“Secret Ingredient” Kung Fu Panda Soup

As soon as they tasted this soup, my children declared it “Kung Fu Panda Soup” even though it does lack the noodles of Mr. Pings “Secret Ingredient Noodle Soup.” With its Asian flavors and Po’s favorite dumplings it reminded them of this DreamWorks film’s famous soup. Make a big pot of this soup while watching Po save the village and find himself along the way. And that secret ingredient? Nothing, it is only special because they think it is special.

Kung Fu Panda Soup
1 pound bag frozen potstickers, or any favorite Asian Dumpling*
1/3 cup water
2 T. vegetable oil
1/2 tsp. ginger paste, or 1/2 tsp. ground ginger powder, or 1/2 inch fresh diced fine
4 cups chicken broth
3 green onions sliced, green and white parts- optional but nice

In a large skillet with fitted lid, place potstickers*- I used Trader Joe’s, water and oil. Place lid on top and cook over med-high heat until potstickers are steamed through. Remove lid and let the water cook off. Turning potstickers often let them fry in the remaining oil until golden and crispy. Add broth, ginger, and onion slices. Heat through until hot. Ladle into bowls. Serves 5.

While I have not cooked in a Hostel Kitchen, I have cooked in soup, camp, USO, church, bed and breakfast, and mission kitchens here in the US and abroad. The big takeaway from cooking in these various kitchens is this: carry your own sharp knife (if you can), and pack some of your own spices. I suggest a daily pill box for your spices as one time I packed my very suspicious white vanilla powder, that I use for icings, in a tiny plastic bag- it never made it to my final destination. Hmmm. Can you hear the airport security call now? “Paging Dr. Pepper, we have a code Betty Crocker, Agent Duncan Hines is tripping on some bad blow that smells like cake.” This little one pot soup will take you far in your travels and warm the cockles of your heart. Want something a little more European? Try my Pierogi Soup.

This recipe has been submitted to HostelBookers.com Backpacker Recipe Guide recipe contest.

Tschüs! GuteFahrt.


  1. the domestic mama
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 7:36 AM | Permalink

    wow how simple! I NEED a trader joe's here. 🙁

  2. kitchen koala
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    Yum! And easy too; I love that! Kung Fu Panda always cracks me up 🙂

  3. amy grace
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:25 AM | Permalink

    phew! i thought the secret ingredient was pandas…were pandas…i can't word that right. 😉

  4. Melinda
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:28 AM | Permalink

    Is there actually 3 whole bunches of onions? That seems like a lot and the photo doesn't look like it has that many.

  5. Penny
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Oh how I wish we had a Trader Joe's nearby. This sounds delicious and so easy. Will look for them at the local markets. Thanks for another great recipe Robin Sue.

  6. Jensamom23
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:13 AM | Permalink

    Oh, my kids will LOVE this one! Thanks!

  7. Metropolitan Housewife
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 10:37 AM | Permalink

    Fabulous! We've all had a round of colds here, and this looks like the perfect comfort food. Of course, billing it as the Kung Fu Panda "Secret Soup" will surely boost the ratings with my little one!

    Can't wait to try this one- and I already have a trip to Trader Joe's scheduled this week, so I'll be adding the potstickers to my grocery list!

  8. Robin Sue
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:23 AM | Permalink

    Melinda- thanks for the catch. It is three green onions, not bunches. I changed it!

  9. June Freaking Cleaver
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 11:33 AM | Permalink

    I know there's a Trader Joe's in St. Louis – I'll be going there…I can't wait to try the soup.

    I made Paula Deen's chicken and dumplings yesterday – it must be comfort food week. It is yummy!

  10. oneordinaryday
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

    I like the name! : ) I love quick and easy, but still wholesome!

  11. unconfidentialcook
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 1:16 PM | Permalink

    Yes, please add the radishes!!! And I love this idea–what a great easy meal! My daughter will LOVE this.

  12. biz319
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 2:29 PM | Permalink

    So simple and delicious! I of course would add sliced jalapenos to spice of the broth, but then again I loves the spice!

  13. DailyChef
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 6:20 PM | Permalink

    hehe, what a great name!

    Both Trader's Joes and Costco have awesome potstickers. 🙂

  14. noble pig
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    My kids would love it!

  15. grace
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 8:25 PM | Permalink

    i'm not ashamed to admit i love that movie. great soup, robin sue. 🙂

  16. Velva
    Posted February 9, 2010 at 9:41 PM | Permalink

    I love it! Especially, your statement…"it's special. because they think it's special"…. That is so true. That can be a very special thing about food.

  17. Mimi
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:15 AM | Permalink

    I guess I need to add pot stickers to my Trader Joe's list. Looks delicious.

  18. EAT!
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 10:32 AM | Permalink

    ….on my next trip to TJ's…. potstickers….then soup for you!

  19. Karen
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 12:44 PM | Permalink

    I love potstickers! What an easy and delicious looking soup this is.

  20. Sabrina
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:07 PM | Permalink

    That looks soooo good. And I think I have all the ingredients on hand. Yippee. Thanks for another great recipe!

  21. pigpigscorner
    Posted February 10, 2010 at 3:21 PM | Permalink

    What a cute name. Simple and delicious!

  22. Ingrid
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

    Looks like it would be a winner in my house. The twins love dumplings and I'm all about quick and easy.

    Sorry about not getting back to you. I'm okay. I got hit with a foul ball. 🙁 Only good thing to come out of it is, now have a group of 14 yr old admirers. The boys could not believe that I didn't cry and stayed another hour and half until practice finished up. Devon told me they all told him how tough and what a soldier I was. LOL, inside Robin Sue I was crying! Unfortunately it's not been a good month for us as we found out yesterday that Devon broke/fractured the growth plate in his shoulder. 🙁

  23. Lori
    Posted February 11, 2010 at 10:05 PM | Permalink

    Robin Sue- This is a quick and perfect soup. You have wonderful recipes that are kid friendly and easy to prepare.

  24. HoneyB
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 7:45 AM | Permalink

    Robin, I have bookmarked this for the next time I make my Chinese meal! I love how easy this is to throw together!

  25. HealthJunkie
    Posted February 12, 2010 at 12:56 PM | Permalink

    Oh wow. That looks really great. I wonder though about the ginger paste. I've never used it before, I usually get ginger root. Is it different?

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