My Dad was stationed in China during world war II where he developed a love for their culture. After his return, it became a tradition to frequent the local Chinese restaurant often on Sunday nights when my mom wanted a break from cooking. Two memories stand out to me, their delicious wonton soup and the grin on my dad’s face while singing the Chinese national anthem and all us kids shrinking from embarrassment. We’d leave there with our bellies and hearts full. Not until recently did I realize my love for wonton soup was rooted in this seemingly ordinary family activity that gave way to lingering sweet memories of my dad and family time around the table.
Bok Choy Chicken Dumpling soup is a remake of wonton soup, paleo and whole30 inspired, because of the constant craving I have for it. But of course I had to make faux wonton, otherwise called dumplings. The broth alone is divine. And the dumplings, well they’re not wonton filled with yummy pork but they are tender gems of flavor.
I keep a package of kombu seaweed around for soup stocks and add a piece to my bone broth.
It brings great umami flavor to stocks and with it, I added shitake mushrooms and anti-inflammatory ingredients of fresh ginger, garlic and turmeric. After infusing the broth for 20 minutes, they are removed before the rest of the ingredients go in.
Make the dumplings small, just because they’re better small. I used my small ice cream scoop to get uniform sizes.
Light, soothing and brothy with such wonderful flavor, this soup is healing as well as a fitting complement to any meal.
Bok Choy Chicken Dumpling Soup (serves 4-6)
8 cups chicken bone broth or chicken stock
6 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 – 1 inch knob of peeled fresh turmeric
2 inch knob peeled fresh ginger
3 inch piece of dried kombu seaweed (I use this kind)
1/3 cup shitake mushrooms, whole or sliced
1 small carrot, cut julienne
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded (pork is good too)
2 heads baby bok choy, separate stems from leaves, chop stems down the lengthwise in 1/2 inch widths; leaves can be left whole
1/4 cup chopped green onion, sliced thin
1 cup almond flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder and ginger powder
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons cold water
Combine bone broth (or stock), garlic, ginger, turmeric, kombu and shitake mushrooms in a 6 quart pot. Bring to a simmer, turn heat down to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
While broth is cooking, make the dumplings. Combine the almond flour, arrowroot, salt, garlic and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. Add the coconut oil and distribute, rubbing dry mixture between your hands until flour mixture begins to look crumbly and coconut oil is evenly mixed in. Add the beaten egg and water. Stir to combine.
Dust a cutting board with arrowroot powder, or get ready a piece of parchment paper. Set up a station to roll the dumplings with a bowl of water handy. Roll dough into 1 inch dumplings and set on prepared surface.
When broth is finished cooking, strain out the garlic, ginger, turmeric, kombu and shitake mushrooms. Discard or freeze for next bone broth batch. Taste broth and season to your taste with sea salt and coconut aminos. I used 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 cup of aminos. How much salt you use depends on how well seasoned your stock was to begin with, so season accordingly.
Bring broth to a low simmer adding carrots and shredded chicken and dropping dumplings a few at a time. Keep a low simmer going. Once all of the dumplings are in continue to cook for 10 minutes more.
Add bok choy stems, cook 2 minutes. Add the greens and green onions. Turn off heat and adjust seasonings if necessary. Soothing, healing and delicious. Enjoy!