Another one of my desert island dishes……..
I sometimes go, (well, rarely actually…..) to just order Won ton soup at The Vietnamese Canteen, (Huong Viet) on Englefield road. Still my favourite Vietnamese restaurant, and even though it did lose it’s charm, I love the wonton soup they make there, even now.
Take-away, consisted of two bulging hot water bombs of wonton soup in their (thin) plastic bags, popped into the tops of my wellies and balanced behind my driving seat on the way home!
So my ideal wonton soup, is just stock, (good tasty chicken stock) pork and prawn wonton dumplings, flavoured with Shoashing wine, with just some wilted greens, (like pak choy.) floating around in there somewhere too…..some sesame……soy…….
175 g raw peeled prawns, (350 g in shell weight)
175 g mince pork
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 spring onions
1 tablespoon light soy
1 tablespoon shaoshing/shaoxing rice wine or dry sherry (see note below)
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 egg white, lightly beaten
200 g/42 wonton skins (sounds precise, because it is!) You’ll have to buy these from an asian supermarket. If can’t get hold of or can’t be bothered, you could just drop little spoonfuls of the filling mixture directly into the stock, towards end of cooking.
450 g broad beans in pod or 100 g Shelled weight (Or frozen broad beans or soya beans see note below)
2 litres good flavoured chicken stock (I used the Pho stock I had frozen see post)
1 ½ tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
100g young spinach leaves
chopped spring onion for garnish
Chilli sauce to serve…..obviously optional
1. Peel the prawns, then lying each prawn on it’s side, with a small knife, score a line down it’s back from head to tail. There will be a dark (usually very,) fine tube running along the inside here) Pull this out with the tip of a knife. This is the digestive tract of the prawn and removing it is called deveining. Although you can eat it if you want to, it can be a bit gritty. Your call.
2. Chop the prawns fairly finely and tip into a bowl with the pork mince. Add salt and pepper and knead together with your hands.
3. Finely chop the spring onion and add to the bowl with the rest of the filling ingredients and mix in. Cover and place in fridge for 30 minutes, which sets the mixture enough to make it easier to fill the wrappers. Meanwhile pod your beans if you need to.
4. Place a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each wonton wrapper. (don’t put too much or they will burst out.) Run a little egg white around the centre of the inside and pinch to seal, to look like a cute pouch. Continue with rest of wontons and wrappers. It made 42 little parcels.
5. Bring the stock and remaining 1 1/2 tablespoosn of soy to a simmer in a large pan and place a large pan of water on to boil to cook the wontons. Once the water is boiling drop the parcels into the water one by one, (don’t overcrowd and but do move them around for a few moments to stop them sticking to the bottom) and cook for about 1 minute or so, or until they float to the surface.
6. Scoop them out with a slotted spoon into the simmering stock (sprinkle in the broad beans too.) and cook for about 2 minutes more.
7. Stir in the spinach leaves, season to taste, then sprinkle with the last tablespoons of sesame oil and remaining spring onion and serve.
Add more sesame oil, soy and chilli sauce on the side…
Notes on ingredients………
Shaoshing/shaoxing rice wine
A Chinese rice wine (made from fermented rice) that has a peculiar taste. (But good peculiar!) Once you taste it, you’ll probably recognise it. Sweet, rich and dry at the same time. A dry or medium to dry sherry would work ok instead.