The idea for this dish came to me some time ago. It was inspired by the duck broth I ate at Aria Restaurant in Sydney, with beautiful little parcels of duck in wonton wrappers. Sadly, mine wasn’t as good as that, but it was still incredibly delicious. I make a couple of different types of wontons. I recently posted my pork and water chestnut wontons. I haven’t posted my seafood (snapper and prawn) wontons yet. But these are new for me. While I felt a bit bad making mince of duck, I actually think it was great use of the meat. It gave me the opportunity to use the duck in a new and different way, with new flavours to complement the duck, and new flavours for a wonton soup. It really was delicious. I used a duck breast from one of the Thirlmere birds I buy at the Capital Region Farmers Market and break down for pieces and stock. I didn’t have enough duck stock for the whole recipe, so padded it out with a bit of chicken stock. You could do the same. If you can’t get duck stock at all, you could just use chicken, but I find the duck stock makes a truly remarkable difference.
Serves 2 (with 6 wontons each)
|1||teaspoon||onion, chopped VERY finely|
* I think this is the magic ingredient, but if you can’t come by any porcini powder, you could use Chinsese five spice to add some depth to the duck.
|1 1/2||litres||duck stock*|
|1/4||cup||dried sliced shitake mushrooms|
* Substitute with chicken stock if absolutely necessary
** Replace with cinnamon
*** Replace with black peppercorns
To make wontons, remove the skin from the duck breast. Heat a frying pan. When hot, place the duck skin in the pan, with the outside of the skin touch the pan. Cook till the skin is crisp and golden and most of the fat is rendered. Remove from the pan, coat the underside of the skin with the chopped onion and leave to rest on a chopping board, crisp side up (this will partially cook the onion while the skin cools). Meanwhile, mince the meat from the duck breast in a food processor or the old fashioned way, on a chopping board with a heavy kitchen knife. Add the porcini powder, celery seasoning, ginger and Chinese five spice to the minced duck. Chop the crisped duck skin incredibly finely with a heavy kitchen knife. Add the onion and chopped duck skin to the duck mince and mix to thoroughly combine. Divide the mixture between the 12 wonton wrappers. Using your fingertips, pinch the wonton wrappers closed to seal the filling in, leaving the overhang neatly gathered at the top.
To make the soup, place the duck stock, mushrooms, soy sauce and spices in a saucepan and bring to the boil and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes to infuse. Chop your spring onions (at an angle if they are large, or into 5cm lengths if they are thin). Slice the bok choi in half and divide between serving bowls. Remove the mushrooms from the stock and divide between serving bowls. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the wontons and cook till they rise to the surface. Divide the wontons between the serving bowls. Place the spring onion on top. Strain the stock between the bowls and serve.