The idea to make soup dumplings filled with pho broth came to me when I made slow cooker pho for the first time.
The spices I chose to use were cinnamon stick, star anise, cloves, and peppercorns. I've seen some recipes include cardamom, and some that don't. I didn't have any on hand this day.
By the way, I loosely adapted this recipe from Lucky Peach. I love that publication!
Instead of using beef short ribs, as Peter Meehan did in his recipe, I used 2 pounds of oxtail and 2 pounds of beef marrow bones. The outcome was wonderfully gelatinous bone broth. That tasted like pho! Above, you can see the broth after it has been refrigerated, fat removed, and ready to be inserted into some dumplings.
Instead of mixing the gelatinous pho broth into the meat mixture, I kept it separate. Then I used a melon baller to scoop out the broth and pork, about equal amounts.
For steaming, I pulled some banana leaves out of the freezer. These can be found at most Asian markets, such as Fubonn. They're cheaper than parchment paper!
My pleating skills are weak......
I had plenty of broth not only for the soup dumplings, but also for some top sirloin, shiitake, and noodle soup!
Soup Dumplings Filled With Pho Broth
Slow Cooker Broth Ingredients:
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 piece of fresh ginger (about 2 inches long), peeled and halved
- Coconut oil spray
- 2 lbs. oxtail - I got mine at Fred Meyer
- 2 lbs. beef marrow bones - also from Fred Meyer in the frozen meats section
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 whole star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 4 whole cloves
- 8 cups of filtered or spring water
- 1 tbsp fish sauce - Red Boat brand is my favorite from Trader Joes's
- Spray the onion slices and ginger with oil, then broil on a foil lined pan until slightly charred, about 10 minutes.
- Optional: toast the spices, then place inside a spice ball. The ball is not necessary, but it's how we did it growing up.
- Place everything inside your slow cooker, cover and cook on high two hours. Then, reduce heat to low 6 more hours.
- Strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer, allow to cool, then refrigerate overnight.
- Remove the fat from the top. Keep cool.
- 1 package of round dumpling or gyoza wrappers
- 1 pound of ground pork, seasoned with 1 - 2 tbsp fish sauce and 2 tsp granulated garlic, lightly mixed
- Gelatinous pho broth
- On a dumpling wrapper, place a small amount of meat, then a small amount of broth in the center.
- Brush the edges with water, then gather up the sides, folding and pinching or pleating the best you can. Place onto a parchment lined pan.
- Repeat until you have 24, which will take about a half hour or 48 if you have the patience. Freeze the amount you don't steam immediately. Put them on a pan in the freezer, then slide them into a large sealable bag.
- Line your steamer baskets with banana leaf or parchment, then place the dumplings inside, not touching.
- Heat 4 cups of water in a large pan over high heat, then cover the baskets. Continue to steam over medium high heat for 12-15 minutes, until the pork is done.
- Allow to cool before you burn your mouth!