This beautiful soup with Thai flavors will quickly become one of your favourites this season! Sweet, sour, spicy, salty, minty, gingery, garlicky…the broth’s got it going on!
And honestly, who doesn’t love dumplings? Nestle these dumplings in a small bowl of broth with a few drops of chili oil and some Thai basil leaves, and they make a sensual little starter.
- ¼ cup raw cashews
- 2½ cups fresh corn kernels or frozen sweet corn
- 3 Tbsp. plant-based butter
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- ½ cup freeze-dried corn
- ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions
- 1 Tbsp. minced fresh lemongrass
- 1 tsp. minced or thinly sliced red chili
- 2 tsp. sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 to 1½ packages (12 oz. each) round eggless dumpling skins, about 3½-inch diameter
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- Spray oil for steaming, or cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves
- 1½ to 2 cups Coconut Corn Broth (see sidebar)
- Chili oil, for garnish
- Several small Thai basil leaves or more
- Sliced green onions, for garnish
- To make the filling, soak the cashews in water to cover at room temperature for 2 to 3 hours. Drain and rinse. You’ll add these later to the filling.
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Set up a bowl of ice water. Drop the fresh or frozen corn in the boiling water and blanch for 30 seconds. Use a spider strainer to transfer the corn to the ice water. Let cool for a minute or two, then transfer 2 cups of the corn to a blender (set aside the remaining ½ cup kernels).
- Add the butter to the blender and blend until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the drained cashews and garlic and blend until smooth. The puree should be thick. Scrape it into a mixing bowl.
- Grind the freeze-dried corn in a clean spice mill or coffee grinder to a somewhat-coarse texture, similar to cornmeal. Add to the cashew cream in the mixing bowl along with the reserved corn kernels, green onions, lemongrass, chili, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
- To assemble the dumplings, set the bowl of filling, a small cup of water, your dumpling skins, and a baking sheet on a work surface. Scatter some cornstarch over the baking sheet (to help keep the dumplings from sticking to the pan).
- For each dumpling, mound about a tablespoon of filling in the center. Dip your finger in the water and moisten the entire edge of the dumpling skin. For a shumai-style fold, bring all the sides up to the top and twist gently to make a small round purse. Pinch just under the top opening of the purse to gently close it. You should have enough filling to make 30 to 40 dumplings.
- These dumplings are best steamed: Spray a steamer basket with oil or line with cabbage leaves or bamboo leaves to prevent sticking. Put the dumplings in the steamer in batches, place over simmering water, cover, and steam until the dumplings are tender, about 3 minutes.
- Gather 6 to 8 small serving bowls and place 4 or 5 dumplings in the center of each. Pour about ¼ cup broth around the dumplings in each bowl so a little broth comes up the sides of the dumplings. Anoint each bowl with a few drops of chili oil and a couple of basil leaves (or sliced green onions).
- 6 large ears corn, preferably organic and in season, shucked
- 3 quarts water
- 1 can (14 oz.) coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise (remove seeds for less heat)
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh ginger
- ¼ cup garlic cloves (8 to 12 cloves), crushed with the flat of your knife
- 10 fresh mint sprigs, stems and all
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 star anise, optional
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- ½ tsp. ground white pepper
- 1 lime, juiced
- Snap or cut ears of corn in half.
- Bring the water to a boil in a large stockpot over high heat. Add the corn and everything else except the lime juice. Cut the heat to medium, then bring the liquid to a slow simmer. Let it simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the corncobs and cut the kernels from the cobs. Return the naked cobs to the broth along with the lime juice. Continue simmering gently over medium heat for another 30 minutes. The liquid will reduce in volume by about one-fourth, which is fine. Shut off the heat and let everything cool down a bit in the pot. Strain the warm broth through a fine-mesh strainer into quart containers, then use immediately or refrigerate for a week or two before using.
Nutrition facts per serving: Calories 217; protein 4 g, fat 14 g, carbs 19.
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