Sunday, February 18, 2007

Sunday Menu - Wonton Soup

Today as you may know is the start of the Chinese New Year. We will therefore be eating homemade Wonton Soup. This recipe is my grandfather's given to me by my mom. It is not like the wonton soup that is served in Chinese restaurants in the U.S. It is hearty and very tasty.

WONTONS:
1 package (approximately 50 to 80) wonton skins. My mom makes her own but it is labor intense.
1 lb. ground pork
1 egg
Approximately 1/8 cup Soy Sauce (Chinese is preferable but you can use Japanese like Kikkoman)
1 bunch of green onions minced finely (save half for garnish)
Salt and white pepper to taste
MSG is optional. I like the flavor it gives food but many people do not care for it.
Small bowl of water

BROTH:
Chicken backs or any other part of chicken
Beef soup bones
1 onion
3 carrots, peeled. Trim off the tip and the end.
2 celery stalks with leaves
1/2 head of cabbage (optional)
2 fresh ears of corn (optional)
5 cups of water

Place all the broth ingredients in a big soup pot and bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and continue cooking for about an hour and a half. You may want to make the broth the day before so that you can refrigerate and remove the solid fat that will rise to the surface.

WONTONS:
With the exception of the wonton skins, place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
On a clean and dry cutting board or counter, you can work to make your wonton dumplings. Place about 1 rounded teaspoon of meat mixture onto the center of the skin. Dip your finger in the water bowl and out line the edge of the skin with water. (My mom uses soy sauce to do this part. You can if you want). Fold over to make a triangle shape and press to seal. Then bring the two ends together from the back and press. Continue doing this until all of your skins are filled. You can place then on a cookie sheet until they are ready to be boiled.

PREPARING BOWLS FOR WONTON SOUP:
In each individual bowl, season with a pinch of salt, white pepper and MSG (optional), approximately 1 tsp of Soy Sauce and a small amount of the remaing minced green onions.

BOILING THE WONTONS:
Bring a pot of water to a boil and boil approximately 7 wontons per person. As soon as the wontons float, they are done. No need to cook long as they will cook quickly. Remove each batch to the individual bowls. Add approximately 1 cup to 1/2 cups of the hot broth to the bowl and serve immediately.

If you are able to find or make fresh noodles, cook and add this to your bowl of soup also. Do not substitute dry pasta.

This will serve approximately 6 or 7 persons. If you are only serving four, you can freeze the remaining wontons on the cookie sheet and then place them in a freezer bag.

Note: These wontons can also be deep fried or pan fried. Serve with different sauces such as soy sauce, hot sauce, dash of oil and vinegar or hot mustard.

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