This year, the autumnal equinox takes place the day before Sukkot, the Feast of Booths 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. It’s 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 and foods that are practical to eat outside in the fall.
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)
For more Sukkot-friendly recipes, check out: Kabocha (Japanese Pumpkin) Challah, a Seven Species Cheese Board and this Sparkling Etrog Cocktail!