Chinese Takeout: Homemade Cantonese Wonton Dumpling Soup

I was curled up in my chair thinking quietly to myself. Not moments before, my daughter had asked the question every parent hears on a daily basis, “Mom, what’s for dinner?”. To be honest, I wasn’t sure. It was the end of the week and usually that means something fast. But last night I wanted something warm, light, fresh, and flavorful. So I picked up the “Sweet Mandarin” cookbook and began browsing for ideas. Sweet Mandarin is a restaurant in Manchester, U.K. that was voted best by Chef Gordon RamsayΒ on his TV show, “The F Word”. But what I love about this cookbook so much, is their ability to take Chinese recipes and cater them to the home cook. In other words, this Chinese cookbook is very noob-friendly.

It was chilly last night, and I was about to watch the 1975 version of “Jaws”, (a must see classic), when my brain drifted to soup. Delicious, glorious, piping hot wonton soup. I had never made it before. Truthfully I wasn’t exactly sure how those perfectly little cooked dumplings got that way. You know, the soft folds of dough that wrap delicately around the meat filling inside? Well let me state for the record: not only did I make these last night…. but they were amazing! Much to my surprise, wonton dumplings are not steamed– they’re boiled! πŸ™‚ Another very healthy method of cooking, no?

By the time the soup was finished (in 20 minutes flat!) it was all I could do to snap a picture for you all and dive head first into my bowl. The broth is so flavorful, with a hint of soy sauce and sugar. The dumplings are tender and moist. And with a few tricks to speed this dish up, you can now enjoy this favorite Chinese soup on any night of the week. So enjoy this awesome recipe everyone and let’s get cooking together! πŸ™‚

Homemade Cantonese Wonton Dumpling Soup
Homemade Cantonese Wonton Dumpling Soup

Homemade Cantonese Wonton Dumpling Soup

Courtesy of: “Sweet Mandarin” cookbook

Yields: 2 generous servings

Ingredients:

For Wonton Dough:

(Note: You can also use round, pre-made wonton wrappers to make this step go much faster. Or use square and cut out a circle using a biscuit cutter!)

  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 5 eggs (1 whole egg, and 4 egg yolks)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon salt

For the Filling:

  • 1/4 lb. ground pork
  • 1/4 lb. raw, peeled large shrimp, deveined and coarsely chopped (Note: pulse in a food processor to save time)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon potato starch (or substitute with: 1 tablespoon cornstarch & 4 tablespoons water, mixed)
  • 2 tablespoons water

For the Soup:Β 

  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 3/4 cup Napa cabbage, chopped into bite-sized pieces (Note: You can use a prepared shredded cabbage bag to speed things up)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 drop dark soy sauce
  • 1 drop sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon finely sliced scallions

Instructions:Β 

1. If you’re making the dough from scratch, place all of the dough ingredients into a food processor and process into a firm dough. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and use a 2 inch drinking glass, or biscuit cutter, to cut 14 circles. Place the wonton wrappers onto a plate and cover with a damp cloth until ready to use.

2. Then make your filling: Pulse the shrimp in a small food processor until just finely chopped up, then add it to a mixing bowl along with the rest of the filling ingredients. Mix to combine well.

3. Get a pot going on the stove with the chicken stock, salt, sugar, white pepper, soy sauce, and sesame oil.

4. Meanwhile get a large sauce pan and fill it with water to boil your wontons. While you’re waiting for the water to heat, begin filling and sealing your dumplings. Use 1 teaspoon (very important!) of filling per wrapper. Wet your finger with a tiny dab of water and trace the diameter of the circle, to fold over and then seal it shut pressing the ends together. Continue filling and sealing your dumplings until all 14 are ready to go.

5. Once your wontons are filled it’s time to cook! At the same time, place your wontons in the boiling water, and your shredded cabbage into the pot of soup. Set the timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes of boiling your soup will be ready and your dumplings will be cooked! Use a slotted spoon to place the dumplings into soup bowls and ladle the cabbage and soup broth on top. Garnish with sliced scallions, serve hot, and enjoy! πŸ™‚

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