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Pork and Cabbage Wonton Soup

Silky dumplings in a soothing, umami-rich broth

From the very beginning (over 20 years ago!), wontons have been on the menu at our parents’ food cart in Christchurch. For just two dollars you can pick up a brown paper bag stuffed with five super crispy, golden fried wontons, with a decent squeeze of Dad’s bright pink sweet ‘n’ sour sauce on top. Because peeling individual wonton wrappers away from the defrosted block of wrappers was a task best-suited to little fingers, helping Dad with the wontons is one of the first jobs I remember doing as a kid at the market.

Over the years I’ve probably eaten too many of these crunchy delights, and for some reason I always loved munching on them the most at the end of the working day. There’s something truly mesmerising about watching the wonton pastry bubble up and crisp in the deep fryer.

However delicious they are, deep fried wontons are just one side of the story. In fact, fried wontons belong more to the Chinese diaspora and westernised Chinese food than any ancient Cantonese recipe book. The most traditional way of eating wontons in southern China is to boil them and serve them with a flavoursome broth (plus a handful of wonton noodles and a few slices of char siu pork, if you’re having wonton noodle soup). Silky soup wontons really live up to their pretty name, which literally means to swallow a cloud. A big bowl of wonton soup makes for the best comfort food.

Today’s recipe is a fantastically simple and warming wonton soup. You won’t get any easier than this when it comes to wrapping, and the broth makes use of three powerhouse umami ingredients (fish sauce, light soy sauce and Chinese mushrooms) to mimic the amazing savoury hit of Hong Kong style wonton broth.

If you liked these wontons, make sure you also check out our quick prawn and spinach wontons, wontons in spicy peanut sauce, and chicken wontons.

Serves
makes 40, for 4 people
Ingredients

40 square wonton wrappers
Chinese mushrooms (2 per person), soaked then sliced
pinch of sugar
2 spring onions, finely sliced

for the filling
300g pork mince
180g white cabbage (or another green, e.g spinach, pak choi, Chinese leaf)
1 tsp finely diced ginger
1/8 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp cornflour
1 tsp sesame oil
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp light soy sauce
2 big pinches ground white pepper
1 tsp veg oil

for the broth (to serve two)
1L low-salt chicken stock
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tsp fish sauce
2 slices of ginger

From the very beginning (over 20 years ago!), wontons have been on the menu at our parents’ food cart in Christchurch. For just two dollars you can pick up a brown paper bag stuffed with five super crispy, golden fried wontons, with a decent squeeze of Dad’s bright pink sweet ‘n’ sour sauce on top. Because peeling individual wonton wrappers away from the defrosted block of wrappers was a task best-suited to little fingers, helping Dad with the wontons is one of the first jobs I remember doing as a kid at the market.

Over the years I’ve probably eaten too many of these crunchy delights, and for some reason I always loved munching on them the most at the end of the working day. There’s something truly mesmerising about watching the wonton pastry bubble up and crisp in the deep fryer.

However delicious they are, deep fried wontons are just one side of the story. In fact, fried wontons belong more to the Chinese diaspora and westernised Chinese food than any ancient Cantonese recipe book. The most traditional way of eating wontons in southern China is to boil them and serve them with a flavoursome broth (plus a handful of wonton noodles and a few slices of char siu pork, if you’re having wonton noodle soup). Silky soup wontons really live up to their pretty name, which literally means to swallow a cloud. A big bowl of wonton soup makes for the best comfort food.

Today’s recipe is a fantastically simple and warming wonton soup. You won’t get any easier than this when it comes to wrapping, and the broth makes use of three powerhouse umami ingredients (fish sauce, light soy sauce and Chinese mushrooms) to mimic the amazing savoury hit of Hong Kong style wonton broth.

If you liked these wontons, make sure you also check out our quick prawn and spinach wontons, wontons in spicy peanut sauce, and chicken wontons.

GET THE METHOD →

In a small bowl, soak the mushrooms in freshly boiled water with a pinch of sugar. Set aside for at least 20 minutes, then drain and slice thinly.
In a large bowl, stir together all of the filling ingredients and leave to marinate for 10 minutes.
Wrap your wontons: place a heaped teaspoon of filling in the centre of a wrapper. Lift all four corners of the wrapper upwards towards the centre, as if you are bunching up a bag, then use your thumb and forefinger to squeeze the wrapper shut.
OUR
TIP!
If you wish to freeze some dumplings, simply lay them out in a single layer in the freezer after the wrapping stage. Once they are frozen, you can bag them up and they won't stick together. To reheat, add an extra 2-4 minutes of boiling time until the wontons are piping hot inside.
Add all of the ingredients for the broth to a saucepan, along with the rehydrated mushrooms. Cook on a gentle simmer while you boil the wontons. To cook the wontons, fill a large saucepan 3/4 of the way with freshly boiled water. Add the wontons in batches, and cook them on a rolling boil for 3-4 minutes until they all float to the top.
OUR
TIP!
For the broth, feel free to add more or less fish sauce and soy sauce to taste. You can also add extra garnishes, like crispy fried shallots and chilli oil.
  • Amanda Schmid

    Sounds and looks so yummy, I will definitely be trying this 1. Is it ok to just half the ingredients if I am doing it for 2 people, or should I stick to the amount you have here ? I ask because sometimes the ingredients have been worked out perfectly for a certain amount of people and halving the recipe doesn’t work so well. Thank you x

    • dumplingsisters

      Hi Amanda. In this case, halving the recipe will be perfectly fine – there’s usually more problems scaling it up! x

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