or with noodles.
Official Recipe: Ginger-Gyoza Soup
2 quarts chicken broth
2 knobs of fresh ginger, about 1x1 inch each, peeled and sliced thin
(slivers if you're using a big bell pepper, coins for mini peppers)
1 head of garlic, peeled and cut into slivers
1 red bell pepper cut into matchsticks, or half a dozen mini sweet
peppers sliced crossways into coins
2 carrots, scrubbed and sliced into matchsticks if you're using a big
bell pepper, coins for mini peppers
3 baby bok choy or 1 regular-sized one, well-washed, stalks sliced
thin and leaves chopped into squares
as many frozen gyoza as you want--I use 3 per person, usually
Chinese chili paste
Simmer the garlic and ginger in the chicken broth for 20 minutes. Add
the gyoza, bell pepper, carrots, and bok choy and simmer for 10
minutes or until the qyoza are cooked through. Serve with tamari and
chili paste so each person can season as desired.
Can be easily made vegetarian with veggie broth and vegetarian gyoza.
Makes four servings.
What are your favorite recipes for an easy dinner?
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