Chinese Food

Easy Chinese Dumpling Soup

When I say this is easy – I mean that it’s SUPER easy!  I know you’ll love it!

For Chinese New Year, my family ended up with a virus that caused fever, sore throats, and runny noses!  Woo Hoo!  Fun!  This ruined our plans of going out to eat some delicious Chinese food at Mr. Chen’s or Red Bowl off of Greensprings Hwy.  I didn’t have time to make dumplings myself so I met my family in the middle and ran to our local Chinese grocery store to pick up some things for dinner.

I knew I wanted some mushroom, garlic and ginger.  I thought this would help in making all of us feel much better!  If I had a whole chicken, I would’ve made some chicken broth with it… nothing like chicken soup to make you feel better!  I went with organic chicken broth from Sprouts instead.

I chopped up some onion, peeled garlic and cut up chunks of ginger – added mushrooms and baby bok choy – the house smelled AMAZING!

Dumpling Soup www.choppingsticks.com

One ingredient I added was a pho Hua spice bag.  We bought it at the Chinese grocery store so we could add it to our soup when we made noodle bowls.  I love the fragrant spices that are in the spice bag.  It’s so super delicious.

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I bought some frozen dumplings from the Chinese grocery store.  Now I agree that homemade is SO much better, but in a pinch, the frozen dumplings are perfect!  I am a busy mom so frozen satisfies the family but when I have time, I love to treat them to homemade dumplings!  My mom’s are always so much better than mine so it’s especially delicious when she makes them.  My kids love Wai Puo’s cooking!

Dumpling Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Easy Chinese Dumpling Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 cups of oyster mushrooms, fresh and chopped
  • 6 bunches of baby bok choy, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 1 box of organic chicken stock (48oz)
  • 1" piece of ginger, skin removed
  • 1 bag of pho Hoa, Vietnamese Special Spice (find at Chinese Grocery)
  • 2 bags of frozen Chinese dumplings
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Add oil to a hot soup pot or dutch oven. Saute Onion for 3 minutes. Be careful not to burn.
  2. Add garlic to the onion and stir until you can smell the garlic cooking. Immediately add the bok choy to the pot. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the oyster mushrooms to the pot. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes. Season with pepper.
  4. Pour the box of organic chicken stock into the pot and add another 2 cups of water (you want all of the ingredients to be submerged in stock!). Add the bag of pho Hoa and the block of ginger to the soup and let it come to a boil on medium-high heat.
  5. Once the stock comes to a rolling boil, add both bags of frozen dumplings to the soup. You may need to add some more hot water if the dumplings are not covered in soup.
  6. Let the soup come to a boil Once it comes to a boil, add enough cold water to stop the soup from boiling (about 1.5 cups cold water). Do this process three times.
  7. Once the soup comes to a boil the fourth time, turn down to low and add 1/4 cup of soy sauce and let simmer. Taste to check flavoring - you may need to add more soy sauce or salt. You can also add some sambal oelek to the soup. I add it to my bowl when serving because my kids don't like it too spicy.
  8. Garnish with fresh lime juice, cilantro, fresh green chopped jalapenos and/or chopped green onions, optional. Enjoy!
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A New Hope

2016 is going to be more of everything…more meals, dining experiences, and more posts.  I realized today that I have not updated this blog in two months.  Seriously what a loser.  HA!  Let me reassure my family again – I will continue to cook and I will start posting recipes and more photographs of my food.  I’m sure my Instagram followers are tired of seeing my food.  And since I hate posting without a picture… here is my obligatory food photo for this post…. even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the content….

Braised pork belly in steamed buns

To be perfectly transparent, I believe I freaked myself out by even starting this blog.  I put so much pressure on myself to have pleasing and perfect pictures that I forgot to have fun and enjoy the entire process.  The light in my house is far from perfect and I have to make do with flash and strobe lights – which I thought was sub par.  But my husband reminded me to just do what I love.  Just cook…. find great recipes and take pictures as I can.  With my phone or my camera!  So here’s to 2016!!!  Going back to what I love and trying not to put unnecessary pressure on myself!

Now I can breathe and go cook, bake, and blog!

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Ginger Soy Pork

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Isn’t it fun to run into a grocery store with absolutely nothing in mind?  I made the first step and bought a menu planning calendar but it’s blank.  Empty.  Not one idea written down for the week.  Oh well – guess I’ll start planning next week right?

This blog is dedicated to something with pork in it because it was on sale!  Nothing better than good organic farm raised meat that is on sale.  I’ve been brain storming all day thinking of what is in my cabinets that would pare well with some kind of pork.

You will love this – SO easy and incredibly tasty.  There are so many ways to prepare this pork!  I’ll work on the different ways you can serve this.  It’s definitely something that can be refrigerated and served another way the next day.  Leftovers!  YUM!

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Soy, ginger and star anise – have you had anything made with star anise?  If you like Chinese food, then I’m sure you’ve eaten something with it!  It’s the spice that looks like a star – literally…. as star.  In this dish, you just throw a few pods in and let the pork simmer.  If you love soy…. ginger…. good food…. and fall apart tender pork, then you HAVE to try this.  You will not be disappointed.

Ginger Soy Pork www.choppingsticks.com

Ginger Soy Pork

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Boneless Country Style Ribs with plenty of fat throughout
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 star anise pods
  • 1 cup dark soy sauce
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 2 heaping TBSP light brown sugar
  • 1 inch knob of ginger, peeled (keep whole)

Instructions

  1. Cut the pork into large pieces - about 1-2 inches.
  2. Add all ingredients into a dutch oven or heavy pot.
  3. Turn the heat on high and let boil. Then turn the heat down to simmer. Cover the pot.
  4. Let simmer for approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the pork for tenderness.
  5. **I served the pork over rice and garnished with green onion. I chose a side of stir fried romaine with hoisin sauce.
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Pickled Mustard Greens with Beef and Baked Tofu

Pickled Mustard Greens www.choppingsticks.com

Do you like pickles… make that do you LOVE pickles?  If so, you’ll love pickled mustard greens.  You can find them in your local Asian Supermarket.  When I find them, I buy a couple of packs because my family can’t get enough of them.  I cook them with ground beef and savory baked tofu.  I used to cook them with just some ground meat because it’s a super cheap meal and there are days when I need dinner to be super cheap.  I’ve also cooked them with ground turkey – so if you want the dish to have less fat, then turkey is the way to go!  It’s pretty good just chopped up and eaten in a good noodle bowl or with braised pork belly.  Nick loves pickled mustard greens with tofu so I decided to share this recipe. Continue reading

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Rice Soup with Black Bean Chili Pork and Mixed Mushrooms

Pork with Black Bean Chili www.choppingsticks.com

Let me give you some background into this dish.  I am half Chinese and this is my kind of comfort food.  My mom is an amazing cook and can whip up some delicious homemade Chinese food.  I’m not talking General Tzo’s Chicken, Sesame Chicken or fried rice… I’m talking about fresh veggies, Kimchee, and some perfectly seasoned chicken, pork, beef or fish.  I realize now that we were super spoiled with her home-cooked meals.  I can’t even begin to replicate what she cooked!  I try to though…. I can cook the easier meals – but not the more difficult Szechuan Chinese food. Continue reading

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