Once upon a time I found myself standing next to a cooking pot with a carrot that I’d made out of construction paper. The pot was surrounded by other hungry villagers (aka my fellow Kindergarteners) each holding their own paper vegetable and peering into the pot atop a fake firepit. My teacher placed a stone in the cooking pot and we each added our humble offering. She stirred it lovingly and soon after we “ate” of its riches. It was a wonderful lesson about sharing, and how wonderful soup is – real or imagined!
Tonight I’m sharing a very simple soup, easily thrown together with whatever you might have in your fridge’s veggie bin.
1 32oz container of Chicken Stock
Baby Bok Choy
sliced Green Onion (Scallions)
1 lb ground Pork (not sausage, you want unseasoned)
4 teaspoons Soy Sauce
1 teaspoon freshly grated Ginger
2 oz diced Water Chestnuts
1 stalk Green Onion sliced
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 teaspoon Salt
1 package of square Wonton Skins
1 beaten Egg
Pour chicken stock into a pot and bring to a simmer. While the stock is heating up mix together all the wonton ingredients EXCEPT the last two.
There are two tips I would offer when working with wonton skins, work quickly, and keep them damp. What I mean by that is keep a slightly damp papertowel over the package of unused wonton skins while you work, and a damp papertowel over the completed wontons.
With clean hands remove a few wonton skins from the package and arrange on clean cutting board. Carefully dip your finger into the beaten egg and draw around the outside edge of each wonton (a finger’s width). The egg will be the binding that seals your wonton. Place a generous teaspoon into the center of each skin and carefully fold the wonton in half (into a triangle). It is very important to gently squeeze out the air as you seal each skin. If you make a mistake and the seal isn’t so good, or you’ve overstuffed them, etc, place these “mistakes” to the side, we will get to those later…
Once your wontons are sealed and ready, carefully place into the simmering broth. About 5 mins into the cooking time add your vegetables (carrots take longer – but it’s up to you what vegetable and how cooked you want them). For my bok choy, onions and mushrooms, I cooked an additional 5 mins for a total cooking time of 10 mins. (If you are at all worried about your wontons, remove one and cut in half, if the juice runs out clear from the meat, they are done.)
Ladle the broth, veggies and a few wontons into a bowl and you’ve got yourself a quick and fabulous little bit o’soupy heaven.
So let’s move on to those wontons that didn’t quite make the cut. Heat your oven to 375 degrees F, and on a nonstick baking mat, or parchment paper, arrange your wontons so they don’t touch. Spray each wonton (both sides) with a little bit of cooking spray so they will crisp as they bake. In my convection oven it took about 20 mins. Just be careful to watch that the skins don’t burn. Again, if the juices run out clear, the wontons are cooked.
These crunchy dumplings need sauce, so below is a dipping sauce to dunk them in. Mix all ingredients together, and enjoy eating your mistakes! Oh go on, have another!
1 cup Soy Sauce
3 tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 teaspoon Sesame Oil
1 sliced Green Onion
1 teaspoon of Honey
a few tablespoons of Water
optional: Hot Chili Flakes