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Food Photography Photography challenge

Mushrooms and shiitake dumplings with ginger broth

shiitake dumplings en bouillon

Yay! it’s finally here… Ten days too late but an awesome challenge for the 10th installment of Donna Hay Styling and Photography Challenge. Wow… can’t believe it is number 10 already! I had so much fun in the process and I hope you guys learned a thing or two in the proces. I know I did! This challenge came about a bit late as I was very busy and swamped with work, in between painting the new studio and doing the floor too. And thank heavens that is finished now, although it is still a mess and still empty but the boring bits are done. It’s moving on to the fun parts now! This beautiful photo (below) is from Donna Hay magazine number 62 from april/may of 2012 and the photograph is from Chris Court, Styling by Steve Pearce.

The original Donna image by Chris Pearce
The original Donna image by Chris Court


Above you see my version of this delicious recipe of mushroom dumplings with a very tasty broth. My biggest issue was with finding the correct background. I think it is in the original with old aluminium or some sort of steel. Running out of time I bought a new piece of aluminium and hoped I could get it distressed. Well, that only happens when you don’t want it to! I had hoped I could get it to be damaged but man, this was one hardy bit of metal. Maybe putting it outside for a couple of weeks will give it the desired look but for now it is way too new as you can see and that in a large part determines the atmosphere of the shot. It was also the first time I was shooting in my new studio and trust me when I see that it takes a while to get used to a new lighting situation so that was a bit challenging as well.


In the ‘making of’ shots you can see the mess still in the studio! Haha… Taken quickly with my Iphone but I think it shows the setup more or less. The light is coming from behind right and the light in my new studio with missing curtains is a bit too light for this shot. it had to be a bit more moody but I thought I’ll go with this for now. I didn’t want to have you wait any longer!


I think I will leave my background outside for a while now that I have done the challenge. The recipe itself is easy, but replicating the mood and the right setting is tricky I think. It also didn’t exactly fit my own style which in a way is the whole purpose of the challenge right? To work outside of your own comfort zone and to learn something new! I learned that I do love an iron background…;)Just gotta get it to look right (read;old)

The filling is quite delicious and mmm, you will love it! The recipe uses galangal or laos. If you cannot find that ginger would be ok to use as a substitute. I will mention the possible substitutes for some of the asian ingredients as well in the recipe. But if you cannot find something feel free to use another ingredient you think might work.


shiitake dumplings en bouillon

Mushrooms and shiitake dumplings with ginger broth

  • Author: Donna Hay
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6
  • Category: Soup


  • 4 cups chicken stock (1 liter)
  • 2 cups water (500 ml)
  • 10 cm ginger (peeled and sliced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (lightly crushed)
  • 50g dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 tablespoon chinese rice wine (Shaoxing)
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 100g fresh shiitake mushrooms
  • micro herbs (thinly sliced red chilli and chilli oil to serve)
  • Mushroom and galangal dumplings
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 400g mixed asian mushrooms
  • 2 cm galangal (peeled and finely grated)
  • 1 red chili (chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chinese black vinegar (Chinkiang)
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • ¼ cup coriander (chopped, cilantro)
  • 24 wonton wrappers


  1. To make the mushroom and galangal dumplings, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over high heat. Add the mushroom, galangal, chili and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Add the soy, vinegar and oyster sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir through the coriander. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. Place the wonton wrappers on a clean bench top dusted with rice flour and brush the edges of the wrappers with water. Place 2 teaspoons of the mushroom mixture into the center of each wonton wrapper and bring each corner together to form a pyramid shape. Cover and set aside.
  3. Place the stock, water, ginger, garlic, dried shiitake mushrooms, rice wine and sugar in a saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Strain the broth and return to the saucepan. Increase the heat to medium, add the dumplings and fresh shiitake mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes or until wontons are transparant. Top with microherbs and chili and serve with chili oil. Serves 4-6


Some of the ingredients in this recipe might be a little harder to find if you do not have an Asian store nearby. Some of the substitutes you could use are:
Galangal – you can use ginger here
Shaoxing rice wine – sherry is a reasonable substitute
Chinese black vinegar – a mild balsamic might be a good substitute here although it is not entirely the same. If you do not have balsamic, try a regular good vinegar
Dried Shiitake mushrooms – these might be hard to find too although the dried mushrooms are quite essential for the taste of the broth. Try another type of dried mushroom you can find



About the author

Simone van den Berg

Food- and travelblogger from the Netherlands. Loves good food. Loves to taste good food the world over.
She also loves to share travelstories, delicious recipes and ok, cat pictures too. She sometimes feels the need to get really healthy for a while, always mingled with periods of insanely delicious sweets and other decadent treats.
Lives together with Tom and their two cats; Humphrey and Buffy.
Profession: Food photographer

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Hi. My name is Simone and I believe you can change your life by eating the right foods. I am a certified holistic nutritional coach, food photographer, recipe developer and story teller.

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