Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day Event

Wonton Soup holds a special place in my heart. It's unique, pure, healthy and satisfying. Last week I took out to finally make it myself after contemplating it for weeks. I may have made it once in school but that was with every ingredient on hand, the support of my fellow culinary classmates and a huge kitchen with a dishwasher turning out bowls, utensils and pots quicker than I could say "please."

Making this soup at home is a day event. Something you plan for. What are you doing this Saturday?-Making Wonton Soup. You can take short cuts by using store-bought broth but to do it right you need to take the time. If you're a real planner it would be perfect to shop the night before, get up early and whip it out in the morning. Then it would only be a half-day event.

This soup is truly delicious. I think the extra ingredients that make it a form of War Wonton Soup puts it over the top. Who doesn't love shrimp, right?

I know the ingredients look overwhelming. I promise it's not as bad as it seems once you write out a grocery list and begin shopping. If you feel super overwhelmed and like things more simple, forgo the extra ingredients in the soup and just make the wontons and broth. The wontons are quite delicious on their own.

Loaded Wonton Soup

serves 4-6

1.5 lb. pork ribs
1 lb. chicken wings (most of skin/fat removed)
4 scallions, chopped
1 (2-3 in.) piece of ginger, chopped into big chunks
16 c. water
8 oz. crimini mushrooms
salt and pepper to taste

1/2 pound ground pork (preferably not lean)
1 lg. egg yolk
2 scallions, finely chopped
1 (2 in.) piece ginger, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. soy sauce (I use low sodium)
1 t. rice vinegar
1/2 t. sesame oil
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
30-40 wonton wrappers

finishing soup:
1/2 pound shrimp
1 1/2 lb. bok choy, chopped to your liking
2 heaping handfuls sweet peas
4-8 oz. crimini mushrooms, quartered
cilantro for garnish
chopped scallions for garnish

1. Bring the first five ingredients to a simmer and let cook, uncovered 4 hours or until the meat is falling off the bones. At the halfway mark, throw in the crimini mushrooms and make sure it's not boiling. (if it boils, the ingredients start falling apart, making the broth cloudy)

2. Once finished, strain (discard solids) and cool the broth down as quickly as possible. The best way to do this is by filling a large bowl full of ice water and putting a smaller bowl with broth inside of it, stirring until it comes to room temp. Once room temp, place in the fridge and chill for an hour or two. This will help solidify any fat particles, making them easier to skim before finishing the soup.

3. To make the wontons, mix all ingredients (except wrappers) in a bowl until just incorporated. Spoon teaspoon sized amount into wonton wrapper and wrap it up as shown in the picture provided, using water as the glue. You'll need plastic wrap to make sure the unused wonton wrappers are covered when not being worked with (they dry out easy).

4. Once they're all made you can put them in the fridge, covered, until ready to use.
(if you accidentaly put them in your car to bring to a friends house and they clump up and stick together to make one huge wonton like I accidentally did, put them into the freezer for about 5 minutes. They'll break apart like a charm)

5. To finish the soup, bring the broth to a simmer and put the bok choy in for about 2 minutes before placing the wontons, shrimp, mushrooms, sweet peas, salt and pepper in. Let simmer until wontons are cooked through and shrimp is finished.

6. Top with whole cilantro leaves and chopped scallions.

*Recipe adapted from 'Wonton Soup with Bok Choy',, Gourmet-2004

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