Won Ton Soup by Larry Andersen

Won Ton

Soup

If you go out to eat Chinese and you order from the numbered meal menu, then you will have won ton soup. It is traditional! It will be served in the small bowl with the unique ladle-spoon. Thats just the way it is. Thats not to say that won ton soup is bad. In fact it is very good. It certainly is good enough that you can order won ton soup ala carte. That bowl, of course, will be larger and have a lot more won tons that the bowl of appetizer soup. If you are any where near Chinatown near lunch time, stop in and have a bowl of won ton soup. The tradition of appetizer wonton soup also includes the appearance of the dish. The bowl of rich broth, 2 or 3 won tons, 2 or 3 slices of mushroom, a piece of the green leaf and a light sprinkle of sliced scallions on top. A balance of broth, dumplings and garnishes. Pretty as a picture.

Preparation: 1 hour Life Experience Recipe
Makes about 3 dozen won ton
Ingredients:
  • pound finely ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry
  • 2 teaspoons sesame oil
  • 3 dozen won ton wrappers
  • Dark green leaves, spinach or bok choy,torn
  • 1 small carrot, thin diagonal slices
  • Rich chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup minced onions
  • teaspoon ground ginger
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • Cornstarch slurry
  • 2 egg whites, slightly beaten
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Scallions, sliced, for garnish
Procedure
  1. Won tons made with raw filling require special cooking. Cold water is added to the boiling water to slow the cooking of the wrapper while the filling continues to cook. I prefer to make them with cooked filling so that the 2 or 3 minutes heating of the won ton in the broth also cooks the wrapper.
  2. In a wok or large frying pan, cook ground pork over medium heat, stirring frequently to break into very small pieces. While pork is still slightly pink, add onions and continue cooking until pork is browned and onions are soft. Add sesame oil and ginger. Stir to mix well. Season to taste with pepper.
  3. Make a slurry of 1 tablespoon cornstarch in soy sauce, sherry and 2 tablespoons of water or chicken broth.. Add to meat mixture. Cook and stir until mixture has thickened. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Spoon meat mixture onto cookie sheet. Leave any free juice not absorbed into the cornstarch sauce behind. To help me visualize proportions, I divide the meat mixture into 4 equal parts. From each part I know I will make nine won tons - it helps me adjust the amount of filling for each won ton, about a place setting teaspoon full.
  5. Won ton wrappers are thin, fragile dough squares. They dry quickly so you may have to keep stock under a slightly damp towel. Won ton wrappers will fall apart if the filling is wet. Put a small block under the end of the cookie sheet with the meat mixture so free liquid will run away from the mixture.
  6. In a small bowl, slightly beat egg whites to breakup long strands.

  7. Lay a won ton square in front of you on dry counter. Turn so it looks like a diamond. Use a pastry brush to paint a 1/4-inch stripe of egg white around the edge of the diamond. Place a spoon of the meat mixture slightly above the center of the dough. Pull the bottom corner over the mixture and mate it with the top corner. With the fingers, seal the edges and corners securely. Brush a little egg white on the diagonal corners. Fold diagonal corners over to make a ring and press the corners together.
  8. For each bowl of won ton appetizer soup, put 1 cup of rich chicken broth in a pan. Add 2 or 3 slices each of mushroom and carrot for each bowl. Heat to a boil. Add 2 or 3 won tons and 1 piece of torn spinach leaf for each bowl. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes. Ladle into bowls, sprinkle with a few sliced scallions and serve.

Note: The recipe calls for ground pork but all or part of the meat may be replaced with a like amount of finely ground or chopped beef, chicken, shrimp, crab or other seafood or even left-over turkey. I garnish with sliced scallions but a bit of cooked, shredded pork, ham or chicken makes a nice accent to the dish.

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Latest revision done March 2017
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