For centuries, the Japanese have been mincing and mashing shrimp with a knife and a mortar and pestle to create plump, pink dumplings such as these. Here’s a modern version produced in the food processor. The broth in which the dumplings nestle is imbued with a subtle ocean aroma from the shrimp poached in it, and is enriched by the addition of some chicken stock. This soup goes magnificently with most of the sushi dishes in this book and also makes a fine beginning to a vegetable or egg entrée.
Place the shrimp in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add
Wash and trim the scallion, then mince it before adding it to the shrimp paste. Pulse-process so that it’s well distributed. Sprinkle the cornstarch over the shrimp paste and pulse-process again to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
In a saucepan, combine the chicken stock and sea stock, and bring to a boil. Season with
Moisten your hands with cold water and form eighteen small spheres from the shrimp mixture. Poach these three or four at a time in the seasoned broth, simmering each batch for 1 minute after they float to the surface. Remove them gently with a slotted spoon and set them on a plate. When you’ve finished poaching all the shrimp dumplings, pour the broth through a cloth- or paper-lined strainer or colander into a quart measure. Add water, or fresh sea stock if you have it, in order to make
Snap back the stem end of each snow pea pod and pull back along the straight side to remove the string. Blanch the pods in several cups of boiling water just to brighten their color (about 10 seconds). Drain and cool as rapidly as possible under cold water. Pat dry, and trim to resemble leaves, as illustrated.
Put the quart of strained broth into a saucepan. Add the shrimp dumplings and heat both thoroughly. Serve three dumplings per bowl with hot broth, garnishing each portion with two decorative snow peas.
© 1985 Elizabeth Andoh. All rights reserved.