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Shiitake Mushroom, Shrimp and Potsticker Soup

It takes only 10 minutes to shop for the ingredients and only 10 minutes to pull this excellent recipe together. A word of caution. Frozen Chinese pot stickers and dumplings are delicate. They are made with rice flour and can be very sticky when cooked. For best results, steam, or simmer in a skillet without their sides touching. They are NOT as hardy as pirogies and should not be cooked in a big pot of swirling water.

  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 10 shiitake mushrooms (tough stems removed), sliced
  • 10 shelled, deveined shrimp (fresh or frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 quart carton (32 ounce) Annie Chun's shiitake broth
  • 10 frozen shrimp dumplings or potstickers
  • 2 handfuls fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped
  • Hot pepper sauce, optional
  • Soy sauce, optional

    Get out 2 large soup bowls. Tear off enough aluminum foil to act as a loose lid over each of the bowls. It will help to keep ingredients warm as you add them to the bowls.

    Over medium heat, swirl both oils into a medium skillet. Add the sliced shiitakes and cook quickly, just until they soften and cook through, about 2 minutes. Divide them into the soup bowls and cover with foil.

    To the same pan over medium heat, add the shrimp and saute until just cooked through. If frozen, add a little water to the pan, cover with a lid and poach for 2 minutes. Divide the shrimp into the bowls.

    Add 2 tablespoons water to the skillet and place the potstickers or dumplings in the pan, with their sides not touching. Over low heat, poach them covered until cooked through, about 3 to 4 minutes. Using tongs, place them into the soup bowls. Recover with the foil.

    Add the contents of shiitake broth to the skillet and bring to the boil.

    Add spinach and cook until wilted. With tongs, divide the spinach into the soup bowls.

    Pour enough hot broth into the bowls to cover the cooked ingredients and fill the bowls. Hot pepper sauce and soy sauce may be offered at the table if you'd like to tweak the seasoning.

    Keep any remaining broth warm to top off the bowls of soup. Makes 2 servings.

    Thursday, January 16, 2003

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