I made this dumpling and soup dish for Easter Sunday. And it was yummy!
The broth is made from some rather large and meaty soup bones from my grass-fed cow share, which means that I can check off another part of this massive Holstein cow as being conquered in my kitchen.
To really take advantage of all the nutrients locked in the beef bones, start cooking the broth at least a day in advance and allow it to simmer all day long (and into the night if you can). And trust me when I say the broth is SO much yummier if you do.
As with every recipe you encounter, read all the directions so you can get a sense of how long it will take to complete. This particular recipe can be short on prep time—especially if you use a food processor for the dicing—but long on the cooking time.
2 lbs beef soup bones
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sea salt
1 medium size onion, quartered
4 large slices of ginger root
2 whole cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
8 cups water
3 bay leaves
1 package thin rice or vermicelli noodles
Dumpling Filling (all ingredients are diced)
2 stalks of celery
¼ medium size onion
2 garlic cloves
½ package of firm tofu
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 package of 25 gyoza dumpling skins
1. Making the broth (part 1): In an 8-quart stock pot, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil under a medium flame. Add the salt and stir around. Brown the soup bones—or whatever meat may be attached to the soup bones—in the oil. Add the onion and cook it for a few minutes until slightly golden. Add ginger root and cook for a few minutes. Then add the water, peppercorns, and bays leaves to the pot. Once it begins to boil, lower flame until the liquid is simmering. Let it simmer for a minimum of 8 hours. Turn off heat, remove from stovetop, and let it cool down to room temperature. (This will take a while, so it may be best to let it cool overnight.) Remove any solid fat that rises to the top. Set aside.
2. Making the broth (part 2): Remove the bones and any fat or meat that has fallen off. Discard the fat and bones. Shred the meat and set aside. Pour the broth through a strainer to remove ginger slices, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Pick out onions and garlic from the strainer, and puree in a blender with 2 cups of broth. Add puree back to the pot with the rest of the broth. Add shredded meat. Heat pot until broth is boiling. Reduce heat to simmer. Place noodles in a bowl with cold water and let sit soak for 30 minutes. Using a pair of scissors, cut noodles in the bowl to about 6 inches in length. Drain noodles and add to the pot.
3. Making the filling: In a sauté pan, heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil. Add salt, black pepper, and ground ginger. Add the tofu and toss around for a few minutes until the edges are slightly brown and crunchy. Remove the tofu from the pan and add the celery, carrots, onion, and garlic. Saute for a few minutes, but be sure to NOT over cook. Add the tofu and mix together for another few minutes. Turn off heat and let it cool.
4. Making the dumplings: Place 1½ teaspoons of filling in each gyoza skin. Fold skin over to make a crescent and wet edges with water. Press firmly at the edges so it sticks together and stays closed. Repeat until all the gyoza skins are filled. Heat oil in frying pan. Pan-fry each of the dumplings and place them on a cookie sheet. Keep the cooked ones warm and crispy in the oven at 200 degrees.
5. Putting it all together: When you are ready to serve, place 3 to 4 dumplings per bowl soup bowl and ladle soup into bowl. Garnish with some chopped green onions and serve immediately.