" Dumb & Dumber" Soup on a Stick

Sure, it sounds stupid, but it tastes good! Set your common sense aside and whip up some of this deliciously odd foodstuff.

You will need:

For the Soup:

  • 1 lb large shrimp
  • 4 lbs chicken backs and necks
  • 2 thin slices fresh ginger
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 2 scallions, cut into 2" pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled & crushed
  • 1/4 cup dried mushrooms (optional)
  • 4 quarts old water
  • 1 tsp salt

For the Stick:

  • 1 lb beef tenderloins, well trimmed
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 lb. pork tenderloin, well trimmed
  • 1 English cucumber, cut in 3/4 " cubes
  • 6 scallions, cut in 2" pieces
  • 8 oz. firm tofu

For Service:

  • 3 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili pasta
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • 1/2 napa cabbage, sliced thin
  • 1/2 lb. baby spinach
  • And in case of dumb kitchen accidents, a phone book to look up the number for 911


1. Try to Make the Soup: Peel and devein the shrimp. Arrange on a platter, cover and refrigerate. Combine shrimp shells with the chicken backs, ginger, peppercorns, scallions, garlic and mushrooms in a large, heavy pot. Cover with cold water and bring to a rapid boil over high heat.

2. Skim the surface to remove any scum that floats to the top. Partially cover the pot, reduce heat and cook at a low simmer for at least an hour, preferably two. Strain through a fine strainer into a large bowl, skim off any fat that rises to the top , salt to taste and set aside. (important, avoid submerging head or extremities in the broth until it has cooled)

3. Try Not to Hurt Yourself: Slice the beef, pork and chicken across the grain as thinly as possible and arrange on a platter. (When slicing the meats, may we suggest a knife?)

4. In a small bowl, mix together the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili pasta and white vinegar. Toss together the Napa cabbage and spinach in a medium serving bowl.

5. Try to Serve Dinner: Place an electric skillet or wok in the center of the table and bring the broth to a simmer. arrange the uncooked foods around the simmering broth and ask the dumbest person present to please come forward. (If everyone steps forward, pick the person with the cleanest hands). Explain slowly and clearly that they have the great honor of preparing the soup for everyone and that you're genuinely sorry they won't have the time to eat .

6. Have Mr. Lucky begin preparing the skewers by alternating the tofu, cucumber, scallions and little rolled-up slices of meat on each skewer. (Draw a simple diagram if necessary).

7. Submerge the skewers in the simmering broth just long enough to cook the meat, about 2 minutes. Using a fork, push the cooked meat and vegetables off the skewers and into soup bowls. Put a handful of Napa cabbage and spinach in each bowl, top with a ladle full of hot broth and a dollop of chili-soy sauce.

8. Dumb Observation: You don't have to be the sharpest tool in the shed to make a darn good soup-on-a-stick.

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