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Shanghai soup dumplings are without doubt one of the most beautiful delicacies I’ve come to know. As Sommeliers Choice Awards readers know, I’m not opposed to a little labor-of-love when it comes to ingredient preparation. The secret to the most delightful soup dumpling is the intensity and fragrance of the broth. With a little extra time on our hands around the house, I’m recommending you give these a try. Hone your dumpling skills and you’ll be the talk of the town.
A few small tips from this aficionado:
1. Blast your chicken or pork bones in a fiery hot 425-450ºF oven, to achieve an intense dark caramelized color and ballistic flavor prior to transferring them to the pot for boiling. Traditional Chinese recipes, call for high-collegen pig trotters (feet) or other high-cartilage cuts to thicken the dumpling broth. I simply use gelatine powder once cooled (one envelope of dry gelatine per cup of broth) for ease and reliability when making your soup jelly.
2. Shrimp broth or dried shitake mushroom and kombu broth together offer just a few vegetarian substitutes with a serious attitude. Even shitakes and kombu added to your regular broth, adds a much-welcomed umami depth.
3. Szechuan peppercorns, despite originating from the spiciest culinary province in mainland China, Sichuan, (花椒or Huā Jiāo literally meaning floral pepper in Mandarin), lends nothing more than a delicate, perfumed aroma.
Pair a pretty white wine with floral aspects and some acidity to elevate this dish. A sparkling is deserved if you’ve put hand-rolled these yourself. From Northern CA (Wine Stars) to SoCal (Northern Hillside Wine & Spirits (LA) and New York (Continental Wine & Spirits) to Texas (Epic Cellars), we have a recommendation for your nearest curbside pickup and delivery. Cheers to great food, wine, and good health!
Timothy Neumann is an Australian Nutritionist, Chef, Culinary Consultant and Freelance Writer based in Napa, California. As a regular contributor of recipes and wine pairings for Sommeliers Choice Awards, Tim will be your resident food guru and bring you awesome recipes. Tim’s approach to food is healthy, balanced and seasonal cooking to fuel a happy and productive mind! If you’re visiting wine country, get a taste of Australia meets Californian cuisine.