Pork, prawn and shiitake
mushroom wonton soup
Wonton soup is one of my most favourite things and is something I love to order when I eat out. These are a little fiddly to make, but if you’re in the mood, once you get your rhythm, it’s quite fun. There are all kinds of ways to fold these little parcels; I actually went onto YouTube to look at a few technics. I love the combination of pork and prawn, and I also added shiitake mushrooms for extra flavour. This recipe makes 35 and each person would need around 6-7.
Any spare (you can also double the recipe) can be frozen. To freeze uncooked wontons, lay them on a baking sheet so they don't touch and put the baking sheet in the freezer until the wontons are frozen solid. Once frozen, the wontons can be transferred to a freezer bag for storage.
For an even quicker weeknight meal, you can buy pre-made wontons from the freezer section of Asian supermarkets. Cuts all that preparation down if you are short on time.
Serves: 5-6 | Preparation time: 45 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes
For the wontons
1 cup dried sliced shiitake mushrooms
150g (5.5oz) raw prawns (can also buy frozen raw prawns and thaw)
240g (8.5 oz) pork mince
1 thumb-size piece of ginger, skin removed and finely grated
2 spring onions, finely sliced
1 large clove garlic, crushed
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 pack wonton wrappers (available from the freezer section of Asian supermarkets)
For the soup
280g packet (10oz) Egg noodles
2 litres (8 cups) good quality chicken stock
4 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons of rice wine vinegar
Bok Choy (about 4 heads) ends thinly sliced, leafy tops reserved, large ones cut in half down the middle
Fresh chilli - sliced, or your favourite chilli sauce
2 spring onions, sliced
A handful mung beans (optional)
Put the shiitake mushrooms in a bowl and cover with boiling water and set aside. Remove the tails from the prawns (if they are on) and chop. I didn’t chop them too fine as I like to see chunks of the prawn in the wonton. Combine in a mixing bowl with the remaining wonton ingredients; the ginger, spring onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Take the re-hydrated shiitake mushrooms from the water, chopping them finely and add to the mix and combine well. Don’t throw away the mushroom water as this will get added to the soup stock later.
To make the wontons, wet your finger and rub a little water around the edges on the cornflour side of the wrapper. The cornflour on the wrappers and water together seal the wontons. Place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wrapper and fold to your desired shape. It can be as simple as making a triangle, or try a more intricate shape like a 'nurse’s cap' or 'flower bud'. The main thing to make sure, no matter what shape you choose, is that it is sealed really well and there are no air pockets so water doesn’t get in when they cook. When they are all done, keep in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil and once boiling add the egg noodles and cook for around 8 minutes or until cooked through. Drain and divide into the bottom of 6 bowls. Now add the stock to the large pot with the reserved shiitake mushroom water, soy sauce and rice wine vinegar. Bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a medium heat. Cook the wontons in batches by dropping about 1/3 at a time into the stock. They have to be completely covered with stock as you know when they have cooked when they float to the surface. They should cook for about 5-6 minutes.
Add 5-6 cooked wontons per bowl. It’s ok if they are sitting while the others cook – they will get refreshed at the end when the soup is ladled over. Once the wontons are cooked, add the bok choy ends to the soup and cook for 1 minute, scoop out and add to the bowls. Cook the leaves for 30 seconds and add to the bowl. Ladle over the soup between the bowls.
To serve, top with whatever garnishes you want – a little chilli, sesame oil, mung beans and spring onions. If you want it a little saltier, add a dash of soy sauce.