Ginger, garlic, and green onions. Those three ingredients tie Chinese cuisine, both modern and Medieval, together, and make up the beginning of so many recipes. Here, they will be our base for a delicious bone broth, as well as some northern style potstickers to go swimming in it.
Yum. This recipe looks like a lot of work, but is really quite simple, easy, and hopefully elegant. The potstickers are homemade but easy to assemble, made from a healthy and nicely textured whole wheat dough to simulate more ancient flour. Really, the hardest part of this recipe is waiting all day for the soup to cook.
So let’s get it started shall we?
PORK BONE BROTH
1 lb. Pork Neck Bones
1 bunch scallions, whites and greens rough chopped
1 head garlic, bisected and smashed
1 ginger root, rough chopped
1 tbsp. salt
2 tbsp. black vinegar
1 whole clove
1 teaspoon whole black pepper
In a medium soup pot, add all ingredients and add enough water to cover by one inch. Over high heat, bring it to a boil, then turn down to a low simmer, until just barely bubbling. Simmer like that for 6-8 hours, stirring a few times throughout and strain through a fine mesh strainer.
This is good enough to sip on its own, but why do that when we can put potstickers in it! Not coincidentally, the same core ingredients go into our filling.
PORK DUMPLING FILLING
1 lb. ground pork, fattier is better
4 cloves garlic, peeled, smashed, and minced
1 bunch scallions, sliced
2 tbsp. minced or grated ginger
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. soy sauce
1/4 cup black vinegar
Get your fingers dirty. Mix all ingredients by hand until uniform. Cover and chill.
We’re almost there. Now it’s time to make the wrappers for this delicious filling. We need to rest the dough, so make it when your broth is about halfway done cooking.
WHEAT DUMPLING WRAPPER
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup very hot water
Mix the flour and water by hand into a shaggy dough, then turn onto a floured surface and knead for 3-5 minutes until uniform and slightly springy. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 2 hours, or in the fridge overnight is fine.
Divide the dough into 20 pieces and roll into a sphere with your hands. Roll out each potsticker into a thin circle, about 4 inches in diameter. If it’s not stretchy enough to roll easily, it needs to rrest longer.
When you can make nice thin circles, Place a tablespoon of filling in the middle, then seal and plead.
To plead the dumplings, fold up each side and pinch in the middle. Then on each side, make 3 ripples and seal with the other flat side, using a bit of water if necessary.
If not serving right away, hold on a floured sheet tray in a cool place. When ready to serve, get a cast iron dutch oven or pan with deep sides over medium high heat, with a good amount of vegetable oil. Let the oil preheat a few minutes, and only add the potstickers when hot.
Fry for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown. Do not move or disturb them! Let them build up a little crust, then if desired, add some veggies. I’m putting in some baby bok choy.
Add all the broth and bring back up to a boil. Cover and turn down to a simmer, letting steam without removing the lid for 5 minutes.
Now just enjoy your soup! Well, actually I recommend letting it cool. The inside of those potstickers will be hot!
But when your ready, slurp, nibble, and taste your way into some truly classic flavor.