Wonton is a delicious light meal for any time of the year. Soft flavoursome parcels of prawn and pork in a light chicken broth! What’s not to love about that? I have to admit, I was (and am still not) confident to share my wonton with anyone with a family history of eating wonton. It seems that every family has their own recipe and insist that anything else is just not the real deal. I’m happy to admit that I am not a connoisseur of wonton, but I know what I like. And I really like these!
Making wonton from scratch is a little time consuming, there’s the soup stock and then there’s folding all those little parcels (and I would definitely recommend using store-bought wrappers!). You could also easily use a store-bought chicken stock, but this is easy to make and makes a lovely, clear, fresh soup for the wontons. As for all that folding – I find it quite relaxing and if you can enlist a bit of help from the kids, then it can be quite fun.
Modified from Charmaine Soloman’s Oriental Collection
Chicken stock (Short soup) – makes about 1.5 L
- 1.4 kg chicken frame (skeleton)
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 5 ginger slices (about 2-3 cm of ginger)
- 1 star anise
- 5 garlic cloves, slightly crushed
- 3 spring onion stalks, cut lengthways
- 3 L cold water
- 4 tablespoons fresh coriander, chopped (for serving)
- Spring onion, finely sliced (for serving)
- Rinse chicken and place in a large soup pot with the rest of the stock ingredients.
- Heat until boiling, then turn down the heat so that it is barely simmering.
- Skim the surface of scum and leave to simmer gently for about 2 hours.
- Pass through a sieve to remove all the bits and as much fat as possible.
- Store in fridge for up to two days, or freeze until needed (chilling will also help to separate extra fat from the soup).
Wonton (makes 35)
- 100 g raw prawns, shelled, deveined and roughly chopped
- 100 g pork mince
- 2 spring onions, finely chopped
- 2 shiitake mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 minutes, then finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon ginger, grated
- 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
- 25 g water chestnut, drained and finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon Chinese wine (or dry sherry)
- A few drops sesame oil
- Add all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine well (but do not blend for too long or the filling will be mushy – texture is good).
- Lay a wonton wrapper on a clean bench and moisten the edges with a finger dipped in water.
- Place a teaspoon of the mixture in the middle of a wonton wrapper and bring the ends together over the diagonal to form a triangle, then press edges together to seal.
- Now moisten the two bottom corners of the triangle and bring these together, slightly overlapping, and press to seal. Place the formed wonton on a clean plate.
- Repeat until all the mixture is used, making sure the prepared wonton are in a single layer (or else they will stick together).
- Heat a large amount of water in a large pot until boiling, lightly salt and add a few drops of oil.
- Drop in the wontons, a few at a time (so they are not too crowded in the pot) and wait until the water returns to the boil, then cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add a cup of cold water and bring to the boil again. Remove the cooked wonton with a slotted spoon to a colander set over the sink and allow to drain, then set aside.
- Repeat with remaining wonton until all are cooked.
- A few drops of oil on the cooked wonton will prevent them sticking together while the remainder are cooking.
- These will stay fresh for several days in the fridge once cooked, or can be frozen (make sure they are stored in a single layer to prevent them sticking together).
- Heat soup to boiling, then reduce to a simmer, before adding cooked wonton.
- Simmer until the wonton are heated through.
- Season with a little salt and pepper (I like a little crushed Szechuan pepper).
- Ladle into serving bowls, stir through chopped coriander and serve with finely sliced spring onion on top.