Winter season. The time of joy, family, friends, snow (if you live in a blistery state), Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, baking, lights, vacation and...... the time of COLDS!
I suffered from the sniffles two weeks ago. It started out with sneezing and itchy eyes. I attempted to convince myself for days that it was allergies. But let’s be honest with ourselves.... where is the pollen? Under the snow? A few days later I had a full blown head cold.
We all can relate to that, down in the dumps, hoping to get better before our vacation time. That is when the voice of our mom pops up... and what does mother always say “have some chicken noodle soup.”
I’ll be honest, I love good old fashioned chicken noodle soup, but really, it gets boring after awhile. So stuck at home I looked for another option while mindlessly surfing the web with my friend, Mr. Kleenex.
I pushed away “American” chicken noodle soup completely and went “Asian”... Wonton Soup!
A few thoughts before the instructable. I would make a LARGE batch of these wantons and then freeze them. Sadly you probably won’t have only one cold this winter, or your friends or family might get sick or if you want a quick meal you just heat up chicken broth and throw some of these in. :)
Also, I added bacon to my wonton soup (see picture, the floating orange things), inspired by a local restaurant... but I wouldn’t recommend it (maybe you could try using chinese pork tenderloin instead, just like the restaurants).
And...... Now that I think about it, the cooked wontons look like zombie brains. So... you could potentially die the broth red with a little food coloring and make yourself some perfect halloween party zombie brain soup!
Step 1: Materials
+Hickory Smoked Bacon (Again... I wasn't impressed, go for Chinese Pork Tenderloin cut into long thin strips)
Step 2: Wonton Innards
For the inside of the wantons:
1 lb. ground pork (or you can get creative with this. You can use 1/2 lb. of pulverized shrimp (food processor) and 1/2 lb. of pork, but my family doesn’t like shrimp, so we went with pork, you could probably use tofu as well)
1/4 cup minced green onions
2 Tbs. soy sauce
1 Tbs. dry sherry
2 tsp. Asian sesame oil
1 tsp. minced ginger root
2 tsp of salt
In a bowl combine the pork, salt and green onions. Then in a separate bowl you combine the liquids, just like baking! So, combine the egg, soy sauce, dry sherry, sesame oil, and ginger root. After that is whisked together well pour it into the pork concoction and combine all those wonderful flavors together.
If you don’t like any of these flavors, just take out the culprit. It will still taste good. How can you go wrong with soy sauce anyway? Oh, and maybe a little garlic would be a nice touch. I didn’t add any, but feel like it would have done nicely.
Step 3: Making Wontons
1 package of wonton wrappers
Carefully take one wonton wrapper off the stack. BE careful. These guys can rip, and you really don’t want your pork falling out all over the place. It destroys the presentation. I used about a teaspoon to a teaspoon and a half of pork meat per wonton. I initially overfilled it, and made quite the mess. You end up stretching the wontron wrapper to make it fit the meat, and then it tears, and as you try to fix the tear the meat falls out and then....get the picture?
Fold the wontons like the picture. Wetting the edges helps them stick a little bit better.
Freeze the ones you won’t use now.
Step 4: Broth and Wonton Cooking
8 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (soy sauce, chicken broth, salt.... lethal in terms of sodium intake.)
Some fresh ginger (don’t go overboard with this)
Bok-Choy (Just enough to make you happy. You can also substitute cabbage or spinach instead of you would like. Oh, and wash your bok choy please :) No need to make yourself even more sick)
Green onions (good flavor, and a lot of chinese restaurants have this in their wonton soup, so I went with it!)
Start simmering all those things together. (This is where I put in the bacon...I am not responsible for the outcome of that if you do so...)
Then, on a separate stove start heating up some water (you can add green onions here to to enhance the flavor). This is to cook the wontons. You don’t have to boil the wontons in a separate water than the broth. But, doing it in separate water allows the broth to stay clear and not murky. That way your result looks a lot like a chinese restaurant, and a beautiful presentation worthy of iron chef praise.
Once the water starts simmering, add your wontons. The simmer will disappear, but as soon as it nears boiling, add more cold water, or turn down the heat. You really want to avoid boiling your wontons... or else they will explode! Tender, loving, simmering, care. Keep that in mind. They should cook in about 5 minutes. But you can spare one and take it out and cut it open to ensure that it is cooked. Also, if you are reheating them after you froze them, they will take longer, unless you thaw them first.
Use a nifty strainer to take out the wontons. Your broth should be done. Pour the broth into bowls, and then add your wontons! Serve immediately! You do not want soggy over cooked wontons.
Step 5: Delish!
Enjoy! A great alternative to chicken noodle soup. And hey... if you have the flu, then you'll need a soup of the day for awhile, and you can't make chicken noodle soup, the soup of everyday!
Also, in this picture you really can see the similarity in the wonton to a zombie brain... just imagine it in red broth! With dry ice around it.... that would be such a spectacle. :-D