Chinese Wonton Soup Recipe
I dream of this Chinese Wonton Soup recipe almost every week. This addictive soup is simple to make and very rewarding. These tasty little dumplings are believed to have been introduced to the West by early Chinatown settlers from Canton, Southern China. Wonton literally means “swallowing clouds” in Chinese. You can make the wontons ahead of time and freeze them on a baking sheet. Make the broth a head of time and freeze it also for the wonton soup or other nourishing meals.
1 small whole chicken with giblets
2 quarts water plus 1/2 cup
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
4-inch long piece of ginger, peeled and smashed
1 lb. Onions, quartered
6 celery sticks, cut into thirds
24 small dried black mushrooms, wood ear, shiitake, or other
3 carrots, cut in half and thirds
1 pod of garlic whole
3 black peppercorns
Shells from the shrimp (wonton filling)
Clean the chicken inside and out. Pour water into a large pot. Add the salt and stir. Add the ginger, peppercorns, onions, celery, mushrooms, shrimp shells, and carrots. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the vegetables, add the giblets, cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat and place the lid ajar on top of the pot. Allow it to come to a gentle boil for 30 minutes. Then turn the chicken over and cook for an additional 45 minutes longer. Turn the heat off and allow it to cool for 20 minutes.
Once the liquid has cooled slightly remove the chicken from the broth and reserve. Drain the remaining broth with a fine mesh stainer and discard the solids. Place the liquid back into the cooking pot and keep hot until ready to use.
12 ounces ground pork
6 ounces shrimp, shells removed and deveined. (shells use in wonton broth)
5 scallions, finely sliced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
3 water chestnuts, finely sliced
2 teaspoons white rice wine
1 teaspoon ginger, finely grated
1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Pinch of white pepper
1 large egg
40 wonton wrappers
Cornstarch for dusting
2 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon peanut oil
4 teaspoon sesame oil
4 small bok choy, blanched until tender
4 Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
Place all the ingredients into a large bowl. Using chop sticks or a wooden spoon, mix the ingredients together, stirring in them in one direction. Stirring this way ensures that the mixture will be cohesive. Cover and refrigerate for 3 hours or longer. The longer the filling refrigerates the firmer the filling will be, making it easier to work with.
Dust a baking sheet with the cornstarch. Have a small bowl filled with water for your hands. Place the wonton sheets on the work surface, covered with a damp towel.
Hold a wrapper in one hand and place 1 tablespoon of the filling in its center. Dip a blunt butter knife into the water and dampen the edges of the wrapper. Fold the wrapper in half, creating a rectangular envelope shape. Crip the edges of the wrapper together with a forefinger and thumb. Dampen on corner of the fold bottom edge of the wrapper, and gently pull the side ends together, overlapping the wet corner slightly with its opposite dry one. Press them together to adhere creating a bowline shape. The folded wontons will somewhat resemble an Italian tortellini. Repeat until all the wrappers are filled. As you are filling place them on the prepared dusted baking sheet.
In a large pot, bring water, salt and peanut oil to a boil over high heat. Add the wontons to the pot and allow the water return to a boil. Cook for 5-7 minutes, or until the wontons float to the top and their skins turn translucent. Turn off the heat and remove the wontons with a strainer. Transfer them to a bowl and drizzle the 2 tablespoons of sesame oil over them, mix well so they don’t stick together.
Once all the wontons are cooked and you are ready to make the soup. Place the desired amount of wontons in each bowl, add the scallions, cooked bok choy and sliced mushrooms and pour the broth over everything. Now you're ready to serve the soup. Make sure you add enough broth so the wontons are floating in the bowl. Drizzle with soy sauce or sesame oil if you’d like for added flavor.