French Onion Soup Dumplings

Making soup dumplings at home always seemed like a nearly impossible task, but once I started researching it and learned the trick, the whole process became clear to me. I should have known because I actually use the same trick when making my mac and cheese stuffed burgers! Make a soup broth that is solid at fridge temp and make your dumplings with that broth. Then when they steam the soup becomes liquid again as it heats up! I made my soup dumplings a different flavor than what you would get at a Chinese dumpling house because would you expect anything less from me? French onion soup actually worked great in these, and some melted cheese on top put all the french onion elements into one perfect bite.
As I mentioned in my post on Wednesday, I had the extra pork trimmings because I am making some homemade bacon.  The bacon came out amazing so look for that recipe soon!
Lots of pork skin and bones ready to get thrown into a broth.
After the broth cools there is a lot of fat you can just scoop right off the top.
Then you are left with this beautiful jellied broth!
It's so weird yet so awesome. This stuff is very strongly flavored too.
To form the french onion filling, start with lots of onions and a little butter.
Once the onions have caramelized fully, add in a little thyme, and then mix them with the jellied stock.
Finally, it's time to make the dough.  The dough is formed with just hot water and flour.  Make a bunch of little balls from the dough and then flatten them out with a rolling pin.
Plop a hearty tablespoon of the solidified french onion soup into the wrapper and then fold it up.
I have linked to a video at the bottom of the post where you can see a guy forming these, but honestly it's more about practice than anything.
Easily the best part of the day was having my friends over to help make the dumplings.  We all laughed at each others failures and applauded each others successes! Here you can see Bianca pointing at one she was particularly proud of  (or making fun of one her boyfriend Matt made... not sure). The video we watched to help learn the technique said that the perfect soup dumpling has 100 pleats, but we were lucky to get about 15.
While my friends were slaving away, I started steaming the finished ones.
Once they finish in the steamer, very delicately put them onto a baking sheet and top with some cheese.  Broil them to lightly brown.
These are soo good!  A perfect bite of french onion soup every time.
When you crack into them, the soup comes oozing right out.
The browned cheese takes the whole thing over the top.  We also had more traditional soup dumplings that day, but everyone liked these better!
For help forming these things, you can watch someone do it in this video at about the 1:25 mark, but keep in mind that guy has been doing it his whole life! It is a tough technique to get used to but it is a lot of fun to try.

French Onion Soup Dumplings

  • Broth
  • 1 Pound Pork Skin
  • 1 Pound Pork Bones
  • 1 Pound Pork
  • 2 Onions
  • 8 Cloves Garlic
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Filling
  • 5 Onions
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Teaspoon Thyme
  • Wrappers
  • 2.5 Cups Flour
  • 1 Cup Water
  • Finish
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Gruyere Cheese

Instructions

    Broth
    1. Place the pork, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper, into a slow cooker. Go easy on the salt for now. Set the slow cooker to high and fill with water to just cover the pork. Allow to cook on high for about 10 hours.
    2. Strain out the solids. Taste the broth. If it is too intense tasting you can add a little water to thin it out, but don't add too much or it will not solidify. Allow the broth to cool in the fridge overnight. There will be a large amount of fat on the top of the broth. Scoop the fat off with a spoon.
    3. The broth should be solid. Store in the fridge for a few days or freezer if longer until ready to use.
    Filling
    1. Dice the onion very small. Add to a pan along with the butter and bay leaf. Cook on medium heat stirring often for about an hour until very browned and reduced to about 3/4 of a cup. Remove the bay and stir in the thyme. Cook another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool fully.
    2. Measure out 1 cup of the solidified pork broth. Put this in a bowl along with the onion mixture and stir well. The broth will break up and everything will get nicely mixed. Put this in the fridge for at least a half hour before using.
    Wrappers
    1. Bring the water to a boil. Add the flour to a food processor along with a big pinch of salt. With the processor running, add in the boiling water. Keep running as the dough comes together. Allow to run for 30 seconds with the dough in there.
    2. Remove the dough from the food processor and work it with your hands for 2 minutes. Place into a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit for 30 minutes.
    3. Section out your dough into 40 even balls. Roll out each ball into a 3.5 inch round. Stack them up with a little flour between each layer, and cover the stack as you go with a damp towel.
    Build the dumplings
    1. One by one, preferably with friends, build your dumplings. Place the wrapper in your hand and put a tablespoon of the filling in the center. Slowly form pleats or creases on the edges of the wrapper, bringing the edges into the center as you go. Once they all meet in the center, make sure it is sealed with minimal air in the center and twist it a little to further enhance the seal.
    2. There are many tutorials and videos to help you with the previous step, check the link above or search on your own!
    3. Put the dumplings into a steamer with napa cabbage lining the bottom. Cover and steam about 8 minutes.
    4. Remove the dumplings from the steamer and place onto a greased baking sheet. Put a thin slice of gruyere onto each dumpling and broil on high to melt the cheese and lightly brown.