Half the fun of doing this blog is the research I do about the various dishes, so I can give you all a little bit of extra info in the posts. Even after so many years of cooking and eating, I’m still amazed at the new things I learn. Of course, most of it comes from wikipedia, so it may be complete BS, but what the hell, most of it sounds like it could be right. Today’s clip is a wonderfully easy wonton soup. So, I thought I better find out what exactly a “wonton” is and where the term came from. I found two translations, and boy, are they different!
The term "wonton" is mostly commonly translated as meaning "irregularly shaped pasta." But, the second translation I found is apparently from a popular Cantonese homonym that literally means "swallowing clouds." So, if given the choice between eating "irregularly shaped pasta," or "swallowing clouds," I’m going with the clouds every time!
When making wonton soup there are two basic approaches; make highly-seasoned, full-flavored wontons and cook them in a fairly plain broth, or make a more plain, subtlety flavored wonton and cook it in a highly-seasoned, full-flavored broth. You know we have to consider that old Yin Yang balance thing. My method, as seen in this clip, is closer to the first style. This is also a great soup to clean out the veggie drawers in the fridge, as almost any thinly sliced vegetables would work in this soup.
As you’ll see, the broth part of this dish is really simple, the pork filling is also extremely easy, but what scares the average cook away from trying this dish is the folding of the wontons. I have you covered! Not only do I show you how to do the basic fold in my clip, but below the ingredient list I’ve also added another clip, of another cook demonstrating three different wonton folds (and as much as I hate to admit it, he does a much better job!). So, after watching my clip, check out his clip also (he even uses a baseball analogy). Enjoy!
For the Wontons:
1 pound ground pork
3 minced green onions
3 cloves crushed garlic
1 1/2 tbl fresh grated ginger or puree
1 tbl soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbl dry sherry wine
1 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp sesame oil
square wonton wrappers
For the broth
1 1/2 quarts chicken stock or broth
4 oz sliced fresh shiitake mushrooms
sliced bok choy (or any other veggies!)
green onion tops to garnish
Note: according to your taste, you can add more ginger, onion, soy, hot pepper, cilantro, lime, lemongrass, etc. to customize this broth. I went with a very basic broth for the purposes of this demo.
Extra Special Bonus Wonton Folding Demo (thanks to Chris aka cmtoy on YT)