Wonton Soup

Wonton SoupLight, pillowy dumplings in a simple Asian-style broth are the key to a successful Wonton Soup.

With a number of translations and derivations, the wonton is a staple of Chinese cuisine. In essence, it is a dumpling consisting of a light pasta wrapper containing a flavorful filling of mixed meat and vegetables, and can be prepared and served any number of ways from hors d’oeurves to a more elaborate dim sum course.

Traditionally, the wonton filling is pork or a blend of pork and shrimp, although any protein may be used as well as meatless varieties. The intent is to keep the mixture as light as possible—minced or ground meats—so that the dumpling cooks easily and quickly in a boiling bath or steamer.

Aside from the choice of fillings, seasoning is also kept simple and basic no matter the preparation (usually in anticipation of a pungent dipping sauce). For dim sum or appetizers, the wonton can be more substantial; but used in a soup application, the wonton should remain light and never heavy, tough or chewy.

As specified, the recipe should make about 60 wontons (once opened, might as well prep an entire package of wonton wrappers all at once). Only a couple dozen are used to prepare this soup as specified, but the remainder store perfectly and can be used straight from the freezer for a quick and convenient meal at any time.

Other than the wontons, this soup may be customized for taste and flavor with any number of variations. Six wontons is a customary serving, and additional vegetables or noodles are optional but can lend a nice textural contrast.

Garnish with nothing more than chopped scallions and a spoonful of sambal oelek, if desired.

Wonton Soup

6 c chicken stock
18-24 prepared wontons
2 baby bok choy
1-in. piece of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 t soy sauce
1 t Shaoxing wine
½ t sesame oil

For the wontons:
1 pkg wonton wrappers
1 lb ground pork
2 scallions
1-in. piece of ginger
1 clove of garlic
1 T soy sauce
1 t sesame oil
1 T Shaoxing wine
white pepper

1 Finely chop the scallions, and mince the garlic and ginger. Combine all wonton ingredients into a uniform mixture.

2 Fill each wonton wrapper with about 1 t of the pork mixture. Moisten the edges with a little water, then fold and seal, making sure to push out as much air as possible.

3 Bring the stock to a boil, then reduce the heat to a low simmer. Add the ginger, garlic and seasonings, and simmer, covered, for at least 15 min. Discard the ginger and garlic.

4 Bring a separate pot of water to a boil. Add the wontons and boil for 1-2 min (done when they rise to the surface), then transfer to the broth.

5 Roughly tear or chop the bok choy. Blanch for 1 min, then also transfer to the broth.


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