Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Wonton Soup


Wonton soup is a comfort any time of year, whether you're battling a winter's cold, or braving a summer thunderstorm, it's delicious and simple. Wontons are simple enough to make using store-bought wrappers.


My 1-pound package of 3 1/4-inch wonton wrappers had about 82 skins (this can differ based on thickness of dough). I used some for siu mai and some for these wontons and then froze the remainder for another occasion.


These wontons are filled with pork, but I've seen recipes that use shrimp or even a combination of pork and shrimp. I kept these very basic with some ginger, scallions, and seasonings, and yielded about 18 plump wontons, but you can get more if you fill yours a bit more frugally.


The broth itself is also very easy to make. I used homemade chicken stock, but any good broth works since you're enhancing it with ginger and garlic. I also added some sliced mushrooms and bamboo shoots (I had some leftover from an opened can), but you can play around with the mix-ins as you like.


If you aren't in a soupy mood, you can also simply make the wontons, boil and sauce them, or you can easily fry them up as well. They are very versatile. Enjoy!


Wonton Soup
4 servings

Wontons:
6 ounces ground pork
3 tablespoons chopped scallions, Chinese chives, or a combination
3 tablespoons chicken stock
1 1/2 teaspoons light (regular) soy sauce
1 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon Shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry
1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
Ground white or black pepper
About 18 to 20 wonton wrappers

Soup:
2 quarts chicken stock
2 to 3 (1/4-inch-thick) slices ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
Kosher salt
4 ounces sliced mushrooms (any kind you like)
1/4 cup canned bamboo shoot strips, drained and rinsed (optional)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Homemade chili oil or sesame oil, for garnish (optional)

To make the wontons: in a medium mixing bowl, combine the pork, scallions, chicken stock, soy sauce, ginger, wine, sesame oil, and pepper. Stir until the mixture is well-combined.

Fill a small bowl with cold water. Take a wonton wrapper and lay it on your work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of pork filling into the center. Wet your finger and run it around the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper diagonally in half, pressing gently to make sure there is no air trapped inside. Either leave the wonton as is (triangle) or wet one of the folded corners and then bring the other folded corner together, pressing them together to make a pointy tortellini-looking shape.

The wontons can be covered and refrigerated at this point or frozen in a single layer and then transferred to a freezer bag for up to 2 months.

To make the soup: Add the chicken stock to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the ginger and garlic, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes to infuse the ginger flavor into the stock. Remove the ginger pieces, and adjust the seasoning with salt if needed.

Add the mushrooms and bamboo shoots, if using. Bring the stock back up to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the wontons and cook until they float to the surface and the filling feels firm and cooked through. Use a slotted spoon or spider to strain out the cooked wontons and distribute them to individual bowls. Then ladle the soup over the wontons in each bowl. Garnish with scallions and chili or sesame oil, if desired.

*Variation* Alternatively, boil and drain wontons and then top with the sauce from the Sichuan Crescent Dumplings recipe and garnish with scallions (optional) for a delicious Sichuanese boiled wonton dish as opposed to a soup. You'll get about two servings instead of four if you decide to boil them instead of making soup. See photo below :-D




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