This is my perfect comfort food. Wontons in light broth are a warm blanket on a blizzardy cold day, and lately I’ve taken to eating them for second breakfast (my first breakfast is caffeine. lots & always).
Wontons are time consuming and they aren’t, because it’s all in the mind, baby. I haven’t whipped up a batch in over a year and I’m perplexed why – all you do is mix some chopped shrimp and ground meat, and stuff those in ready-made wrappers. This is probably the easiest thing I made in a while.
Wonton soup is Chinese, but typically to Canadian mishmash, I tried it for the first time in a Vietnamese restaurant. This recipe follows along the same idea.
I made a very Vietnamese-like broth, flavoring it with fish sauce and Pho spices – fennel, star anise, coriander and cinnamon. I skipped serving noodles (the wontons are nooodly enough), and garnished the top with just a smidgen of spring onions. You can go all out and steam veggies – feel free to add some steamed broccoli, carrots, cabbage, or water chestnuts.
Holding slippery wonton and taking picture = hard. And they so remind me of those things from the Matrix.
You can keep ready wontons in the fridge for up to a day before cooking, just make sure that you store them on a parchment lined plate, without them touching, and cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Note: if you prefer a Chinese version of wonton soup, skip the spices in the broth and add a few drops of sesame oil for garnish instead.
Serves 4 – 6 – use what you need, and freeze the rest, including any unused wonton wrappers, which you should keep in its block, wrap in plastic , and store in a freezer bag. Arrange the finished wontons on a parchment lined cookie sheet making sure they don’t touch and put in the freezer for a few hours. Transfer to freezer bags.
- 1 package of wonton wrappers + bowl of water for sealing
- 1/2 lb (225g) medium prawns (shelled, deveined, dried with paper towers, and finely chopped)
- 1/2 lb (225g) ground pork, or ground turkey thigh
- 1 tbs finely chopped shallots
- ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
- 2 green onion stalks, thinly sliced
- 1 tsp fish sauce
- 1 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp rice wine
- Soup Broth
- 6 cups chicken broth, preferably homemade
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 tbs fennel
- 1 tbs coriander seeds
- 1 tbs aniseed (or substitute 1 star anise)
- 1 star anise
- 2-3 tbs fish sauce (check the taste and adjust)
- 1 tsp white sugar (check the taste and adjust)
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- small handful of thinly sliced spring onion (green and white parts)
- optional: steamed vegetables - broccoli, carrot, cabbage
- hot chili sauce on the side
- Mix all filling ingredients together. Place a few wonton wrappers on a flat surface. Cover remaining wrappers with a damp kitchen towel to keep them pliable. Place 1 tsp filling at the center of each laid out wrapper. Working one by one, moisten all 4 edges of a wonton wrapper with water, then pull the top corner down to the bottom, folding the wrapper over the filling to make a triangle. Press edges to make a seal. Bring left and right corners together above the filling and seal to make a pouch. Place the filled wonton slightly apart on a plate or a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and drop in the wontons - don't overcrowd. Immediately stir with a chopstick so they don't get stuck to the bottom. Cook the wontons in batches until they float to the surface, 3 to 4 minutes. Place in serving bowls and ladle in the hot broth.
- Soup Broth
- Bring the chicken broth to the boil and drop in the cinnamon stick. Place the fennel, coriander, aniseed and star anise in a cheesecloth, tie into a ball, and drop into the broth. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 mins. Discard the cinnamon and spice pouch.
- Add the fish sauce and sugar and check the taste. Adjust to your liking.
- Serve garnished with cilantro, green onions and a serving of steamed vegetables. Include a small bowl of hot chili sauce.