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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Hot and Sour Leek Dumpling Soup

The best part about spending lots of time one day working on batches of egg rolls, samosas, bagels, baozi, hummus, or potstickers is that you have an amazing meal the same day as a reward for you hard work, but these happily freezable items can then be plucked out individually to fulfill your here and now desire.
My here and now desires are so potent they start manifesting themselves during my sleep, spicing up my dreams to a point that when I have come to, they are screaming from within unable to be stopped by any reasonable human power.
Today, I wanted dumplings.  The desire was intensified by the fact that the desire could be quickly and easily fulfilled.  Don't get me wrong now.. Quick and easy isn't all it takes to cut it for me.  It must be top quality.. Nothing half motivated or mediocre.
Since I had made the potstickers myself, the quality was not an issue, which left me focused on the quick and easy.  All I needed to do was make a stock worthy of my potstickers, then pop them out of the freezer and heat them up in the soup, transforming them into dumplings.
Yes!  Something spicy and sour with some sexy black vinegar and some tangy doubanjiang!
Serves 3
15-18 leek dumplings or potstickers
1 handful leek greens, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
1/2 cucumber, julienned
1 large handful sliced shitake mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, grated
1/2 inch ginger, grated
1  heaping Tbsp doubanjiang
3 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp black vinegar
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 handful spinach
1 handful celery leaves
5 cups water
1 Tbsp olive or canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp cracked black pepper
mint leaves for garnish
1.  Heat the olive oil in a pot and sweat the leeks, then add the carrots and cook, stirring for a few minutes.
2.  Add in the cucumber, shitakes, garlic, ginger, doubanjiang, soy, and vinegars and stir to infuse the flavors, then add the water.
3.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to an active simmer for about 5 minutes.  You want the carrots to be tender.
4.  Add the spinach and celery leaves and let them wilt, then add the pepper.  Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.
5.  Before serving, add in the dumplings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.  You just want to heat them through.  Add the sesame oil and stir.

Serve garnished with some mint leaves and with a side of egg rolls for an immersion meal.

I know it's still august and I just busted out a soup, but it was rainy today, so it worked out.  Plus, I don't care what the weather is like.. when I want dumpling soup, I want it and I want it NOW even if I'm all hot and sweaty after eating it.
The hot came from the actual temperature and the kick from the doubanjiang.  The sour comes from the vinegars which match perfectly with those little leek potstickers.
I've actually run out of my Chinese freezer loot.  I'm going to have to make a run to wonderland again soon... ooooh!
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