"The platter was heaped with small, ordinary-looking pebbles in varying shades of grey and green, and the bowl contained clear water which sparkled in the light of the lamp oil. "
Jade Dumplings
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeJade Dumplings - Credit: Pornchai Mittongtare

This represents 'Jade Dumplings'.

Although the 'dumplings' used by the old man were not real dumplings, or even edible for that matter, the dish is a popular one. The recipe consists of soy sauce, sesame oil, green onion, and rice vinegar for the sauce; and ginger, garlic, asparagus, whole water chestnuts, sesame oil, green onion, soy sauce, and salt for the dumplings.