In the six months I lived in China, I didn’t eat a single spring roll or wonton. I spent most of my time in the far north east of the country, and then travelled to the south west and back again through the nation’s centre. Most of the ‘Chinese’ food we get in Australia is from the south east. I ate the most incredible food while I was in China, but it wasn’t till I returned to Australia, and after several years, braved Australian ‘Chinese’ food, that I discovered ‘short soup’ as opposed to ‘long soup’ (soup with noodles). I could have written a book about the different noodles in China, which almost always came in soup in the places I visited. Indeed, I’d have loved to write such a book. None the less, a bit of tradition began in our house with wonton soup. I make a range of different wontons. In this recipe I use pork mince and water chestnuts that add a delicious crunch to the wontons. It’s a very simple recipe for anyone to make, with readily available ingredients. I make up enough wontons to use a small tray of mince and then carefully lay them out in a zip lock bag, freezing them till removing as many as I need at a later date.
Serves 2 (with loads of leftover wontons for the freezer)
For the wontons
|1/4||cup||water chestnuts (from a can), diced|
|1||teaspoon||ginger, finely chopped|
|1||teaspoon||Garlic, finely chopped|
For the soup
|2||bok choi or similar Asian green vegetable|
To make the wontons: combine the mince, water chestnuts, ginger, garlic, sesame oil and soy sauce. Mix thoroughly. Place approximately one teaspoon of the filling into the centre of a wonton wrapper. Gather up the edges of the wonton wrapper and pinch around the top of the filling to seal. Repeat till all the filling is used. Lay any additional wontons out in a large ziplock bag, ensuring they do not touch. Freeze in a flat part of the freezer until solid.
To make the soup: place the chicken stock, carrot, ginger and garlic in a saucepan. Bring to the boil until the carrot is cooked. Meanwhile, cut the bok choi into quarters and divide between serving bowls. Slice the spring onion on the diagonal and divide between the serving bowls. Remove the garlic and ginger from the stock and discard. Pour the boiling hot stock over the vegetables in the serving bowls (this will cook the greens). Place the wontons in a pot of rapidly boiling water, and cook until they rise to the surface. Place six wontons in each of the serving bowls. Drop a tiny amount of sesame oil in each soup bowl and serve immediately.