I made the full recipe shown below and between the two of us, Mr. Smarmy ate all of it in one day. That’s how awesome it is.
Making the wontons is a little time consuming, but it isn’t difficult. Plus, you’re making a TON.
I used an Emeril recipe as a guide, but put my own spin on it.
Makes 6-8 servings
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons minced ginger
- 9 scallions, chopped
- 10 cups chicken broth (homemade is always better, trust me)
- 1/2 pound ground chicken
- 1 egg
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sambal oelek (or crushed red pepper)
- about 30-40 wonton wrappers
- 1 1/2 cups baby spinach
- 4 oz sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 small can or package sliced bamboo shoots
- salt and pepper to taste
- In a large saucepan or soup pot heat the oil over medium high heat until hot. Add garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove half of the garlic/ginger mixture and set aside. Add 3 of the sliced scallions and the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Remove the woody stems of the shiitake mushrooms and add them to the stock. Reduce heat to medium low so that the broth just simmers. Allow broth to simmer for at least 20 to 30 minutes while the wontons are being assembled.
- In a mixing bowl combine the sauteed garlic and ginger that was set aside from the pot, 3 of the scallions finely chopped, 3 shiitake mushrooms finely chopped, the chicken, egg yolk, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil and sambal. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix until thoroughly combined.
- Working on a flat work surface, lay out a few of the wontons. (Keep remaining wonton wrappers covered with plastic wrap or a moist paper towel.) Fill a small bowl partially with cool water and set aside. Using a teaspoon measure, place a heaping teaspoonful of the meat filling in the center of each wonton. Using your fingers, lightly wet the edges of the wonton. Bring 2 opposite corners of the wonton together to form a triangle and enclose the filling, pressing edges firmly around the mound of filling to eliminate any air pockets and seal. Moisten opposite corners of the long side. Curl moistened corners toward each other, overlapping one on top of the other, and press the edges together to seal. You should now have a rounded stuffed wonton with a triangle poking up at the top. Assemble the remaining wontons in the same manner. When the wontons are all assembled, set aside.
- Bring a pot of salted water to boil for the wontons. When boiling, add the wontons and cook for 2-3 minutes. The wontons will float when the chicken is cooked through. I prefer to only cook as many as I will eating right then. Remove from heat.
- Remove the shiitake stems from the broth with a slotted spoon. Add the last 3 scallions, remaining sliced mushrooms, and bamboo shoots to the broth and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt to taste.
- Put a handful of the uncooked baby spinach in the bowls and then fill with broth. Use a slotted spoon to remove the wontons from the water and add directly to the soup bowls.
I always buy my ground chicken by the pound, so I just double the wonton recipe and freeze the extra for the next batch of soup I make. Make sure you buy 2 packages of wonton wrappers if you’re going to double the recipe.
Freeze any wontons that you won’t eat within 24 hours. They take only a little bit longer to cook compared to unfrozen. I tried leaving some in the fridge longer than a day, but the wonton skins started getting a little tough.Arrange them in a single layer on the cookie sheet and put them in the freezer. Once they’re frozen through, tranfer to a plastic bag or container. That way they won’t stick to each other once frozen. Add directly to boiling water the next time you want some wonton soup!
Cooking the wontons separately from the broth does two things. First, it keeps the broth from getting thickened and cloudy from all the cornstarch on the wonton wrappers. Second, it keeps the wontons from getting soggy and waterlogged. I love wonton soup from Chinese restaurants, but they’re always completely sogged through. When you’ve had them fresh cooked and homemade, you’ll see the difference it makes.
This recipe can be easily converted to vegetarian by replacing the chicken stock with veg stock and using faux meat or just veggies for the wonton stuffing. What would make really tasty stuffing is sauteed shiitake mushrooms. Mmmm.
The ginger is fairly strong in this recipe. If you’re not a huge ginger fan, only mince 1 tablespoon for the stuffing. Slice the remaining ginger into large pieces and add them to the stock, removing them when you remove the shiitake stems. Ginger can also be difficult to mince finely. I like to use a grater to grate instead of mince.
To test the seasoning of the wonton stuffing without eating raw meat (ick), place a teaspoonful on a plate or small bowl and microwave for about 10-20 seconds. Give it a taste and determine whether it needs more salt, pepper, ginger, garlic, or hot pepper!
You can really use any veggies that you’d like. I made it a second time with portabellas and carrots and it was just as tasty as the original. Try baby corn, snow peas, sweet pepper, etc.
If you boil too many wontons, they make awesome potstickers/gyoza. Just heat a pan with a little oil and brown on both sides! Serve with hot chinese mustard and soy sauce for dipping!