This is the second recipe that Pat, over at The Asian Grandmothers’ Cookbook, sent me to test. If testing new recipes sounds like fun to you let her know.
This recipe is “Grandma Mivoshi’s Dango Jiru.” It’s a Japanese-Hawaiian soup with lots of greens, Spam ™, and dumplings. “Dango” refers to the dumplings, which in Japan are usually made with rice flour, but in this Hawaiian variation, the dumplings are made with all-purpose flour.
I used my King Arthur Flour dough whisk to mix the flour and water to make the dumpling dough. It’s a great tool that’s surprisingly effective for mixing batters and dough, easy to use, and easy to clean. If you look closely at my pictures you’ll see evidence of a minor household emergency that distracted me while the dough was resting: The beautiful round smooth ball of dough dried out and developed a pebbly texture on the surface. I went ahead and rolled the dough to 1/4″ thickness and cut the noodles. The dumplings were fine once they were cooked.
The recipe called for mustard cabbage, and after a quick Google I found that it’s sometimes called “gai choy.” There was a note on the site that a good sub would be mustard greens, so I grabbed a small bunch.
The recipe also calls for mizuna, but hey, this is winter and not much is growing here. I did find it, at great price for a very small package. Then I noticed that it was labeled “Arugula / Rocket” and there was another green labeled “Arugula / Roquette” in a much more generous bunch. I bought both. And some watercress.
Other vegetables for the soup are carrot, and onion. This is the first time I’ve bought Spam™ in more than 30 years! I opted for the “low salt” version. I suppose with all the rabbit food, this is still a relatively healthy meal. I cut the meat into 192 cubes; that’s three layers of 8 x 8 squares!
The soup is very easy to cook once the prep work is done. The dumplings cook right in the broth so the liquid thickens a bit. I served it with a garnish of green onion slices, and Chinese mustard paste and soy sauce for dipping. No, we did not eat all of that mustard, but it’s hard to make a smaller amount.
So, how was it? It was good. I made the whole recipe (serves 4 to 6) and because there are only two of us, there is a lot left over. I don’t know if it will re-heat well. I took some to work with me and nuked it, and the greens just got overcooked. The dumplings were better, though.
Edited to add that I made another Dango Jiru.
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