Japanese Dumpling Soup


This is a delicious and easy soup to make.  It is also so light and nutritious that you will feel virtuous eating it.

The key is using a very good chicken broth.  I made my own, using the carcass of a roasted chicken we had the night before but I also like Swanson’s Chicken Broth (a brand I use all the time in my cooking.)

Since the soup was so simple (frozen gyoza dumplings from Trader Joe’s, chopped vegetables, aromatics) I took the extra time to reduce and strain my broth twice to remove impurities and boost the flavor.

I even took the time to make a ‘raft’ of egg whites to clarify the broth further.  Have you heard of this French technique?

Lightly whip 3-4 egg whites (depending on how much broth you have) and bring the broth just to a boil, pour the egg whites on top of the broth and turn the broth down to a simmer.  The egg whites coagulate on top, forming a ‘raft’ and the proteins, foam, and other ‘floaties’ gravitate to the raft and stick there, clarifying your broth.

After several minutes, you ladle out the egg white raft and throw it away and you have a very clear, clean soup.

My mother made beef consommé from scratch for my brother’s high school French class and I remember her using this technique to the letter (probably from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking.) I also remember her saying that the classic consommé was a lot of work and what you end up with is beef stock!

Photo credit: WGBH

Photo credit: WGBH

So fiddle with your stock or not, but do make this soup and feel good whilst slurping it.


  • 6 cups clear chicken broth (homemade if you can bother)
  • 1 slice fresh ginger root, peeled (a coin about 1/4 in. thick will do)
  • 1 cup diced peeled carrots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 package frozen chicken, pork or shrimp gyoza from Trader Joe’s (I used pork but the shrimp gyoza are also very good
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 thinly sliced green onions, with green tops for garnish


  • Heat the broth to simmer and add the carrots, celery, and ginger.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes and then remove the ginger root (the broth should be lightly infused with ginger.)
  • Bring soup up to just a boil and add the gyoza dumplings, immediately turn the heat back down so dumplings are at a simmer.
  • Add the soy sauce and the green onions.
  • Simmer dumplings for about 8 minutes until tender.
  • Ladle soup and dumplings into bowls and garnish with the parsley.



2 thoughts on “Japanese Dumpling Soup

    • Yes–very small dice. Basically I cut the carrot into rounds and then dice each round into 6 or so bits with my chef’s knife. Takes some knife skill. Here’s a shortcut I use when I can’t be bothered: I peel the outside peel off the carrot and then keep peeling so I have clean carrot curls. Then I put those in soup or in stir fry. I even like the raw carrot curls on cheese ravioli with butter and parmesan–a favorite comfort meal (no red sauce).

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