This weather is perfect soup making weather. My favorite soup to make lately is Wonton Soup....it's better than anything you'll get at any Chinese food delivery, or at least I think so. This soup is going to take a couple of hours to make but there are plenty of left-overs, probably making enough for 7-8 people or freezes up nicely for future meals. Since I know some people may have some problem getting some of the ingredients, I provided alternatives.
3 bunches green onions/scallions
4-inch piece of ginger root
8 cloves of garlic
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 tbl Shao Xing (Chinese) Cooking Wine or dry sherry cooking wine
2 tbl Chicken Base + 6 qts water OR 48 oz Chicken Broth + 4 qts water
2 lbs ground pork
1/2 lb boneless pork chop
1 bunch of chives or 1 cup if sliced napa cabbage
1 lb of box choy or napa cabbage (optional)
1 teasp Sesame oil
1 tbl oyster sauce
1/2 teas of cracked black pepper
large pinch of kosher salt
One package of wonton wrapper
I do all my chopping first, & placing them into small bowls, you will need to:
- mince 4 cloves garlic (wonton filling), leaving 4 peeled whole cloves (broth)
- rather than peeling ginger I cut off sides of ginger using them for the broth, leaving a skinless rectangular piece of ginger from the center of the root, I mince this piece of ginger making ~approximately 1/4 cup minced ginger for the filling
- Cut one bunch of green onion into 3-inch sections, with the other two bunches, cut off ends from green onion (saving them for broth), thinly slice green onion forming ~approximately 1 cup of little green rings
- Peel skin off of yellow onion, slice in half
Cut up pork chops into thin strips, approximately 1/8" wide, 2" long, leaving fat trimming to side momentarily.
Place the fat trimming in your stockpan on medium heat, cook fat down slightly this will add a little flavor to pan and create a little grease, then add pork strips, toss slightly for about 2-3 minutes (pork should not be cooked completely), remove pork strips, put aside.
Begin broth by adding chicken broth & water (well I use chicken base, since it's easier to have on hand than gallons of chicken broth) in the stockpot you used to cook the pork strips with washing the pot (those tasty pork bits cook to the bottom of the pan will make for a delicious soup.
The broth should taste like a diluted (weak) chicken broth. Add in the whole garlic cloves, yellow onion, inger scraps & the green onion. Bring broth to boil. Add in Chinese cooking wine. Now lower broth to a simmer for about 1-1.5 hrs, stirring occasionally. Season with black pepper & salt to taste.
While broth is cooking, prepare Wonton filling by combining ground pork (which can be purchased by asking the butcher at a grocery store to grind a piece of pork shoulder), egg, Sesame oil, osyter sauce, black pepper, salt, and chives or napa cabbage (or both).
I like to use my hands to mix the filling even though a spoon would probably be sufficient.
Now prepare your workstation for folding your dumplings:
You will need a large plate to for finished dumplings, a cup of warm water, and a working surface like a cutting board.
Now take a wonton wrapper (can be purchase at most grocery stores in the produce section) and place about half a tablespoon of filling in the center of the wrapper.
Wonton Step 1
Use warm water to moisten all four sides of the wrapper, fold wrapper in half forming a triangle, be sure to remove any air within the wrapper & filling.
Wonton Step 2
Moisten the two long corner of the triangle with the warm warm, now pull the two corners together, pressing them to seal them. (it helps to push the center slightly to get the two corners together)
Wonton Step 3
Before long, you'll have several dumpling ready to cook!
Once you have started to make two or three dozen dumplings, you can start cooking them. To cook them, in a large sauce, bring ~about 4 cups of water to a boil, place about 6-8 dumpling for 8 minutes, (during this time I continue to fold more dumplings, remove all the broth vegetables from the broth & put pork slices into the broth), when the dumplings are finished they will float, place them into broth, continue to cook & fold all the dumplings until you run out of either Wonton wrapper or filling.
About 5 minutes before serving the soup, I like to add in additional vegetables (boy choy or napa cabbage) using heat to slightly wilt them.
Serve 5-6 dumplings with each bowl & garnish with the sliced green onions.