Wontons for Soup

To truly enjoy wontons, you should fill them yourself. A good filling combines contrasting flavors and textures. In this recipe the soy sauce, rice wine, and sesame oil flavor the pork, and the sweetness of the water chestnuts, the smoky mushrooms, the sharp scallions and ginger, and the salty ham provide contrast. The filled wontons are blanched briefly to rid them of their cornstarch coating so that they won’t cloud the soup. Once blanched, the wontons can be kept refrigerated for a day or two until they are used.

Ingredients

Filling

  • 1 pound pork butt or shoulder, coarsely ground
  • 2 tablespoons thin soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 8 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and minced
  • 8 Chinese black mushrooms, soaked, squeezed dry, and minced
  • ¼ cup minced scallion
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 4 tablespoons minced Smithfield ham
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper to taste

Method

  • Blanching
  • Makes about 25 wontons.
  • May be prepared in advance and refrigerated until ready for use.
  • Mix all the filling ingredients in a large bowl by hand until they are thoroughly combined.

  1. Place a teaspoonful of the filling in the center of a wonton square. Fold it in half.

  2. Gather up the loose corners.

  3. Pinch the edges to form the filling into a ball.

  4. The wonton looks like a sack or package.

  5. Plunge the stuffed wontons into boiling salted water until they float to the surface (about 30 seconds). This rids them of their starchy dusting.

  6. Drain them and set them aside. They can be cooled, then refrigerated for up to 2 days.

  7. To make soup, simply simmer the wontons in chicken broth for 5 minutes. The soup can be served as is or garnished with shredded vegetables.

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