This year, the autumnal equinox took place the day before, the Feast of Booths (Sukkot) in Judaism. We’re commanded to eat outside in the sukkah for eight days; soaking up the last bit of the golden summer sunshine while dining alfresco. This is a commandment I can easily get behind!
There aren’t many traditional foods eaten over Sukkot, though chicken soup, kugel and challah are mainstays on my Ashkenazi Jewish husband’s family’s holiday table. Other than that, Sukkot menus are designed around harvest-related produce.
To start, I’m making a comforting bowl of chicken kreplach (dumpling) soup. I’ve read that kreplach is a symbolic new year food in some Jewish communities, because the filling is sealed in the noodle like judgement is sealed in the Book of Life on Yom Kippur. But my first thought as a Japanese American Jew was: “It sounds like gyoza soup!”
The word gyoza comes from the Chinese word jiaozi, a kind of stuffed dumpling. In my gyoza kreplach soup, the inside of the dumpling is Japanese in flavor though I’ve swapped the ground pork for ground chicken. The soup on the other hand, is a standard European-style chicken broth.
Kreplach soup has been known to be very time-consuming. My addition of store-bought gyoza wrappers cuts the time more than in half, so you can spend more time outside with your family and friends.
Serves: 8 (2 gyoza/person)
Total Prep Time: 30 minutes (not including broth, if you like to make your own)
Total Cook Time: 10 minutes (not including broth)
**Be careful not to let the gyoza sit in the soup too long. The wrappers are quite delicate and can start to break down if they are left too long in the broth.
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