21, May 2011
Pork, cabbage, and dumpling soup

I basically followed this recipe. I’d never made dumplings before, and it was fun and easy. Unfortunately, I used the wrong kind of cabbage and the soup tasted a little too cabbagey — next time, no red cabbage. Also, with 5 dried red chilies, it was a little too hot — I prefer to cook less spicy and let people add extra chili sauce to taste. Also, the pork chunks were a little too big. Next time: find sichuan peppercorns, try adding stuff to the dumplings (chives, sesame oil). I also plan to try the basic dumpling approach in other soups, particularly house special noodles.


2 tbsp peanut oil or other cooking oil
5 dried red chilies, snipped in half
1 tsp black peppercorns, whole
8 scallions (white plus a couple inches green part), cut into 1-inch lengths
1 lb pork country ribs, in 1/2″ slices
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 head red cabbage, shredded
1/2 head green cabbage, shredded
Approx. 8 crimini mushrooms, sliced

2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 c – 1 c water


Heat a large dutch oven (or large pot, in a pinch) over high heat. Add the oil and swirl it around the pan. With the fan on and all windows open, throw in the peppercorns and chilies. Stir-fry for 20 seconds. Add the scallions and stir-fry another 30 seconds. Add the pork and stir-fry until no longer pink. Add the soy sauce and stir-fry for another minute. Add the cabbage and mushrooms and stir-fry until the cabbage wilts, about 5 minutes. Add water to just cover everything and bring to a boil. Cover partially, reduce to a simmer, and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the meat is tender, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, prepare the dumpling dough. Mix the flour, salt, and water together with a fork until blended. Dough should be sticky and fairly dry; it should barely move when the bowl is tipped.

When the soup is ready, begin adding the dough. Scoop up a small amount of dough (no more than the first joint of your forefinger) with a spoon and then scrape it into the pot with another spoon. Let the dumplings float on the top. If you run out of space, occasionally stir them into the liquid and continue. Once all the dough has been added, partially cover the pot and let simmer another 10 minutes.

Serve with thinly-sliced scallions, chili sauce, chili oil, or soy sauce to taste.