Chicken wonton soup is a special dish. It’s not the clear, aromatic broth, nor the flavoursome wontons that make it special. It’s the fact that we can only make it on very rare occasions because some people don’t like it, which means this soup is relegated to those times when certain people are away. Although we missed her dearly, the up side was we got to make and eat chicken wonton soup while she was off on her adventure!
These are incredibly easy to make. Set aside half an hour or so and this soup will be on the table. There’s a proviso to that statement though – you need to buy a $2 plastic wonton making implement from your local Asian store. Without it, the easy aspect may not apply. Its a bit like making tortellini, so if you’ve mastered that skill then you won’t need the plastic thing. However, if you’re anything like me, I become all fingers and thumbs and they just don’t turn out very well. In fact, without it I probably wouldn’t make them.
The wonton filling can be made with chicken mince, combining all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Alternatively you can buy 1 chicken breast, roughly chop it and throw it in a food processor to mince it. Once that’s done, add the rest of the ingredient to the bowl and blitz until it’s combined.
When cooking the wontons in the broth, I only cook as many as we are going to use. Usually 4 per person. If you are only cooking 10 – 15 they can be put in the pot all at once. On the other hand, if you intend to cook them all, it’s best to cook them in 2 batches, returning the first batch to the pot before adding the vegetables.
The other great thing about wontons is you can change it up completely and turn them into gyoza by cooking and draining them, then frying them for a few minutes on each side in a small amount of oil. Dipped in a little soy sauce they make a great snack, or a great way to eat the leftovers if you don’t feel like more soup.
Wontons are great to make with small family members too, if you’re using the wonton making thingy. They love sticking a little bit of filling in the centre, and folding it over to create their very own masterpiece. It may result in a little too much mixture being added, which then leaks out of the pastry when it’s folded, but just wipe it away. It’s part of the fun of having little helpers in the kitchen…or big ones. Enjoy!
- 250 grams chicken mince
- 1 large garlic clove, crushed
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- 1 small red chilli, finely chopped (deseeded if spice is an issue for you)
- 3 spring onions finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped
- 1 packet wonton wrappers
- 1.5 litres chicken stock
- 1 litre water
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 2 cm piece fresh ginger, cut into thin batons
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise
- 1 carrot, cut into thin matchsticks
- 1 bunch choy sum, chopped
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced on the diagonal
- In a large saucepan, add the stock, water, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, cinnamon stick and star anise. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, put a lid on the pot and simmer the broth while you make the wontons.
- Put all the ingredients for the wontons (except the wrappers) in a large mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. This is easiest done in a food processor, if you have one.
- Make the wontons, place on a plate and cover with a damp tea towel and put them in the fridge while you prepare the carrot, choy sum and spring onions.
- Once you're ready to cook the wontons, remove the star anise and cinnamon stick from the broth, and bring it back to the boil.
- Add the wontons and gently stir. They are cooked when they float to the top.
- Once the wontons are cooked, add the carrot and choy sum and cook for a minute (just long enough for the choy sum to wilt).
- To serve, divide the wontons between the bowls, then cover with the broth.
- Garnish with spring onions and fresh coriander leaves.