Wonton Soup (餛飩湯)

by tina

*(check out my updated version: Wonton Soup – Take 2 (Pork and Green Onion))*

Growing up, my mother had always called wontons in Chinese, 餛飩 (hun tun). It wasn’t until I payed a visit to Hualien, Taiwan, a few years ago, that I found out all the wonton restaurants in this city calls wontons, 扁食 (bian shi). Even if you don’t know Chinese, you can totally tell that those words are quite different by the English spelling. Confusing… indeed. I got curious so I did some research, and many websites say that Taiwanese cuisine is mainly influenced by both the aboriginal people and of Fujian Province in China. Wontons in Fujian are called 扁食, so I suppose that name was carried over to Taiwan. My mother is of Fujian descent and didn’t even know about this. Apparently, 餛飩 is still more widely used in Taiwan though.

~~~

Anyway, I love this stuff as I love potstickers–must be the Fujian descent in me. :)

So this was the first time that I made wontons from scratch, on my own at least, and I’ve got to say there is still a lot of room for improvement to perfect this.  They still turned out well, but something seems to be missing. If anyone has any suggestions, I’d be glad to hear it!

Ingredients:

For Filling:

  • 0.75 lb ground pork
  • 8 shrimps
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons potato starch (太白粉)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 pack thin wonton wraps

(yields approx. 93  wontons)

For Soup: 

  • water
  • shallot, sliced, fried (紅蔥頭)
  • cilantro/coriander, chopped

1) Make the filling. Ground up the ground pork even more, ground up the shrimp, and finely chop the cilantro. In a mixing bowl, mix the pork and shrimp. Always mix in the same direction. Add a little of the water in, mix. Repeat until water fully added. Add the potato starch, mix. Add the rice wine, salt, soy sauce, fish sauce, white pepper, and sesame oil. Mix many times to evenly distribute the ingredients. Add the cilantro. Mix. The more you mix, the more tender your filling should be.

2) Wrapping. Take a wonton wrap in your hand and spread on a very thin layer of the filling. Place the chopticks in the center of the wrap and gently fold over in half. Now take the whole wrap and as you slide the chopstick out, scrunch the wrap tightly together and there is your wonton! (The pictures below may help you illustrate this process better)

*The wonton wrap may “blow up” and the top when you’re scrunching these tightly together.  But after practicing a couple of times, you’ll get the hang of it and it should happen less. These do need to be scrunched together tightly or else the filling will not stay in the wrap after you cook it. 

A platter full of them:

Up close:

3) Cooking. Boil them in water for about 8-12 mins, depending on how many you boil at once. Garnish with shallot (紅蔥頭) and cilantro/coriander.

enjoy!

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