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Chinese Pea Soup With Floating Pork Dumplings
For the soup
1 tbsp sesame seed oil or vegetable oil
1 tbsp fresh ginger, finely grated
2 garlic cloves, crushed into a paste
1 small carrot, thinly sliced
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
4 chestnut mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
300g frozen peas
2 tbsp light soy sauce, plus extra to serve
1 tbsp cornflour
A dash of fish sauce (optional)
Sea salt and black pepper
Fresh coriander leaves, to garnish
For the pork dumplings (Makes 10-12):
150g minced pork
1 spring onion, finely chopped
½ tbsp fresh ginger, grated and peeled
1 tbsp light soy sauce
A dash of dry sherry or Shaoxing rice wine
1 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
2 tsp cornflour
Sea salt and black pepper
16 ready-made wonton wrappers (cut into rounds)
1 egg, beaten
Firstly make the dumplings, mix all of the ingredients except for the wonton wrappers and beaten egg in a bowl. Place a small amount of the mixture in the middle of each wrapper, brush with a little beaten egg on the edge and fold into a half moon shape and seal well. Place on non-stick baking parchment and put into the fridge until required. Any remaining filling can be made into meatballs or wontons and frozen.
To make the soup, heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan or wok, add the ginger and garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds, stirring all of the time, taking care not to burn them, add the carrot, spring onion, chilli and mushrooms and continue to stir fry for a further 2 minutes, taking care not to brown then add the stock, peas, soy sauce and fish sauce (if using) and bring to the boil. Simmer for 4 minutes and remove from the heat. Mix the cornflour with a little cold water to make a smooth paste and stir into the soup, bring back to a simmer.
To cook the wontons, heat a large pan of boiling water and simmer the wontons for 3-5 minutes until they rise to the top and the filling is cooked. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve.
To serve, add the wontons to the soup and do not re-boil. Serve with extra soy sauce, garnished with the coriander leaves.
The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.
When boiling frozen peas, add enough water to cover, bring to the boil and then cover and simmer for 3 minutes. To microwave 227 grams (8oz) of frozen peas add 15ml (1 tablespoon) of water, place in a non metallic container and cover. Cook on full power for 4 minutes (750W) or 4 1/2 minutes (650W).