Sunday, June 14, 2015

Wor Wonton Soup

I bought a head of cabbage.  Not exactly sure why, except I needed a green veggie for a bean stew.  That took care of half of it.  Not in the mood for cole slaw, I had to come up with something else to do with it.  I did consider cabbage rolls, but you need whole leaves for that.  I may make those sometime soon; the recipe I found sounds really good.
The bean stew.  Ok, but not post-worthy

I learned that "wor" means "everything" in Chinese.  That means you can put in everything that sounds good at the moment, including half a head of cabbage.

I'm going to post the wontons separately.  They aren't any more difficult than any other hors d'oeuvre, but they are worth their own post.  I remember helping to cater my mom's parties when I was ten or twelve and frying up dozens of wontons so she could be free to mingle.  If you can leave a fifth grader alone with the deep fryer to make them, they're not hard.  The only difference with this batch was simmering them in the soup instead of frying.  The recipe is the same.

I got to use my three whopping pea pods from the garden in the recipe.  Bought a handful of them at the market to round it out.  I bought a handful of everything that seemed like it should be in the recipe, which is how I ended up with a $25 pot of soup.  It did taste like one from a Chinese restaurant, which was the goal, so I guess I succeeded.  Feel free to add or subtract ingredients to fit your personal taste and budget.

*1 quart chicken stock (low-salt)
4 stalks green onion
*2 cloves garlic
1 Tb minced or grated ginger
1 Tb vegetable or sesame oil
*1/2 head of cabbage or 6 baby bok choy
2 medium carrots
1/2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or pork chop
4 oz snow peas in the pod
4 oz mushroom of choice
1 can sliced water chestnuts
1 can sliced bamboo shoots
1 batch uncooked wontons
1 tsp red pepper flakes
soy sauce to taste

1.  Cut onion into small pieces and mince garlic.  Drizzle oil into a large pot and cook onions and garlic over medium heat until fragrant.  Add stock and ginger and bring to a low boil over high heat.

2.  While the stock is coming to a boil, slice cabbage thinly or chop bok choy into bite-sized pieces.  Reduce heat on pot back to medium and add cabbage.  Cover and cook until it starts to soften.  This will take longer if you choose green cabbage, about 10 minutes.

3.  Peel and chop carrots into bite-sized coins.  Add to simmering pot and continue to cook while you get everything else ready.  Slice chicken or pork thinly into a piece you could pick up with a spoon or chopsticks.  If the mushrooms are big enough to need slicing, now is the time.  Get the prepared wontons out and open the cans.

4.  Everything else goes in the pot now, just wait on the soy sauce a bit.  Stir to make sure the wontons are submerged and put the cover back on the pot.  You can raise the heat a little because so much else has gone in.  Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the wonton noodles are done.  They take the longest.  You will see the pink inside before the noodles are cooked if you made shrimp.  Depending on what kind of mushroom you used, they may not be completely cooked.  This is fine, and merely adds a different flavor.  Taste and add soy sauce as needed.  Serve hot.

Serves 4 to 6

Difficulty rating  :)

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